Syracuse 14, Clemson 49 — What we learned

Here are three thoughts from Syracuse’s 52-17 win over Tulane on Saturday:

Terell Hunt isn’t the golden boy

Sure, he’s a better alternative than Drew Allen, but he certainly isn’t the second coming of Donavan McNabb like many were starting to say. His competition in his previous two games wasn’t anything compared to this Clemson team. But one thing did stick out about Hunt: his ability to run the ball. In fact, he finished with more rushing yards (57) than passing yards (52). Hunt’s ability to flee the pocket and pick up meaningful yards is huge for this team. It really opens up the offense and keeps the defense guessing.

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Syracuse’s defense was picked apart

» Related: Clemson routs Syracuse

Jerome Smith’s coming out party, part two

I would say his coming out party happened last season when he broke out as one of the star players on the SU squad. Expectations were high for him this season and I think Smith just needed another big game to get him kick started. In the past two games against Tulane and Wagner, Smith ran for a combined 99 yards. Against Clemson he ran for 125, including a huge 66-yard touchdown run that got the Orange started. The fact that he was successful against a team like Clemson says a lot for Smith, and I think this was the game he needed to flourish for the rest of the year.

The secondary…

I couldn’t even put a succinct thought together about the secondary. The continuous blown coverage was tough to watch. The defensive line put pressure on the quarterback and paired with the linebackers to stop the run, but the secondary just didn’t show up. And it wasn’t just that they were slower than Clemson, they were outsmarted, too. Constant breakdowns in communication and coverage made me worry about the rest of the season. We learned that this unit probably needs more work than any other unit on the field. And they need to get to work before they head to Florida State and face another one of the best quarterbacks in the country – Jameis Winston without Keon Lyn, who is now out for the season.

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