A quick take on Syracuse’s 42-29 loss to NC State on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Jordan Fredericks’ 75-yard scamper pulled Syracuse to within 21-16 early in the second half, NC State responded with a nine-play, 73-yard touchdown drive to retake momentum. The Wolfpack put the game out of reach with 5:20 left in the third quarter after QB Zack Mahoney threw a backbreaking interception that was returned 20 yards by Darian Roseboro for a touchdown.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse went into this game technically still alive for a bowl game, with a provision that certain 5-7 teams can be bowl eligible. But that hope is now officially extinguished with the team’s eighth straight loss. This now becomes another lost season for head coach Scott Shafer, who is a combined 5-15 in the last two years. Could he have coached his final road game?
HERO: Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett made a rare mistake in judgment late in the first half, throwing just his third interception of the season. That was essentially the only blemish on the afternoon for Brissett, who peppered the ball to nine different receivers for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. A quartet of Wolfpack rushers also combined for over 200 yards on the ground, rushing through gaping holes created by NC State’s veteran offensive line.
ZERO: Syracuse’s defense was gashed by the Wolfpack offense, with NC State piling up more than 500 total yards on the afternoon. The Pack also dialed up a couple fourth down conversions, with one coming on a key 4th and 7 play on the aforementioned 9-play drive in the third quarter. It’s been a constant theme for the much-maligned SU defense, which is 0-12 in stopping opponents on fourth down this season.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse finishes its season against Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 12:30 at the Carrier Dome. TV: RSN.