Syracuse Stays Consistent Against Holy Cross
The Syracuse offense picked up right where it left off against Western Michigan last week, the defense dominated, and special teams continued to be impressive. This game was not expected to be close. And it wasn’t the Orange won 41-3.
Tommy Devito played a relatively good game minus the bad interception he threw in the fourth quarter with a 38-point lead. After the interception, Devito went to the locker room and Clayton Welsh came in the game. Devito finished with four touchdowns and threw for 297 yards with a long of 70. Trishton Jackson, last week’s ACC Receiver of the Week, was Devito’s favorite deep threat target in the first half. His longest reception was 17 yards. In the second half, tight end Luke Benson had a touchdown reception of 70 yards for the longest reception of the game. This catch was his only one of the game. In this game, Taj Harris and Aaron Hackett emerged as reliant second and third options at receiver. Harris led the team in receiving with six receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. Devito looked for Hackett in the red zone, where Hacket scored. The rushing game did not put up crazy numbers but found ways to find the end zone. Abdul Adams only produced 42 yards but scored a touchdown. Moe Neal, the team’s feature back, ran for only 3.3 yards per attempt. The offense was consistent and stayed on the field which helped the defense play at an explosive pace.
On the other side of the ball, the defense set the tone with its physicality. Late in the first half, Tyrell Richards was ejected for targeting on a big quarterback hit. The following play Trill Williams takes down a Crusader receiver with a German Suplex. A penalty was called on both plays but it showed that the Syracuse defense was ready to be competitive. The physical nature of the game continued with another targeting penalty was called on Drew Tuazama in the final minutes. The unit allowed less than 200 yards and sacked the Holy Cross quarterbacks five times. Coming into this game, the Orange had an interception in the last 17 games. The defense many opportunities to keep the streak alive but couldn’t haul one in.
Special teams continues to carry this team. Sterling Hofrichter pinned the Crusades back and gave the defense great chances to make plays with Holy Cross backed up. In the first half, they recovered a muffed punt that gave the offense good field position and lead to a touchdown extending the lead. Causing that turnover helped continue the 19-game turnover streak which is one of the longest in college football. On the return end, Sean Riley didn’t do anything special but he did have a 34-yard return again giving the Orange offense field position. Andre Szymt remained reliable and hit all extra point and field goal attempts.
Syracuse played well in the first half but in the second half, it let the foot off the gas pedal. The Orange made mistakes in the final quarter. Devito threw an interception in garbage time, Jawhar Jordan lost a fumble, and Nykeim Johnson touched the ball on a punt and couldn’t recover.
The Orange have a bye week next week. The following week Syracuse plays in their second ACC matchup against NC State in their stadium.