A quick take on Syracuse’s 35-24 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse had its three point lead erased in the second half after Brandon Kay, who took over at quarterback for Munchie Legaux, directed two touchdown scoring drives. Syracuse was plagued by mental errors and penalties all day, including a dropped pick-6 by Brandon Reddish and 12 penalties for 109 yards. The win prevented the Orange from having a three game winning streak in the conference for the first time since 2001, and puts their bowl hopes in peril.
ANALYSIS: It was a frustrating performance by Syracuse, reminiscent of a game against Rutgers last year, when a dropped INT shifted the momentum in a brutal loss. That’s what happened today as Reddish dropped a sure pick 6 with Syracuse up by three points. Instead, Cincinnati scored on its ensuing drive for a 14 point swing. On top of that, the Orange made all sorts of mental mistakes all afternoon—even the wide receivers combined for three false starts. The defense also had its second straight tough outing, giving up 35 points, 470 total yards and 263 on the ground.
HERO: Winn had 165 yards, three rushing touchdowns and also threw for a touchdown on a trick play, while tight end Travis Kelce caught a pair of scores (including the TD off the halfback option). Jerome Smith rushed for 116 yards and his first TD of the season.
ZERO: There was some questionable officiating, highlighted by a clear fumble in the first half on Cincinnati that would ruled down on the field, and confirmed on replay despite very clear evidence otherwise. Legaux, who had been given a vote of confidence from coach Butch Jones over the week, was just 11 for 22 with an interception before being benched. The SU defense allowed more than 400 yards for the second straight game, while Ross Krautman continued his inconsistency with a 1/3 performance (one FG was blocked).
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play its final home game of the season when it heads home to play Louisville on Nov. 10.Wesley Cheng