PEELING BACK THE ORANGE: QUICK RECAPS
· Stop the tape, press rewind, and put it in the files with all the other game film. This needs to be forgotten by the Orange immediately, and move on! There are always things to learn from a loss that doesn’t project the level of where your team is at, but then again when you play the way Syracuse did last weekend it is often good to just move on to the next opponent.
· Statistically, this would be another game to not really bother with much analysis. SU turned the ball over three times, and the South Florida Bulls amassed 541 yards of total offense against the Orange. It really was a laugher in many ways, despite a late comeback charge by the ‘Cuse in the second half that gave the team and fan base some hope for a 4-1 start.
· Kielan Whitner’s late hit penalty, which was even more questionable than Chase Utley’s recent slide ending the season of Mets’ short stop Miguel Tejeda; looked more like the NBA at the turn of the century as USF’s Rodney Adams did his best Vlade Divac impersonation as he flopped to get the call. This was a momentum killer for the Orange as they were attempting all possible ways to get back into the game.
· The two positive takeaways from the game were the returns of Eric Dungey and Erv Philips. Dungey was 21-34 for 232 yards and two touchdowns, and Philips added 75 yards on five receptions leading all Syracuse receivers. It was good to see these guys back in the mix; however Dungey was put in several vulnerable situations in the option game, which from the living room recliner is worrisome because he was just coming back from a concussion.
· Gaudy numbers aside, Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack looked like All-Americans, and to add insult to injury the flea flicker made the Syracuse offense look like the lack of success you get the first time you play the computer on All-Madden mode. Going forward, the Orange need to contain some of the opposing stars, if they plan to make good on enough wins for bowl eligibility.
WAHOOS OUT TO PROVE A LOT: GAME TIME
· The Virginia Cavaliers 1-4 record may be very deceiving. Their only win so far came in six point victory over FCS William & Mary their Virginia neighbors out of the Colonial Athletic Association. But, aside from that victory, their out of conference schedule came against some of FBS’ toughest powers: UCLA, Notre Dame, and Boise State. Although the Broncos destroyed the Cavs on their home field, a near miss against the Fighting Irish, and a competitive game against the Bruins leave UVA fans wondering what could be. Sometimes, teams just learn how to lose and after dropping their ACC matchup to Pittsburgh last weekend 26-19, Syracuse has to hope the trend continues.
· On the Offensive side of the ball, Virginia Quarterback Matt Jones has already thrown for just shy of 1,200 yards (1,198) with nine TDs and 135.93 passer efficiency. This has to be concern for Syracuse who continues to look soft in the secondary. This will take concerted effort by the Orange defense to keep a spy on Jones at all times.
· The Cavs possess two 300 yard receivers this far Canaan Severin (348, 13.4 avg., 2 TDs0 and Taquan Mizzell (340, 13.6 avg., and 3 TDs). With two other receivers, T.J. Thorpe and Keeon Johnson each over 100 yards on the season. The aerial attack must be high on the defensive game plan for Syracuse.
· As of right now, Syracuse may get a break from the running game, as UVA has only gained 627 yards on the season rushing. But, this may be the area that the ‘Cuse can really focus their efforts on making sure that no player in the backfield has a career break out game.
· It will be interesting to see how Eric Dungey responds in his second game back. But, Syracuse needs to put together a complete effort on both sides of the ball in order to get to 4-2 and 2-0 to start ACC play.