The best and the worst from Syracuse football's week two loss to Louisville.
Syracuse did not get the performance they were looking for on Friday night as they fell to No. 13 Louisville 62-28 inside the Carrier Dome.
Eric Dungey had another solid game. He was the victim of numerous drops, which hurt his completion percentage. But overall, for the most part, he made good decisions, helped the team move the ball and put the Orange in good situations. Dungey ran successfully as well.
Steve Ishmael was more involved down the field. He snatched four catches for 65-yards, and proved he can make some big plays against good teams.
Brisly Estime also had a larger role than week one and even scored a touchdown. He also completed a pass on a nifty trick play that worked to perfection.
Amba Etta-Tawo had another strong game. He finished with seven catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Has he become the number one receiver?
Syracuse ran a play every 18.4 seconds offensively, a faster pace than in the season opener.
When the Syracuse offense got some tempo, it proved it can move the ball and score against one of the better defenses in the conference. They racked up over 400 yards and put 28 points on the board. It should have been more, if not for self inflicted drops, penalties and other miscues.
A couple of true freshmen made some plays on defense. Defensive tackle McKinley Williams showed an explosive first step and was able to get to the quarterback quickly for SU's lone sack of the game. Cornerback Carl Jones had four tackles and looked solid in coverage. He actually looked the most comfortable down the field in deep ball situations.
Sophomore safety Daivon Ellison had a nice interception at the end of the first half and returned it 50-yards. He was a block or two away from taking it to the house.
Yes the defense had some major issues, but there were stretches when it looked strong. The zone coverage scheme forces quarterbacks to be very precise in their passes and fit the ball into small windows in short and intermediate passes. That worked well at times, and helped them force three turnovers.
Despite making some good plays throughout, Dungey has to be smarter than leaping over a defender and being flipped before landing on the ground. Too dangerous.
The offensive line struggled with protection. Dungey was running for his life on many occasions.
Speaking of the offensive line, the rushing attack was ineffective once again. As a team, Syracuse averaged 3.3 yards per carry, which is actually better than week one. However, there were still too many times where there was a minimal game and no hole through which to run.
Too many drops from the Orange receivers. Philips was the biggest culprit, with multiple drops that seemed to kill momentum. Those self-inflicted wounds have to be cleaned up.
Defensively, even with the positive flashes, there were too many mistakes. Giving up 845-yards of offense to set an ACC record was not good to say the least. Part of that was on the offense, who went three-and-out nine times. But the defense also controls how long they are on the field. Force a three-and-out in response and you're only on the field for three plays.
The secondary had some major, major struggles. Cordell Hudson and Antwan Cordy were both beat deep when left one-on-one with their man. Hudson did not display the proper ball skills to make a play on an underthrown pass down the field. Cordy was caught flat footed as Louisville went to a deep post on the first play of the game to set the tone.
Too many times on zone-reads, the Syracuse ends did not maintain their outside contain. Instead, anticipating a handoff, they crashed inside leaving a huge open lane for UL quarterback Lamar Jackson to run through.
The Orange also struggled with tackling Friday night.
Syracuse gave up seven rushing touchdowns and 10.1 yards per carry for the game to Louisville.
Both Brisly Estime and Sean Riley found it difficult to find lanes on kick returns. Despite plenty of chances, they struggled to find room to run. Both averaged well under 20 yards per return.
Both the P.A. announced in the Dome and the play-by-play man on ESPN2 called Sean Riley Cordell Hudson during on returns until the fourth quarter.