A quick take on No. 16 Syracuse’s 41-24 loss to Notre Dame:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse had pulled to within 24-17 in the fourth quarter after a Sean Tucker four-yard run and had its momentum at its back after the defense turned the ball back over to the offense. But backup QB Carlos Del Rio-Wilson had a pass tip-intercepted and Notre Dame scored on the ensuing possession to take a 31-17 lead. A blocked punt at the Syracuse 2 yard line ended in a Audric Estime score to make it 38-17 with 7:47 to go and Notre Dame handed SU its second straight loss. The Orange played from behind from the get-go, as Garrett Sharder threw a pick-6 on the game’s first offensive possession.
ANALYSIS: After an inspiring 6-0 start, the Orange has fallen back to earth with two straight losses to opponents who have pounded the ball on the ground against SU’s smaller defense. The Irish rushed for 246 yards at 4.4 yards per attempt and converted 6 of 15 third down opportunities. Meanwhile, the Irish dared SU to go to the air, and the Orange obliged, with mixed results. Though Syracuse did throw for 225 yards, both Orange quarterbacks were intercepted once, and Syracuse couldn’t move the chains when it mattered, going just 4-13 on third down attempts.
HERO: Ja’had Carter continues to make timely plays. After coming up with an interception and a defensive touchdown against Clemson last week, Carter picked off Notre Dame Drew Pyne late in the second quarter, though the SU offense couldn’t take advantage. Though Notre Dame blanketed him for most of the afternoon, Oronde Gadsden II still managed to haul in four recetions for 78 yards and a score. On the Irish side, Audric Estime carried 20 times for 123 yards and a pair of scores.
ZERO: For the second straight week, Shrader struggled again against a top notch defense. Against Clemson, Sharder was just 18-26 from 167 yards. On SU’s first play from scrimmage, Shrader was intercepted by Brandon Joseph for a 29-yard pick-6 that deflated what was an electric Dome pregame atmosphere. He finished 11-22 for 190 yards before Del Rio-Wilson relieved him in the second half, likely due to an injury. Del Rio-Wilson was only 11-22 for 190 yards, but he reinvigorated the Orange offense, and led them on two touchdown drives in the second half.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels to Pitt on Nov. 5 for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. TV: ACC Network.