Syracuse lost by 18-points against defending national champion Florida State on a day where the Orange forced two turnovers and amassed over 400-yards of total offense. Allow the mind to engage in a bit of hyperbole for just a moment. In that same game, Syracuse dropped two somewhat routine interceptions.
That is 14-points that Syracuse gave up by failing to take advantage of critical opportunities and gain precious momentum.
”We had a couple of dropped interceptions today and I always tell the kids that interceptions can change games,” head coach Scott Shafer said. “Pass breakups give the opponent another opportunity and that’s what happened on a couple of those today. We have to learn how to finish those opportunities.”
Had Syracuse taken advantage of those opportunities there is no guarantee that Florida State would not have scored on other possessions or that the Orange would have capitalized on them with scores of their own.
But it certainly would have made the game much tighter at a minimum. Add in better red zone execution and take away a couple of interceptions thrown deep in Florida State territory and you realize that Syracuse was closer to pulling off an upset than anyone thought they would be coming into the game.
There is still plenty of work to do for the Orange going forward, especially if they hope to reach bowl eligibility. It starts with a critical road matchup with Wake Forest. But the loss to Florida State gives hope for significant strides throughout the rest of the season.
Chuck Bullough’s defensive bunch continues to pressure the quarterback, play well against the run and create multiple turnover opportunities each game. Combine that with an improving offense and emerging freshmen playmakers and you have reason to believe that 2014 is not a lost season. That things are coming together even with all of the recent drama.