Syracuse Football: Orange come alive with splash plays in huge Duke win

Syracuse football snaps a 4-game losing streak to rout the Duke Blue Devils. Here’s how it all went down and the top takeaways.

Many people assumed that the Syracuse football team would lay down and die in the final three games of the season, but Dino Babers rallied his troop for what could be a season-saving victory vs the Duke Blue Devils. Here’s how it all played out.

Although prior to the game, Syracuse football made some changes to the offense. Airon Servais to left tackle, Carlos Vettorello to center. This is a move the team has wanted to make for weeks, but due to injuries and talent were hesitant.

Also, McKinley Williams who has been out since early August with an injury also made his 2019 debut, he will be redshirting this year, Dino Babers confirmed earlier in the week. So for the rest of 2019, he can play and still maintain his eligibility for the 2020 season.

First half

Duke got the ball and moved and grooved down the field, but missed the field goal opportunity. From there Syracuse took the momentum and never looked back.

Tommy DeVito found Trishton Jackson on a crossing route and picked up 50 yards. A few minutes

later he made it official with the touchdown to put Syracuse up 7-0, six minutes into the game.

On the other side of the ball, the Syracuse defense looked rejuvenated with Steve Stanard stepping in for the defensive coordinator role. They were flying around, making plays, and getting stops.

Then Syracuse gets the ball back Moe Neal found some open lanes and DeVito finished off another drive with a touchdown making it 14-0 on the speed option into the endzone.

Sadly after that early magic, the Orange offense would go back to stalling.

Eventually, Duke capitalized and put a field goal up on the board to make it 14-3.

Something that has plagued Syracuse all season is their horrible clock management which is obviously a coaching issue.

Syracuse faces a 3rd and 7 with under 1:40 on the clock, instead of trying to convert, they run a halfback draw which has a very small percentage chance at success. Duke immediately calls a timeout and has a chance to score.


What are you doing here? Why wouldn’t you try to convert? At the very least you can prevent Duke from having an opportunity at the end of the first half or even you could have a shot of putting up points.

Of course, Duke ended up converting on that same drive from 51 yards out to make it a 14-6 lead. Most fans would be satisfied with a lead at the half, but it was soured by four straight punts with unimaginative playcalling and baffling coaching decisions.

Second half

Dino Babers has historically had some pretty intense pep rally speeches, must’ve been another good one at half vs Duke because the Orange came firing on all cylinders.

Andre Cisco gets the first pick-six of his career and his 10th career interception to start the rout for the Orange. That gave Syracuse the 21-6 edge.

Then the takeaway party started, Chris Fredrick ripped the ball away for another. This results in a Luke Benson touchdown to put the Orange up 28-6.

Then a third straight trifecta, linebacker Andrew Armstrong rips away the ball and Evan Foster scoops it up and takes it 27 yards. This leads to another touchdown from the Orange, this one via Moe Neal making it 35-6.

Dino Babers had no choice and had to fire his friend and former defensive coordinator Brian Ward after the Boston College debacle. After the news became public he kept repeating that he wanted to see something different and he finally did in Durham, North Carolina.

The defense not only played up to snuff, but they responded to adversity, something they hadn’t really done throughout the entirety of the 2019 season to date.

Syracuse ended up winning this game in dominant fashion: 49-6.

Final nuggets:

  • Tommy DeVito only completed six passes and the Orange won by 43 points, boomshakalaka.
  • Syracuse’s running game came alive: 43 attempts for 286 yards and four touchdowns.
    • Jarveon Howard: nine carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.
    • Moe Neal: 17 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.
    • Jawhar Jordan: two carries for 24 yards and got the first touchdown of his career.
  • Orange defense:
    • Held Duke to 5-of-20 on third down conversions.
    • Only 279 yards of total offense from Duke.
    • Forced three turnovers and didn’t surrender one themselves.

Up next for the Orange, they continue their road trip this time to play the Louisville Cardinals at 4:00 p.m.