SU vs. Cincinnati: Analysis of the Offense

Syracuse's offense came out with fire, but ended with a fizzle as the team failed to get above .500 late in the season. took a look at how the offense performed inside.

Syracuse came out strong on the offensive end, but got quiet in the second quarter when they were needed most. Here is a look at the key areas of the offense:

In the passing game:

Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib began the game going 8-for-17 in The Opening quarter, with the Orange punting away their first two possessions. But, he did come back to help turn the next two possessions into scoring drives.

Despite taking less attempts in the following quarter, Nassib was more efficient, going 5-for-8, including a touchdown pass to wide receiver Alec Lemon.

Nassib came out on Syracuse's opening drive of the second half completing all four of his passes, leading the Orange down the field for another touchdown.

But then, the Orange went sour in the passing game, with Nassib making a mere three pass attempts and completing only one of them. Nassib also failed to protect the fumble, fumbling and losing possession for Syracuse.

In the final quarter, Nassib started with another strong drive, completing three of his four attempts, but the team elected to try a 42-yard field goal on 4th and 3, which Krautman missed, erasing the drive.

Nassib then went 0-for-6 before keeping Syracuse's final drive alive with a completion on 4th and 10. He would complete one more pass on his next four tries, ending the quarter with five completions on 15 attempts.

After going 13-for-25 in the first half, Nassib completed 10 of his 22 pass attempts in the second half to end the game with 23 connections on 47 tries, an overall under-par performance based on Nassib's bulk of work.

On the ground:

Jerome Smith took the majority of the carries in the opening quarter, gaining two first downs on 10 attempts. Fellow back, Prince-Tyson Gulley attained the same amount of first downs as Smith despite only getting four carries.

In the following quarter, Gulley and Smith switched roles, with Gulley getting six carries, while Smith was given three. Between the two, Gulley continued to be more efficient, gaining the only first down amongst them.

Coming out in the second half, Smith proved to be the better back in the offense, getting all five of his carries on the team's opening drive, including a 34-yard gain. Smith was given the ball close to the goal-line repeatedly, eventually taking it through for a touchdown.

Gulley failed to impress, attaining five yards on three carries.

In the final quarter, the run was shied away from, with Smith getting three carries and Gulley none.

Despite the dwindling down of opportunities in the run game as the match progressed, Smith did amount over 100 yards once again and achieved an impressive 5.5 yards per carry.

Gaining first downs:

On third down, the Orange were under 50%, attaining a mere nine first downs on 21 attempts.

On fourth down, Syracuse was one of two.

Ultimately, penalties, once again, plagued the Orange on drives, affecting their efficiencies.


Syracuse had four penalties in the first quarter and two in the second on the offensive side of the ball.

The Orange began the second half with three penalties on offense, continuing to take away gained yardage that the offense attained before.

In the redzone:

The Orange were a perfect two-for-two from inside the 20 in the first quarter, with a touchdown and a field goal, leading 10-7 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Syracuse reached the redzone twice, but only came up with one score after a field goal attempt by kicker Ross Krautman was blocked. Going into halftime, the Orange were 75% efficient inside the Cincinnati 20, achieving three scores in four attempts.

Syracuse were a perfect 100% from the redzone in the second half, but only got into the Cincinnati redzone once, ultimately leading to their demise in the game.

Cuse Nation Top Stories