USA TODAY Sports-Mark Konezny

The best and the worst from Syracuse's 34-24 loss to LSU

Breaking down Syracuse's performance in all three phases of their 34-24 loss to LSU on Saturday.

Syracuse nearly came away with a huge win on Saturday, but gave up too many big plays and fell 34-24 to LSU. 


Top Talent: QB Zachary Mahoney – Mahoney, a walk-on who started as fifth string when training camp began, became the first quarterback in school history to throw for three touchdowns against a top-10 opponent. Yes Mahoney started out poorly and clearly played with the jitters early on, but he settled down and ran the offense efficiently and effectively, help the Orange to nearly 200-yards of offense in the second half. 

Middle Man: WR Brisly Estime – Estime was a dynamic weapon for Syracuse. He caught the long 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter that quelled the momentum from LSU's punt return, led the team in receiving yards and even had nine yards rushing. He is becoming a big weapon for the Orange. 

Bottom Feeder: RB DeVante McFarlane – McFarlane did not have a great day against LSU. He averaged only two yards per carry with a long of four. The LSU front made running room hard to come by, but he struggled the most of any of the Orange backs. 

Honorable Mention: RB George Morris  Morris ran with physicality and power throughout. He carried LSU defenders on a couple of his runs for first downs. While there were not any long runs for Morris, he averaged five yards per carry despite only having seven carries. It was his best performance of the year considering the opponent. He deserved some credit for the way he played.


Top Talent: Antwan Cordy – Cordy was all over the field on Saturday. He had one sack, two and a half tackles for loss, a pass deflection and led the team in tackles. It was a strong, strong performance from the sophomore safety.

Middle Man: DE Ron Thompson – Thompson showed up big for the Syracuse defense once again. He had a strip sack and was disruptive on several others plays as well. He is playing at an All-ACC level.

Bottom Feeder: CB Julian Whigham – No play was more critical to stopping Syracuse's upset bid than the 51-yard completion Whigham gave up on third and nine in the fourth quarter. The next play, he gave up a 15-yard touchdown reception. Whigham continues to get beat and has to improve giong forward. 


Top Talent: KR/PR Brisly Estime – Estime was fantastic on returns all afternoon, frustrating the LSU coverage units. Estime had 202 total return yards, averaging 22 yards per punt return and 26 yards per kickoff return. He is as dangerous a returner as Syracuse has had in years. 

Middle Man: Riley Dixon – Not only did Dixon average over 45 yards per punt and land three of his five kicks inside the 20, but Dixon had perhaps the highlight of the college football weekend when he took a fake field goal and leaped over LSU cornerback Kevin Toliver to pick up the first down. 

Bottom Feeder: K Cole Murphy  Murphy missed a chip shot field goal at the end of the first half just a couple of plays after Dixon's leaping first down. It was a short field goal that zapped a bit of momentum from Syracuse as they headed into the locker room. 

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