0 Comments Published on 11.18.2016 by Brian Harrison
Syracuse's most important player was on the sideline. That's the main reason for the loss.
NC State was probably the most winable game of the last 3 games of the season. And despite some big plays from the Orange, Syracuse fell short. NC State was the winner 35 to 20.
Zach Mahoney (14/25, 190yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) performed admirably, but he didn't make a lot of great decisions, wasn't able to run as well as Dungey, and didn't feed his playmaker Amba Etta-Tawo (4 rec, 88yds, 1 TD) nearly enough. And the offense was only 4/14 on third downs. Syracuse never really seemed to get in a rhythm on offense. And on top of all that, Syracuse only earned 28 rushing yards. Not great.
Syracuse seemed to do well on first down and second down, but never really got it together on third downs. NC State was 10/18 converting third downs and 1/2 on fourth downs. They also allowed 544 total yards for NC State. However, they were able to pick off two interceptions. It's just a shame the offense didn't do anything with them.
Good coverage, good returns, and Cole Murphy was perfect. He hit a 48 yarder when the game was still close. No complaints.
Not sure they can be blamed too much knowing that Mahoney was in and not Dungey. But I would have been a little more aggressive in trying to make throws to Etta-Tawo, my biggest playmaker. Just a thought.
Sadly, despite Mahoney's best effort, he is not named Eric Dungey. Because he isn't as good as Dungey at making plays out of nothing, Syracuse's offense couldn't capitalize on the stops that the defense was actually able to make. And thus, NC State was able to pull away. And Syracuse just made it even harder to get to a Bowl Game. Missing one wouldn't be the worst thing in Babers' first season, but it wouldn't have been bad either.
Syracuse now takes on the juggernaut that is Florida State in the Dome. Dungey is still doubtful. So... great. Either way, Syracuse will try though. And for that, we thank you. By the way, Time Of Possession is a garbage statistic in a game that features a team that never huddles and tries to go as fast as it can. I'll probably repeat this many times for the entire tenure Dino Babers is Head Coach of Syracuse.