With an exciting week 1 of college football in the books, it’s time to take a look at the Orange’s Week 2 opponent: #14 ranked Louisville. Both teams are riding high from their dominant Week 1 performances, and are set to square off this Friday night in their first ACC conference match ups of the year. Do the Orange have enough to tackle this tall order? Lets find out!
Week 1 Recap: Colgate
After much speculation as to how tough Colgate would be, the Orange came out in front of a strong Carrier Dome crowd and dominated a Red Raiders team that just simply couldn’t keep up with this new fast move (and scoring) Syracuse team. It didn’t take long to realize that Syracuse was going to run away with this game, and the Orange cruised to their 16th straight victory over Colgate, 33-7.
Colgate appeared to be ready for a tight game early on. QB Jake Melville mixed some of his mobility along with his passing on a drive that was capped off by a 19-yard TD pass to Owen Rockett to get the Raiders an early 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game. After that, Syracuse’s offense dominated. The Orange tied the game on a 43-yard strike from Eric Dungey, and they never looked back. Syracuse scored points on their first four drives, taking a 20-7 lead going into the half. They even went 3 for 3 on fourth downs in the game.
The Orange defense stepped up too, keeping the Raiders at bay by not allowing them to score any points throughout the second half en route to a convincing win.
With a solid win in the books, who were the Orange’s top performers? For starters, the clear cut player of the game was Sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey. Dungey, who received a surprise touching visit from his older brother–on home from active duty–before the game, picked apart the Raiders defense, completing 34 of 40 (85%) passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns–a stat line that I brought up many times on social media and twitter–and breaking two single game records for the Orange (most completions in a single game and highest completion percentage in a single game). For the receivers, there were two standouts. First, Maryland graduate transfer Amba Etta-Tawo, who caught 12 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown, and received ACC receiver of the week honors after his impressive Syracuse debut. The other player was Junior receiver Ervin Phillips, who tied ‘Cuse legend Art Monk‘s record for single-game receptions with 14, adding 87 yards and a touchdown to boot.
Finally, special props are in order to some of the other contributors that helped seal the win against Colgate. First off, Junior kicker Cole Murphy showed off his leg, as he connected on all 4 of his field goals for the Orange. And then there was Moe Neal. Neal, a freshman running back, came into the game in the second quarter, and busted out a 49-yard touchdown run on his first touch of the game. It was his first collegiate touchdown. Here’s the video, check it out!
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) September 3, 2016
One for the Birds
Now that we’ve amped you up enough to make you want to take that drive to the Carrier dome this Friday night for the game, we have to let you in on who the Orange will be facing. No matter the outcome, the Orange will face a daunting opponent in #14 ranked Louisville.
The Cardinals, fresh off of their 70-14 drubbing of the Charlotte 49ers (or UNC Charlotte for those who weren’t aware), come into Syracuse ready for their first ACC matchup of the season. They will be led by QB Lamar Jackson, who picked up where he left off on his monster season last year. In his short, yet impressive, stint against Charlotte, Jackson went 17 of 23 for 286 yards through the air. He also ran 119 yards and scored a total of 8 touchdowns…in one half! 8!
In other words, Syracuse faces yet another dual-threat QB this weekend, this one looking to be a bit more formidable than Colgate’s Melville. While Melville didn’t really live up to his dual-threat hypeness against the Orange–he only managed to rush for 10 yards on 11 carries–there were a few instances where he broke off a couple around the edge rushes. However, a much faster player like Jackson, could look to exploit those areas of doubt against the young Syracuse defense.
So, with everything that has been said, the Cardinals are the big favorites again coming into Friday night’s game with the Orange in the dome. The latest point spread has Louisville listed as 14 1/2 point favorites over Syracuse–it started at 13. If they can exploit this young untested Syracuse team, keep the defense on the field and take advantage of its mismatches against the Syracuse defense, then the Cardinals should have no problems running up the score against the Orange.
Louisville always seems to be a challenge for the Orange, especially in recent memory. In fact, in the past 6 meetings between the two schools, Louisville is 5-1, with the one Orange victory coming back in 2012. Now, as Syracuse looks to #OrangeOut the Dome for the matchup against Louisville, there are a few things to consider.
First and foremost, we’re supposed to lose this! Syracuse football hasn’t exactly been on the up and up over the last 10 years (and I’m being nice by saying only 10 years). They were crushed by Louisville last season, and they’re still 2 touchdown underdogs again this year. On paper, this looks to be a tough game for the Orange, and it certainly will be one come Friday night. Now be that as it may, these are two teams that can put up points in a hurry with their offensive schemes. Obviously, the Syracuse D is at a bit of a disadvantage here, but if their style of play works to their favor, then that should be able to help them… even a little. Plus, for whatever reason, Louisville tends to play pretty ugly in the Dome, so maybe there’s something to this #OrangeOut thing? I mean that Dome does get pretty freakin’ loud when it’s packed. So all things considered, the fact is that the Orange will need to play the game of their lives in order to emerge victorious.
Here’s to hoping. Go ‘Cuse!
Here’s a Fun Fact: Earlier this week, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino went out and publicly blasted SU for potentially cheating in their first game against Colgate. Petrino said that Syracuse would often hike the ball without the first down chains being set, which is not allowed. First of all, Petrino… eat a bag of dicks. If there really were any issues, he should have just taken it up with the refs and/or league officials. Instead, he put a little rouge on it and got it all prettied it up with some of that “gee shucks” charm thing that he does.
Update: On Wednesday afternoon, Dennis Hennigan, the ACC’s Coordinator of Football Officiating clarified the Petrino #Chainghazi rules controversy that has been sweeping across Central New York and Northern Kentucky. He stated in an email to Syracuse.com that “Assuming that the offense does not substitute, the officials will allow the offense to snap the ball when the officials are in position, and when the ‘box,’ i.e., the down indicator, is set.” Hennigan also stated that “The officials do not wait for the chains to get set. Both the box and the chains move upon the direction of the officials.”
So, Ha! Take that. Petrino!
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