College Park, Md. – A quick take on Syracuse’s absolutely miserable performance in its 63-20 loss to Maryland Saturday afternoon, on a beautiful late summer day at Maryland Stadium:
WHAT HAPPENED: It appeared as though the Orange players did not receive their wakeup calls at the team hotel as SU came out flat and trailed 7-0 less than three minutes in, and the game snowballed from there. It was 49-13 at halftime with the Terps piling up almost 400 yards of offense, and Maryland scored a trio of second half touchdowns to finish off the blowout. The Syracuse defense gave up 652 yards against UM’s explosive attack. which has now scored 142 points in two games.
ANALYSIS: Wait, which team was ranked in the Top 25? Maryland (2-0) dominated from the game’s kickoff after holding Syracuse (1-1) to a three-and-out on the opening drive, followed by an UM scoring drive that covered five plays in just 1:37 to make it 7-0 and the domination was on. The Terrapins kept the SU defense guessing on virtually every play, while Tommy DeVito, was yet to settle into the starting quarterback job in his two starts, was harassed often and struggled to find any sort of consistency. It will be a long week of work for Dino Babers and his staff as they analyze this ugly game tape.
HERO: Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson, the Virginia Tech transfer, was masterful in keeping the SU “D” off balance all afternoon finishing 21-38 for 296 yards and three scoring passes. Running back Anthony McFarland scored three touchdowns of his own to pace the Maryland ground game.
ZERO: Where to start? The secondary was torched for 296 yards in the air and three touchdowns, and the rush defense was more porous giving up 356 more yards on the ground – 652 yards of Terps offense. DeVito scrambled to extend plays all day and twice failed to convert fourth down drives with the game out of reach in the second half. DeVito also threw another ill-advised interception, along with three touchdown passes, but the Orange running game was practically non-existent with the three tailbacks combining for just 66 yards. Even Mr. Reliable, kicker Andre Szmydt, missed the first PAT of his All-American SU career hooking a kick wide left.
WHAT’S NEXT: The ACC opener against defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Clemson next Saturday night at a sold-out Dome, in what was (before the blowout loss to the Terps Saturday) the most highly anticipated game on campus in over 20 years. It will still be a great atmosphere in the building as SU all-time great Tim Green will have his No. 72 retired, but a lot of the air was let out of the excitement balloon following the Maryland defeat. Clemson (2-0) defeated Texas A&M 24-10 at Death Valley Saturday afternoon, a school-record tying 17th consecutive victory. Game Time: 7:30 p.m. ET / TV: ABC.