A quick take on Syracuse’s 45-20 loss against South Florida on Saturday evening at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: After a promising first quarter that ended with Syracuse up 17-0, South Florida scored four touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 28-17 lead into half. It was 28-20 late in the third quarter when Marlon Mack busted a 52-yard run for a touchdown on a 4th down. One series later, South Florida put the game out of reach with a punt return for another score.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse actually outgained South Florida 549 to 456, but had far too many drives stall out in USF territory. The Orange was just 2 for 5 on fourth downs and Eric Dungey also threw three interceptions. Another key for South Florida was its rushing attack. The Orange simply had no answers to stuff the run, surrendering 241 yards, an average 6.8 yards per carry. On the flip side, SU looked to establish the run early, with Dontae Strickland going over the century mark before the end of the first half. But overall, the Orange was only able to muster a meager 3.6 yards per carry.
HERO: Mack didn’t rush very often, but made it count when he did. He finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries, an average of 12.8 yards per rush. Amba Etta-Tawo did most of his damage in the first half, but still had another 100+ yards game, with eight catches for 123 yards
ZERO: Far too many silly penalties for the Orange. Syracuse was flagged 10 times for 69 yards as opposed to South Florida’s four flags for 50 yards.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels on the road to face UCONN on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.