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: Syracuse basketball facing a potential historic losing streak - February 21, 2017
- Orange Watch: Minimum of five games left to decide Syracuse basketball’s postseason - February 16, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 75, Pittsburgh 80 - February 11, 2017
- Orange Watch: Syracuse lacrosse looks to end eight year NCAA title drought - February 7, 2017
- Orange Watch: The Syracuse football connection to the Super Bowl - February 1, 2017
- Orange Watch: Home and away balance, and taxing describes 2017 Syracuse football schedule - January 25, 2017
- Orange Watch: Could it be a winless regular season on the road for Syracuse basketball? - January 24, 2017
- Orange Watch: Road win against North Carolina proving to be challenge for Syracuse - January 18, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 68, North Carolina 85 - January 16, 2017
- Orange Watch: Jim Boeheim took 11 years to win consecutive NCAA games at Syracuse - January 10, 2017