Report Card: Defense

SyracuseInsiders.Com grades the coaching, special teams and the defense.

Defensive line

Oh boy.

The stats speak for themselves. Tackle Christian Ferrara had no sacks. Josh Thomas had just three. After the Orangemen recorded 40 sacks last year, they had just 26.

Opposing quarterbacks had a field day, and rightfully so.

Grade: F


Clifton Smith led the Big East with 136 tackles. He only wishes the rest of his teammates followed suit.

Smith was the only player who could tackle, and the Orangemen suffered because of it. Second on the list is Jameel Dumas, who had 91 tackles.

Smith is gone and Dumas has the burden now. Let's just hope Dumas can remember how to tackle.

Grade: C-

Defensive backs

If there was such a thing as an F- this squad would get it.

One telling statistic: 303 yards per game. 'Nuff said.

Grade: F

Special teams

Collin Barber was 11-for-20 on field goals. But other than Barber, David Tyree, Jamel Riddle and Steve Gregory all played very well.

Gone is punter Mike Shafer.

Grade: B+


This is the second time in three years Syracuse isn't going to a bowl game. Could head coach Paul Pasqualoni be to blame? Absolutely.

Grade: D-

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