A quick take on Syracuse’s impressive regular season ending performance in its 42-21 domination against Boston College, at Alumni Stadium in suburban Boston Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: In the third season under Dino Babers, Syracuse (9-3, 6-2) finished at plus five in the win column after back-to-back four win seasons, by blasting the Eagles to finish with nine victories for the first time since 2001. After being picked in July to finish in the division cellar, the ‘Cuse instead ended in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division behind only likely national semifinalist Clemson. The Orange trailed 7-0 early, then poured on the offensive fireworks to lead 28-14 at halftime and maintained a multi-score advantage for all but two minutes of the second half.
ANALYSIS: This was the story about the man Boston College (7-5, 4-4) could not stop. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey superbly directed the offense between SU out-rushing BC in the trenches, finding eight different receivers, and calling his own number. Dungey’s 18 yard touchdown run just before halftime was as good as any Orange running back has had this season, breaking tackles and leaving Eagles players strewn about on the field. The stringent Syracuse defense caused four turnovers, including another fumble that set up a touchdown which was caused and recovered by kicker Sterling Hofrichter.
HERO: What a regular season finale for Dungey, who remarkably bounced back from being carted out of Yankee Stadium a week ago with an upper body (back) injury, to completely tip the scales in favor of the Orange in this pretty even matchup. Dungey took a well deserved “bow” by enthusiastically waving to the Orange crowd on hand in Boston with 9:07 to play, and he finished 21-34 in the air for 362 yards, three scoring passes, another 61 yards rushing (34 net yards) and three scores, including the aforementioned 18 yard blast.
ZERO: Five times Boston College could have potentially gotten the Syracuse offense, and Dungey, off the field, but the cagey Dungey’s hand claps and cadence caused the Eagles to jump offsides and keep the SU offense in motion. The targeting hit, not called, on the helmet-to-helmet contact by BC linebacker John Lamot against SU reserve running back Allen Stritzinger in the third quarter. Stritzinger was taken to the locker room for concussion protocol.
WHAT’S NEXT: It sounds great to write; the postseason. Syracuse will play in a bowl game for the first time since beating Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl, and will officially know its destination when the complete bowl lineup is announced next Sunday, Dec. 2. Before then, there will be leaks of information suggesting either a likely landing spot in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, or the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Date/Time/TV – To Be Announced.