A quick take on Syracuse’s 54-0 loss against Clemson on Saturday afternoon in South Carolina:
WHAT HAPPENED: With Clemson up 3-0 in the first quarter, Eric Dungey was intercepted by Ryan Carter, who returned the ball to the SU 5. Three plays later, Deshaun Watson ran it in from one yard out, which opened the floodgates for Clemson. The Tigers scored touchdowns on three consecutive drives in the second quarter, and brought a 30-0 lead into halftime. But the game was significantly costlier than just the loss, with Dungey suffering a head injury midway through the first half that left him in street clothes the rest of the game.
ANALYSIS: After an upset win over then-No. 17 Virginia Tech and a road win against Boston College, the Orange came into Death Valley with a .500 record and some momentum. But Clemson was not having any of it, stymieing SU’s high-powered offense, holding them to just 279 overall yards. Any hope of Syracuse keeping it close quickly dissipated after Dungey’s injury, leaving SU to turn to third-string quarterback Austin Wilson, who predictably also struggled against a talented Tiger defense.
HERO: Watson also missed the second half of the game with an apparent shoulder injury, but still managed to combine for three touchdowns (two passing, one on the ground). For the Orange, with nine receptions for 84 yards, Amba Etta-Tawo set a new Syracuse single-season record for receiving yards, breaking Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison’s previous record of 1,131 yards.
ZERO: Late in the third quarter, Cole Murphy missed a 31-yard field goal that would’ve put SU on the board. He is now two for his last nine attempts.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns to the Carrier Dome on Nov. 12 to play NC State at 12:30 p.m. TV: ACC Network.