A quick take on Syracuse’s frustrating 16-13 defeat to Boston College on Saturday afternoon at the spectator-less, refurbished Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse dropped its fifth straight game in this bewildering season, giving the favored Eagles all they could handle. With the top two SU quarterbacks, Tommy Devito and Rex Culpepper, injured and watching from the sideline, freshman JaCobian Morgan made his first collegiate start and he did a steady job until the game was on the line in the fourth quarter. Syracuse (1-7, 1-6) trailed by just a touchdown when Morgan threw an interception at the 8:41 mark to stall one drive, then on its next possession SU running back Sean Tucker fumbled the ball back to Boston College (5-3, 4-3) on the Orange 18-yard line with 6:31 left, and that set-up the clinching BC field goal. Morgan lofted a one-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hackett with 0:21 left for the final margin.
ANALYSIS: In a surprisingly low-scoring game that was dominated by the kickers, the Orange defense, despite giving up 191-yards rushing, kept SU in the game until the fourth quarter. BC kicker Aaron Boumerhi kicked three field goals but missed two others, while SU’s reliable Andre Szmyt kicked two field goals (35 and 46-yarders). The Boston College offensive line was dominant in pacing the rushing attack, while the Cuse’s maligned offensive line was respectable, although Morgan was sacked four times, finishing 19-for-30 with 188-yards in the air.
HERO: Time and again (24 carries) Boston College running back David Bailey rushed up the middle of the SU defense finishing with 125-yards, while Eagles wide receiver Zay Flowers had six catches, including a beautiful tip-toe reception of BC’s only touchdown late in the second quarter.
ZERO: It sounds like a broken record, but with just one win, down to the third-string quarterback, and with many players missing because of injuries or opting-out this season, Syracuse certainly can’t afford self-inflicted errors. SU committed seven penalties, several which drastically changed field position throughout the afternoon, and in a close margin game they hurt.
WHAT’S NEXT: The second of two scheduled open weeks on the 2020 scheduled. Designed to provide flexibility in case ACC games were postponed due to positive tests of COVID-19, SU has not missed a game related to COVID-19, and will be off next Sat., Nov. 14. However, the next opponent, Louisville (2-5, 1-5), had its Saturday game at Virginia postponed to next weekend (Nov. 14) because of positive COVID-19 tests The Cardinals will then have six days before hosting the Orange on Friday, Nov. 20 at Cardinal Stadium. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN.