College Park, Md. – A quick take on Syracuse’s solid 20-3 defeat of Maryland on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon/evening in front of a relatively quiet crowd of 37,213 at Byrd Stadium in suburban Washington, D.C.:
WHAT HAPPENED: Wearing their fifth different uniform combination of the season (previously unheard of for this program) on a day that both Maryland and Syracuse honored the legacy of 1930s SU football/basketball standout Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, the Orange book-ended the first half with scores to take a 10-0 halftime lead, and added a second Jerome Smith TD and Ryan Norton FG in the second half along with a second-straight top defensive effort, to put themselves within one victory of bowl eligibility, with representatives of the Advocare V100 and Military Bowls in attendance.
ANALYSIS: This one wasn’t pretty at times, but using the ground game of Smith and George Morris III (subbing for an injured Prince-Tyson Gulley out with an ankle sprain) and the mostly steady play of Terrel Hunt, the trio combined for 235 yards rushing and both TDs as Syracuse (5-4, 3-2) generated enough offense to go with its stellar defensive play.
HERO: The Orange defense had its nearly seven quarter scoreless streak come to an end with 1:10 left in the 3Q on a short Terps field goal, but other than that the “D” was often stifling, forcing four Terrapin turnovers and certainly was in a bending-but-not-breaking mode in holding Maryland (5-4, 1-4) out of the end zone, the second straight week the defense has accomplished the feat against its opponent.
ZERO: Penalties, penalties, penalties. The Orange had 12 for 115 yards, keeping several Maryland drives alive including the Terps third quarter field goal.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange have the unenviable task of facing No. 2 Florida State in Tallahassee next Saturday, Nov. 16. In two previous games at Doak Campbell Stadium in 1991 and 2005, SU lost both contests by a cumulative score of 84-28. The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0) blasted Wake Forest 59-3 Saturday. Game Time: 3:30 p.m. ET. TV: ABC/ESPN2.