East Rutherford, N.J.. – A quick take on Syracuse’s 50-33 rout at the hands of Notre Dame on a gloomy and overcast Saturday afternoon, in front of an announced crowd of 62,794 at MetLife Stadium:
WHAT HAPPENED: A lot of points were scored in the first quarter by both teams – 36 total, then it was N.D. that did just about all of the.scoring racking up 27 more points in the final three quarters to hand the Orange (2-3, 0-1) their fourth defeat in four games played at the mammoth home of the NFL’s Giants and Jets. Down 13 midway through the third quarter, SU’s last shot at coming back was ended when Dexter Williams raced 54 yards changing direction, and gliding into the endzone to give the Irish (2-3) an insurmountable three touchdown cushion.
ANALYSIS: With a deeper and more talented roster, Notre Dame was supposed to win this game, and coming off an embarrassing home defeat to Duke last week, N.D. responded by turning back the SU upset bid with a balanced offense that exploited the SU secondary, and a defense that settled down after giving up 27 first half points by constantly harassing SU quarterback Eric Dungey.
HERO: Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer, aided by plenty of time to throw, picked apart the ‘Cuse defense finishing 23 of 35 in the air for 471 yards (the third highest total of passing yards in a game in school history) and three touchdowns, including his 79 yard beauty for six points to Equanimeous St. Brown only 18 seconds into the game.
ZERO: The undersized Orange secondary was repeatedly victimized by Kizer who hit 10 different receivers, and gave up 79, 67, and 54 yard scoring strikes when the game was still on the line. The Orange offense struggled in the second half, with the only points coming with SU down by 20 on a Dungey five yard run with just under 7:00 to play. Special teams also struggled for the second straight week with two Cole Murphy missed PATs. One was not his fault on a mishandled snap, the other resulting in a three point scoring swing for Notre Dame, came on a block of Murphy’s lower angle kick and was returned the opposite way by the Irish’s Cole Luke for the rare two points for the defending team.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse stays on the road with an ACC game against Wake Forest next Saturday evening, Oct. 8. The Demon Deacons (4-1, 1-1) were off to a fast start after winning only three games last season, but they stumbled at N.C. State Saturday falling 33-18, their first loss of the season. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET / TV: ACCRSN.