After dismantling the Rhode Island Rams last Friday night, the Syracuse Orange had their first game in the ACC. While ACC play won’t pick up for about another month, the Orange got their first glimpse of what conference play will be like when they faced off against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday. While Wake Forest isn’t the best team in the ACC, the Demon Deacons were a clear upgrade over Rhode Island. And while the Orange did start off slowly, they still were able to come away from this game with an encouraging victory.
Eric Dungey stole the show once again in his second collegiate game. Like last week, the Orange relied heavily on the run in this game. The Orange ran the football 37 times in this game for 149 yards. While the Orange didn’t run the football that well, they stayed committed to the run, which made Wake Forest continuously load the box. This would allow Dungey to see easy coverage all day, but don’t knock on his performance.
Dungey did an excellent job at taking what the defense gave him. The true freshman finished the day with eight completions out of 13 attempts for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 36 yards on the ground on 12 carries. On the defensive side of the ball, the Orange forced three turnovers. On top of the takeaways, they also kept Wake Forest to just 46 yards on 32 rushing attempts. It should also be said that the team did not turn the football over.
While the Orange, a team notorious for not lighting up the scoreboard, scored a ton of points, there were times in this game where they really just struggled to move the football. In the second quarter, the Orange stalled on offense. If it weren’t for the big plays in the second half, this game could’ve ended much differently. Wake Forest also held the football for 34:15 in this game compared to the Orange, who held the ball for just 25:45.
While there wasn’t a key injury in this game like there was in last week’s game with Terrel Hunt, the Orange still had their fair share of injuries in this one. Ervin Philips didn’t play in this one because of a procedure he had on his knee. Philips will likely miss 3-4 weeks because of the injury. Starting center Rob Trudo left the game in the fourth quarter with what was thought of being a knee injury. However, it looks like he’ll be okay. Tight end Josh Parris left the game with an upper-body injury, but he told offensive coordinator Tim Lester that he was “fine” after the game. Regardless, while there were injuries, it looks as if none of them will be as major as Hunt’s.