While the Syracuse football team went under .500 after their loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. There was some good and bad things to take away from the game.
Oct 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Eric Dungey (2) throws in the first quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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The Syracuse football team came out with guns blazing on offense. While the Orange offense generated 489 yards of offense and scored 33 points.
While their defense gave up over 600 yards of offense and continued to allow chunk plays to kill them all game long. The Orange (2-3) have an identical record to the team they just beat, but it feels like they’re going in very different directions.
So far you could say the Orange have done everything they’re supposed to do this season. But there’s obvious room for improvement.
This game was a good stage for Syracuse to show off their program. While there was a ton to take from this game, so lets break it all down.
Oct 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Eric Dungey (2) runs for a touchdown in front of Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Nyles Morgan (5) in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Lets start off on a positive note for the Orange. If I would’ve told you that Eric Dungey would finish the game with 400 yards of offense, 5 touchdowns, and no turnovers, you would’ve taken it right?
Of course you would, little do you know that the rest of the team didn’t do much to help Dungey out. He was the leading rusher for the team and scored three times on the ground.
While also on offense, Amba Etta-Tawo proved that he can score on anyone, regardless of the competition level. He sparked the offense with a 72 yard bomb that displayed his acceleration and elite speed.
Just think he was due to rot on a terrible Maryland offense if he didn’t transfer. While now he has opened up the doors to the NFL if he so wishes to partake.
Oct 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Kevin Stepherson (29) catches a pass for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium. Notre Dame won 50-33. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
While the defense was atrocious and I guess every week I can just throw the defense in one of the two categories at the end of this slideshow. I mean seriously the Orange might’ve had a better chance just blitzing every down.
They gave up at least four bombs of at least 44 yards in length that either resulted in touchdowns or red-zone opportunities. I could bash the defense for another paragraph, but I won’t.
Head coach Dino Babers is an enigma. A polarizing figure that a lot of Orange fans are excited for and for good reason.
But the Orange only attempted 2 fourth down conversion in a game they never led. Babers has been swallowing that daring “just go for it” mentality and it cost them in this game.
Oct 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A Syracuse Orange helmet sits on the turf prior to the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
We alluded to how terrible the special teams was in our rapid reaction piece, immediately after the game. But 300 words simply wasn’t enough to fully describe this woeful unit thus far.
So lets address the rugby punting technique. While it did appear to work a few times, for the most part it was an epic failure.
We talked about the Babers not going for it in our “bad” section, well one of the times he decided not to go for it from midfield, it backfired. He decided to punt and play the field position battle and on the ensuing punt it sailed 13 yards, yikes.
On top of that all the points that SU gave up on special teams was just embarrassing. When the game is broken down into three essential parts and you suck at two of them, it makes winning that much more difficult.