Instant Juice: Syracuse 20, Maryland 3

Syracuse's secondary picked off two passes

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.

Syracuse’s secondary picked off two passes

» Related: Brad Bierman breaks down SU’s remaining schedule

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.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.