Syracuse defeated long-time rival Boston College on Saturday afternoon, 21-6. Here are some quick thoughts from the game:
- The Syracuse defense spent the game in “bend, but don’t break” mode, stiffening when the Eagles entered the red zone. The team forced a pair of field goals and a turnover on downs on BC’s three red zone trips, as well as forcing a turnover on downs on the visitors’ opening possession of the day.
- That Orange defense gave up completions of 44, 40, and 28 yards… and 139 yards on 69 other snaps. It slammed the door on the Eagles in the fourth quarter, permitting them a grand total of one yard on 14 plays.
- Sean Tucker’s opening half was essentially one big run and not a whole lot else, as he had a 37-yard run and 11 other attempts for just 30 yards. The second half was a different story, as he put in a whole day’s work in just 14 carries, piling up 160 yards.
- Syracuse was plagued in the first half by an inability to keep the chains moving. Garrett Shrader had a large part of this failure, punctuating a 4-for-13 passing effort by completing just one of four third-down attempts.
- Shrader also was bottled up on the ground in the first half, as well as forced into fumbling on a pass attempt when he was hit and the ball went backward. Shrader did bounce back after the break, as his 48-yard touchdown run was part of his 77 yards on the ground in the second half.
- Boston College’s offensive woes continue. In four conference games this season, they are averaging only 10.0 points per game. This, however, was a season low, as the Eagles couldn’t muster a touchdown for the first time this season.
- The Orange head into their much-needed bye week with a 5-4 record, leaving them a single win shy of bowl eligibility. SU’s remaining schedule features matchups with Louisville, North Carolina State, and Pittsburgh. Syracuse would be well-served to win one of those next two matchups as the home finale could have the Panthers playing with their eyes a playoff spot while the SU student body is off for Thanksgiving.
- SU gets their bye week, followed by a trip to Louisville for a November 13 game. The Cardinals (4-2, 2-3) have dropped three of four, including Saturday night’s game at North Carolina State.
- Quarterback Malik Cunningham has been a force for the Cards, rushing for 13 scores and adding nine more through the air. Cunningham has, however, thrown three picks in his last two games, completing just over 44 percent of his passes in those two games. Neither game time nor television coverage have been set at this time.