Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Syracuse Football to Close out Season Against Boston College

Garrett Shrader (6) hands off to Sean Tucker during Syracuse's 45-35 loss to Wake Forest.
Garrett Shrader (6) hands off to Sean Tucker during Syracuse's 45-35 loss to Wake Forest.

Syracuse football has its last chance to end the season with a winning record this Saturday when it takes on Boston College. The Orange head into the matchup 6-5, with all of their losses happening in the last five games.

BC, on the other hand, is only 3-8, with just two wins in the conference against Louisville and NC State. Both teams look towards Saturday to salvage a last positive moment in a struggling season, each in their own rights.

Syracuse is coming off a 45-35 loss to Wake Forest last Saturday. Despite the loss, it was SU’s first game in the month of November that it scored a touchdown. Before its matchups against Pittsburgh and Florida State, Syracuse tallied only four field goals.

Against Wake, SU quarterback Garrett Shrader showed a new style of play. The junior played a strong game in the air, marking a career first 300-yard passing game. He also threw a 44-yard pass to D’Marcus Adams – Shrader’s longest pass since a 46-yard chuck against Purdue in September.

Shrader looked more confident with his arm last weekend, but it wasn’t enough to find a win. The Orange struggled to be consistent, especially in their use of running back Sean Tucker.

Sean Tucker (34) celebrates a score in SU's 45-35 loss to Wake Forest.
Sean Tucker (34) celebrates a score in SU's 45-35 loss to Wake Forest.

The sophomore recorded two rushing touchdowns in the first half. Before the Wake game, he hadn’t found the end zone since October 29, and hadn't scored multiple touchdowns since Wagner on October 1.

In the second half, however, the Maryland native didn’t tally any more scores for the Orange. Tucker accounted for 11 carries in the first half and just six in the second.

The question now is if Shrader will continue his new air game pattern against the Eagles and if Sean Tucker will have consistent attempts from start to finish this Saturday.

In BC’s previous weekend, it suffered a tough defeat. The Eagles got crushed by 18th-ranked Notre Dame 44-0. The Fighting Irish recorded 281 rushing yards, compared to Boston College’s 56.

On average, the Eagles allow their opponents nearly 168 rushing yards per game – the third highest mark in the ACC. Syracuse might be able to take advantage of Boston College’s weak rushing defense if used consistently throughout the game.

Garrett Shrader scrambles against Wake Forest.
Garrett Shrader scrambles against Wake Forest.

In the air, however, BC limits its opponents to just 204 passing yards per game, the fourth-best in the conference. This might deter Shrader from potentially hitting those long routes.

On the offensive side of things for BC, quarterback Emmett Morehead struggles with his ground game. He's totaled -25 rushing yards this season. In the air though, he threw for 330 yards against both Duke and NC State. Shrader only threw for 210 yards against the Wolfpack.

Overall, these two northeast foes have a history dating back to 1924. In 55 total meetings, Syracuse has won 33 times, including a victory last year. In October of 2021, SU defeated BC 21-6, marking one of only two conference wins that season.

The Eagles could come in hot looking for revenge from last year against the Orange, and for redemption following a 44-0 blowout last weekend to the Irish. Syracuse seeks its first win in six contests.

Kickoff between Syracuse and Boston College is Saturday at 7:30. Coverage on WAER begins at 7:00 with McClurg Team Countdown to Kickoff.