A quick take on Syracuse’s 37-27 defeat to No. 1 ranked Clemson Saturday evening, a great effort for a monumental upset that came up short, in front of a noisy Dome crowd in the penultimate home game of the season:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse dropped its seventh straight game, the longest losing streak since SU lost nine consecutive games in 2005, but not without a fight. After falling behind 14-0 less than two minutes into the game, the ‘Cuse couldn’t contain Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson on a critical drive in the fourth quarter with CU nursing a seven point lead, that ended with the third Tigers field goal of the day, and that proved to be the difference in the game. Reserve Orange quarterback Zack Mahoney was valiant in guiding SU back to within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, running for two scores in masterfully directing the option offense, before the final Clemson field goal put the game out of reach.
ANALYSIS: With the sophomore Mahoney struggling in the passing game, (8 of 21 for 80 yards), he did keep the Clemson ‘D’ off keel with his mix of running and passing in the second half to being the Orange back to within seven going into the fourth quarter, while the Orange defense was respectable in stopping the run, but as has been a season-long pattern, struggled in the pass defense giving up 360 yards in the air to the Tigers magnificent Watson.
HERO:Clemson sophomore quarterback Watson showed why he’s a Heisman Trophy contender, at one point throwing 12 consecutive completions in the first half finishing 34 of 47 through the air with 360 yards and two scoring passes, while also dazzling with his legs rushing for 88 yards. Tigers kicker Greg Huegel was clutch with three field goals, including a 42 yarder, to help keep SU at bay.
ZERO: Too much space in coverage by the Orange secondary allowed Watson to find numerous receivers on the seven Clemson scoring drives, with Artavis Scott, Charone Peake and Deon Cain combining for 23 receptions and two touchdowns to pace the Tigers offense.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse plays its final road game of the season next Saturday, Nov. 21 at North Carolina State. Two seasons back the Orange finally beat N.C. State after going 0-6 all-time, winning at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh 24-10, last year in the Dome NCSU prevailed 24-17. The Wolfpack (6-4, 2-4) fell at Florida State earlier Sat. afternoon 34-17. Game Time: 12:30 p.m. ET / TV: ACCN-ESPN3.
- Orange Watch: A pleasure to finally meet Syracuse coach Dino Babers - September 27, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 31, Connecticut 24 - September 24, 2016
- Orange Watch: Tough to be patient with Syracuse in world of Power Five - September 20, 2016
- Orange Watch: The top quarterbacks to play against Syracuse in Carrier Dome history - September 13, 2016
- Orange Watch: If “Orange is the new fast” for Syracuse football, keep it coming - September 6, 2016
- Orange Watch: Part II, 2016 Syracuse football game-by-game previews and predictions - August 26, 2016
- Orange Watch: Part I, 2016 Syracuse football game-by-game previews and predictions - August 23, 2016
- Orange Watch: Will new Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison return to Syracuse this season? - August 9, 2016
- Orange Watch: NCAA graduate transfer rule could alter 2016-17 Syracuse basketball - July 26, 2016
- Orange Watch: Syracuse football will benefit from new AD, football coach, Carrier Dome - July 12, 2016