The Syracuse Orange looked like they were going to start off fast this afternoon. Garrett Shrader was loose in the secondary and the first drive was into Clemson territory.....then it all crashed down sending Syracuse to their first loss of 2023.
A crushing blow knocked the ball loose and knocked the Orange off-track. Two Syracuse fumbles in their first three possessions gave Clemson a 14-0 lead that left the Orange fighting uphill the rest of the way.
Here are three takeaways from today:
Wrong Ingredients for an Upset
The Orange did everything that an underdog can’t do when they want to win a big game:
- Turning the ball over on offense: check
- Missing chances to grab turnovers: check
- Penalties keeping Clemson drives alive: check
- Dropped passes: check
- Poor throws with wide receivers open: check
- Questionable coaching decisions: check
Syracuse let an opportunity slip away and now they’ll need to head to UNC and Florida State and try not to let the momentum of the 4-0 start slip away.
Klubnik escapes contain
The Orange defensive line did pretty well stopping the run and getting pressure on Cade Klubnik. Unfortunately the Clemson QB routinely escaped the pocket and made plays, especially on third downs. The Tigers went 7-15 on third downs and most came on throws from Klubnik on the move. His wide receivers did a good job of moving to give him a target but it was deflating for the Orange to get in those situations and not finish the job.
Shrader under pressure
Clemson was able to generate a lot of pressure up the middle on Shrader while being able to keep a linebacker to spy him. Without Oronde Gadsden, Isaiah Jones and Trebor Pena, Syracuse’s wide receivers were unable to help their quarterback when he was scrambling and when they had openings over the top, Shrader misfired often.
We’ll see how the Orange respond next week, but this was an opportunity that slipped away.