Instant Juice: Syracuse 41, Wake Forest 24

Baberssidelinehappy
Syracuse coach Dino Babers coaches from the sidelines. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 41-24 win over Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: After a 22-yard field goal from Nick Sciba gave Wake Forest an early 10-0 lead with 6:24 left in the first quarter, the Orange proceeded to reel off 28 unanswered points. Chris Elmore’s 5-yard run with 10:43 left in the third quarter put SU up 28-10, and the Demon Deacons could get no closer than 11 the rest of the way. The Orange defense, which has been maligned recently, held a high-powered Wake Forest offense to just 24 points while forcing three turnovers. The last came on an interception from Christopher Frederick in the endzone with 4:42 left, putting the game out of reach, and giving the Orange its seventh win, its first win in November since the 2015 season.

» Related: It’s time to secure Dino Babers as the long term Syracuse football coach

ANALYSIS: Syracuse is now 7-2 with a winnable game against Louisville, a coin flip game at Boston College to close the season, and a neutral site game against Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium in between. Win the remaining three games, and the Orange could be in line for a major bowl game in the Fiesta or Peach Bowl, or the No. 2 slot in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando with Clemson remaining in line for a semi-final berth in the College Football Playoff. With the way the Orange is playing, it’s not completely far fetched, as it is currently the second ranked team in the ACC behind the Tigers.

HERO: It wasn’t a great day for the Orange in its passing game, with Eric Dungey throwing for just 157 yards. But the Orange dominated on the ground, rushing for a combined 264 yards. Dungey led the way with 119 yards and a score, while Moe Neal (67 yards, one touchdown), Dontae Strickland (64), and Jarveon Howard (12 yards, 2 touchdowns) also had big games.

ZERO: Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson has taken the Deacons to bowl games in each of the last two seasons, but that streak is in serious jeopardy. Wake Forest is now 4-5, with remaining games at NC State, Coastal leading Pittsburgh, and closing the season at Duke. The margin is razor thin if Clawson wants to get his team back to the postseason and continue the momentum of his program.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home for its final home game of the season, hosting Louisville on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome (TV: ESPN2). The Cardinals were walloped by No. 2 Clemson earlier in the day, 77-16.

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Wes Cheng
About Wes Cheng 2341 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.