What a time to be a Syracuse Orange football fan. The team continues to roll, most recently embarrassing the Purdue Boilermakers by two touchdowns over in West Lafayette. We’ve got you covered with this week’s edition of SU’s third-down (and red zone) efficiency against the Boilermakers.
The Orange offense converted 7-of-12 third downs thanks to Garrett Shrader’s wheels, who moved the chains with his legs five of those seven times. On the defensive side, Rocky Long’s crew struggled to contain Purdue at times, allowing conversions at a 50% clip (7-for-14). Both teams had no trouble entering the red zone, combining for 11 trips throughout the game. Below is the breakdown of Syracuse’s overall efficiency.
Third down and 1-3 yards: 1-for-1
Shrader’s 4-yard scamper on a third-and-2 in the third quarter capped off this region. Although just one play, it’s the second week in a row the Orange converted this down and distance more than 50% of the time.
Third down and 4-6 yards: 2-for-4
After an incomplete pass and sack, Shrader scrambled for a first down on SU’s first possession of the second half. The QB connected with LeQuint Allen for 10 yards on that same drive but was intercepted one play later.
Third down and 7+ yards: 4-for-7
Impressive stuff right here. The Boilermakers just could not stop Shrader on the ground if their lives depended on it. Runs of 10, 15 and a 35-yard touchdown from the Syracuse quarterback helped convert three long third downs. The fourth successful attempt came on a 26-yard reception by Donovan Brown on a third-and-11, eventually leading to a touchdown.
Shrader shredding the defense for his 2nd rushing score pic.twitter.com/Fs63hmSaMy— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) September 17, 2023
Third down and 1-3 yards: 3-for-5
Well, this was an excellent turnaround from last week’s 1-for-5 against Western Michigan. The Orange defensive line stuffed Purdue running backs Devin Mockobee and Tyrone Tracy Jr. on three occasions, leading to two more stops on 4th down. A three-yard run by Hudson Card and a face mask penalty late in the fourth quarter marked the unsuccessful attempts.
Third down and 4-6 yards: 1-for-4
After a 5-for-6 start through two games, we were due for some regression here. The defense faltered twice on Purdue’s first drive, allowing an 11-yard completion to Mockobee and a 5-yard pass to Tracy. But the D forced a turnover to keep the Boilermakers off the board and shut down the home team from there.
Third down and 7+ yards: 2-for-5
You’d like to see a better number here, but it could have gone worse against SU’s first Power 5 opponent. Card completed a 20-yard pass on Purdue’s first attempt, then picked up a third-and-8 with his legs in the third quarter. The defensive backs were not on the same page later on the drive when Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen hauled in a 9-yard pass on third-and-7.
Red Zone Offense: 5 trips - 21 points
Shrader got the Orange down to the 3-yard line with a 20-yard dash on Syracuse’s second drive of the game. He’d punch it into the end zone one play later for the game’s first points. A missed 44-yard field goal by Brady Denaburg turned in nothing on SU’s second red zone trip, but 1-yard touchdown runs by Allen and Shrader helped put the Orange up 14 after three quarters. The fifth drive comes with an asterisk, as Shrader lined up in victory formation and took a knee to end the game.
Highest Rate of Possessions Reaching Red Zone— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) September 19, 2023
1. Washington 54.29%
2. Texas A&M 52.78%
3. Syracuse 52.63%
4. LSU 51.52%
4. UAB 51.52%
6. UCF 51.43%
7. Penn State 50%
7. Toledo 50%
9. Oregon 48.57%
9. Oklahoma 48.57%
Red Zone Defense: 6 trips - 21 points
The Mob allowed three touchdowns and forced two turnovers with its back to the wall. Leon Lowery pounced on a Card fumble at the ‘Cuse 6-yard line to keep the game scoreless in the first. Later, Terry Lockett’s second fumble recovery from the Boilermakers QB kept the Orange up 14-7 in the second quarter. Purdue scored three times from inside the 5-yard line, but its final drive came up short when pressure from Syracuse forced an incomplete pass on fourth down.
What do you think about these stats? Will the Orange continue to roll when they face Army this weekend?