Syracuse football defensive lineman Josh Black dominated in Week 1 vs the Liberty Flames. Here are all the details on the ACC honors he earned.
Syracuse football started off 2019 with a shutout 24-0 win over the Liberty Flames. What more could you ask for?
ACC defensive lineman of the week for Josh Black apparently.
The news came out on Tuesday morning that the talented defensive lineman earned the honors for his performance vs the Flames.
The redshirt junior collected two sacks (career-best), secured a fumble recovery and finished with four tackles.
Syracuse overall as a unit brought home eight sacks in Week 1, but that wasn’t the only thing the ‘Orange Crush’ defense was able to do:
- The defense forced four turnovers.
- Created 14 tackles for loss cumulatively.
- According to the official press release, this was the Orange’s first true road shutout since 1991.
The fumble recovery for Josh Black came at an important moment in the game. Syracuse and Liberty were scoreless in the first quarter when Flames wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden exploded for a 56-yard reception and brought the ball to the doorstep of the endzone.
Two plays later, Trill Williams forced a fumble at the goal line and Josh Black jumped on it for the Orange. Which ended up keeping Liberty out of the endzone and keeping the shutout alive.
While the other statistic that jumps out after this one is the final rushing tally for the Flames: -4 yards.
According to the Syracuse press release, this is the first time an opponent has finished with negative rushing yardage since Connecticut in 2012.
That’s impressive on any day, but particularly when you consider the talent Liberty had in the backfield. In 2018, Frankie Hickson rushed for over 1,000 yards (something a Syracuse running back has failed to do since 2012).
Despite the success last season, Hickson didn’t find those same lanes available on Saturday vs the Orange. He ran the ball 11 times for just 29 yards which is a healthy average of 2.6 yards per clip.
Josh Black stepping up to the plate is huge news, especially considering injured defensive tackle McKinley Williams ‘likely won’t play this weekend vs Maryland’ per Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers. Speaking of in Week 2 Syracuse will travel to play the Terrapins at noon on ESPN.