Instant Juice: Syracuse 3, Notre Dame 36

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers coaches from the sidelines. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

NEW YORK — A quick take on Syracuse’s disheartening 36-3 loss to No. 3 ranked Notre Dame, in front of an announced near sell-out crowd of 48,104 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse could not pull off the major upset to shake up the College Football Playoff rankings against the undefeated Irish, dropping just its third game of the season.  Not only did the ‘Cuse have its four game winning streak snapped, the result capped off a sour three days in the Big Apple after the Orange basketball team fell decisively to Connecticut and Oregon in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden earlier in the week.  Andre Szmyt’s 28th field goal of the season with 0:10 left prevented SU from being shut out for the first time since 2016. The 28 field goals for the amazing Szmyt set a new ACC season record.

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ANALYSIS: Once Eric Dungey went down with an upper body injury with 5:44 to play in the first quarter, any chance for a Syracuse (8-3, 4-3) upset evaporated.  This was the first game all season in which the Orange did not have a competitive chance to win in the fourth quarter.  Notre Dame (11-0) moved the ball at will under the superb direction of quarterback Ian Book, and the ND defense held SU and backup quarterback Tommy DeVito to just 234 yards of total offense.

HERO: Notre Dame’s Book showed why he’s fourth nationally in pass efficiency.  Cooling avoiding the SU defensive rush, Book had plenty of time to throw most of the game finishing 23 of 37 for 292 yards and two scores before being replaced for the final 8:00 of the fourth quarter.  The Irish had 463 yards of total offense.

ZERO: Even on a record-setting day, Mr. Reliable, SU kicker Szmyt, tied for the lead nationally in scoring and field goals, missed just his third field goal attempt of the year.  The redshirt freshman’s 23-yard kick hit the left upright with 8:20 to play, keeping the ND shutout intact up to that point.

WHAT’S NEXT: The regular season finale at No. 20 Boston College next Saturday, Nov. 24.  The teams have split the last two meetings, each winning on the other’s home field.  BC (7-4, 4-3) fell at Florida State 22-21 Saturday on a late 74 yard touchdown pass.  Game time: 12:00 p.m. ET.  TV-Radio ESPN/Sirius XM.

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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.