Quick Hits: Syracuse gets boost from backup quarterback

tucker-notre-dame
Oct 29, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) runs through a gap in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense in the first quarter at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse was defeated by Notre Dame, 41-24, on Saturday afternoon. Here are some quick hits from the game.

If you are looking for a statistical indicator to indicate how the Syracuse defense is playing and if the team is likely to win, try tackle for loss percentage. Simply put, it is the percentage of opponent offensive plays where the Orange make a tackle for a loss of yardage. Here is the percentage in each game this season for the Orange defense:

  • Louisville – 13.0 percent
  • Connecticut – 17.4 percent
  • Purdue – 3.9 percent
  • Virginia – 9.0 percent
  • Wagner – 23.7 percent
  • North Carolina State – 10.1 percent
  • Clemson – 4.7 percent
  • Notre Dame – 4.0 percent

  • The three games with the lowest tackle for loss percentage (Purdue, Clemson, and Notre Dame) are also the three games where the Orange have given up the most points, allowing at least 27 against each foe and losing the last two. In the other five games, SU is 5-0, allowing 20 points or less in each outing.
  • For the second straight game, Syracuse was simply unable to stop a power run attack. The Orange held up pretty well on outside runs and against the pass, but Notre Dame was able to consistently hammer away inside for consistent gains. Of the 40 Irish carries by Audric Estime and Logan Diggs of ten yards or more, 32 were listed in the box score as up the middle, netting 126 yards, six first downs, and all three of their touchdowns.
  • Cornerback Garrett Williams left the game due to injury in the second quarter and needed crutches to make it to the locker room. He did not return to the game.
  • After being pressed into service by Garrett Shrader’s injury, Carlos Del Rio-Wilson played pretty well in his first extended action of consequence. Del Rio-Wilson showed some positives (arm strength and athleticism) and negatives (lack of passing touch, sometimes looking a little unsettled in the pocket, and being susceptible to locking onto one receiver, as evidenced on an interception called back by a penalty with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter). Shrader does not have to worry about losing his job, but Del Rio-Wilson showed enough to provide some hope for the future.
  • The wide receivers collectively had a rough day with drops, regardless of quarterback. It seemed that anyone who was targeted had at least one drop on the day.
  • For the second straight week, Ja’Had Carter had an interception, this time returning it for 34 yards shortly before half, but the offense was unable to capitalize, turning it over on downs.
  • Mikel Jones was a monster for the Orange, tying his personal best effort with 16 tackles in the game. Kevon Darton was second on the team with seven stops. Jatius Geer had the team’s lone sack and Jason Simmons, Jr. notched a pair of pass breakups.
  • Will there be a punting competition coming up this week? Max von Marburg had a rough day, averaging 38.4 yards on five punts, but James Williams’ only punt was blocked, setting up the last Irish touchdown.

» Related: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 41-24 loss to Notre Dame

WHAT’S NEXT

The Orange (6-1, 3-1 ACC) travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday for their next contest. The Panthers (4-3, 1-2) blew an early ten-point lead against #21 North Carolina Saturday night, falling 42-24 on the road to make it two straight losses and three in their last four outings.

Israel Abanikanda has been a horse for the Panthers, leading the ACC in rushing attempts (183), yards (1,086), and touchdowns (16). Abanikanda has six games with over 127 yards rushing on the season, highlighted by a 320-yard, six-touchdown game against Virginia Tech.

The Orange and Panthers will renew their rivalry at 3:30pm Eastern Saturday with the ACC Network handling television duties.

POSTGAME

 

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About Jim Stechschulte 856 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse.