Rapid Reaction: Syracuse Football Is Haunted By Third Downs In Loss

The Syracuse football team lost their second straight contest and really floundered on third downs. Now their bowl hopes are on life support.

This was a very frustrating game for the Syracuse football team. The Orange lost the game 35-20 and there were plenty of reasons for it.

First off lets address the headline. Offensively and defensively the Orange disappointed on third down. The NC State Wolfpack went 10-of-18 on third down conversions and Syracuse just gave them first downs.

Cuse couldn’t tackle all game long and all those missed tackles resulted in conversions when it

should’ve been punting situations. Plus they gave up a ton of points off of those missed tackles.

On the other side of the ball, we’ve talked about the side-effects of Dino Babers offense as soon as he came to Central New York. #OrangeIsTheNewFast was the headline for Babers. All the fans bought in and it brought this excitement to the dome.

But when the news that Eric Dungey wasn’t going to suit up in this game became available, we quickly rediscovered the drop-off from Dungey to the next guy. Now don’t get me wrong Zack Mahoney is a capable backup who can come in and make some things happen, but lets be honest, he’s no Dungey.

That became painfully obvious during the game and I did some analytics following the conclusion of the game. The Syracuse offense had five three and outs in today’s game which totaled two minutes and 40 seconds of actual game time.

Which heavily contributed to the overwhelming post-game statistics. The Wolfpack dominated the time of possession battle: 41 minutes to SU’s 19 minutes. The Orange gave up over 500 yards of offense, while they only mustered 218 yards of their own.

With only 24 yards of that coming on the ground. Another dismal performance in the running game, forcing the Orange offense to be one-dimensional.

Now the Orange are left with the impossible task. To reach bowl eligibility they must win out against Florida State in the Carrier Dome and then they’re forced to travel to play the Pitt Panthers in Pittsburgh.

This article originally appeared on