A quick take on Syracuse’s outright embarrassing 56-0 defeat against Georgia Tech, on an mixed day of weather Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 45,704 at century old Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Midtown Atlanta:
WHAT HAPPENED: In just the third meeting between the schools, and the first on a participant’s campus, Syracuse suffered its worst shutout loss since a 59-0 debacle at Miami in 2001. The Orange had no answer for Georgia Tech’s vaunted running attack (394 rushing yards), and with the Yellow Jackets having already scored four times, this game was over at halftime. Once again, too many self-inflicted mistakes (nine penalties) killed any momentum for the Orange offense, and those mistakes led directly to three early Ga. Tech touchdowns. To make matters worse, sophomore DE John Raymon suffered a serious leg injury in a goal line play and had to be taken off the field with 1:37 left in the first half, his season likely over.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse (3-4, 1-2) knew what was coming in the form of the Jackets triple-option running attack (they only had two pass attempts in the first half), but it didn’t matter, this was a bad match-up. Off a blocked punt and a Terrel Hunt interception Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-2) scored twice to lead 14-0 after the first quarter rushing for 116 yards, and the tone was set. Hunt continued to struggle with inconsistency, throwing a pick and fumbling with both miscues leading to Ga. Tech scores before being replaced by Drew Allen to begin the second half. Both ‘Cuse lines had problems all day, the O-Line protecting Hunt, the D-Line blown off the ball.
HERO: Nothing such as directing his team’s running attack like a maestro to take the heat off Tech sophomore QB Vad Lee in ending a three game losing streak. He was dynamic in handling the option, keeping it himself for 72 yards and two scores and throwing a beautiful 46-yard strike for another TD, or pitching/handing off to David Sims and Zach Laskey who combined for 131 more yards on the ground and two scores. Second string QB Justin Thomas added 95 yards running and a TD when the game was already decided. Ga. Tech had zero penalties.
ZERO: Spread the negatives around. Both sides of the ball, and special teams. A blocked punt led to an early 7-0 hole, while Hunt never had time to get comfortable and the running attack came to a grinding halt, held to just 62 yards when the game was still competitive. With the defense playing for the run all day, CB Brandon Reddish was burned badly on Lee’s 46-yard TD pass to Darren Waller two minutes into the third quarter that made it 35-0.
WHAT’S NEXT: The second, and final open weekend with no game scheduled on Oct. 26. Syracuse then returns home on Sat., Nov. 2 to play Wake Forest, and at halftime Donovan McNabb will have his No. 5 jersey hung from the Dome ceiling. The teams met in the 2011 season opener in the Dome with the Orange rallying to win 36-29 in OT. For more football game information explore football coupons. The Wake Forest game time and television coverage will be announced on Mon., Oct. 21.