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LSU - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Not Too Shabby

#DixonForHeisman
Everyone knew it would be a talk task taking on the #8 team in the nation. And with the leading Heisman Candidate (for September) on the other team, everyone knew Syracuse wasn't going to be able to stop him all day. Syracuse put in one hell of an effort, and I have to say even with a 5th string QB there is a lot to like about this team. Syracuse lost, but not as much as you would think, to LSU (beating the spread as well) 34 to 24.
Offense
B
While not the best day, putting up 24 on #8 isn't a bad thing with your 5th string QB. Syracuse had 21 first downs (more than LSU), were 5/17 on 3rd down and 3/4 on 4th. Not too bad. SU possessed the ball about as much as LSU, but only earned 281 yards. Zach Mahoney (16/38, 154yds, 3 TD, 1 INT) had a pretty good day overall. The backs were pretty bottled up and shared duties but the rushing averaged four yards a carry, which isn't bad at all. LSU only went 3/10 on 3rd down as well. A pretty solid day.
Defense
B
All things considered, I think they did a pretty good job on Leonard Fournette. He did rack up 244yds and 2 TDs, but frankly it could have been worse. Syracuse gang tackled and stuffed the box as much as they could, so it was an admirable effort. Syracuse also got to the QB a fair amount as well. I'll take it.
Special Teams
A
Do I need much more than this?
The leading Heisman Candidate in the ACC picked up the first first down from a specialist against LSU in over a decade. Riley Dixon had 5 punts, for a long of 56 yards, and kept Syracuse very much in the game due to field position. Cole Murphy didn't have as good of a day, missing a 31 yard FG attempt before the first half expired. But he made his other at 43 yards and was 3/3 on XPs. Kick returns were great on the day as well. But I'm not giving less than an A for that hurdle. Dixon... HAVING A DAY!
Coaching
A-
I guess with nothing to lose, Shafer threw out his conservative tendencies and went for it on four 4th downs. He also risked a lot with that fake FG from Dixon. An astounding stat to me is SU only had 4 penalties for 36 yards. Pretty good for a squad that has been pretty flag happy the past decade or so. That is a direct result of good coaching. Shafer and his staff called a much better game and made much sharper decisions, unlike the Central Michigan game.
GPA
B+ (3.43)
Overall, a solid effort against a far superior team, that may end up competing for a National Championship, and as of right now has a few national award winners on it. While I would have rather they won, I was very encouraged by what I saw from this team. I'm starting to rethink some of my preseason W/L picks after seeing the effort by this team, and how some of the other ACC teams have been playing.
Syracuse earns a restful bye, followed by old Big East foe South Florida. That should be a fun trip down memory lane. Until then, Syracuse should remain undefeated against the Fightin' Byes.

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