Syracuse Football: Previously winless Duke runs all over Orange defense

Despite Syracuse football remaining stellar in takeaways, the Orange couldn’t stop the Blue Devils rushing attack and fell at home by two touchdowns.

Something tells me that if Syracuse football gives up nearly 650 total yards of offense on a consistent basis moving forward, it’s not going to succeed again at all in the 2020 campaign.

Yes, the team is smarting from injuries to multiple critical players on the roster, but putting that aside for a second, the Orange offense and defense both proved pitiful in a 38-24 setback inside the newly renovated Carrier Dome to a Duke squad that came into this Saturday afternoon contest winless in the fall term.

Many ‘Cuse fans, myself included, were up in arms that a 1-2 Syracuse football team got anointed for much of this past week as a small betting underdog to an 0-4 Blue Devils crew, especially since this Atlantic Coast Conference clash came on the Hill, albeit without fans in the stands.

However, the odds-makers clearly knew what they were talking about, and I totally didn’t, as I had the ‘Cuse prevailing in this affair. If not for Syracuse football continuing to mightily achieve in the turnover department, which it did yet again versus Duke (1-4), then the Orange would have gotten smoked by an even greater margin than the 14 points it ultimately lost by.

The ‘Cuse, by the way, boasted a 4-0 advantage in takeaways against the Blue Devils, as the Orange carries on as one of the premier units in the FBS in the turnovers’ gained category.

Now Syracuse football (1-3) will attempt to get back into the victory column next Saturday afternoon when the ‘Cuse welcomes non-conference foe Liberty to town.

Syracuse football couldn’t contain Duke’s running game in a lopsided and disappointing Carrier Dome defeat.

In improving its all-time edge over the Orange to 4-1, Duke racked up a ridiculous 645 yards of total offense, according to statistics provided by ESPN.com, as the Blue Devils exacted revenge from their 49-6 demolition at the hands of the ‘Cuse in Durham, N.C., during the 2019 stanza.

I get that the ‘Cuse defense, and offense, are dealing with some tough injuries, but you can’t allow 363 rushing yards and 282 passing yards, and then expect to achieve. That is just a miserable showing by the Syracuse football defense.

In all fairness, though, the offense looked anemic, save for a few big plays, and so many quickly stalled drives and failed third-down conversion attempts left the squad’s defense on the field for way too long in this meeting. It’s a recurring trend for the Orange, and a concerning one at that.

Starting quarterback Tommy DeVito, who may have suffered an unfortunate injury in the fourth quarter, threw two long passes for touchdowns, but, otherwise, he was fairly inaccurate. By extension, his wide receivers missed some catchable throws.

What’s more, the Syracuse football rushing component stalled after a terrific showing on Sept. 26 in the Orange’s win over Georgia Tech in Central New York.

All in all, the ‘Cuse didn’t play at a high level against a Duke team that came into this match-up better than its record would have indicated.

I’m hopeful that DeVito’s apparent injury isn’t too serious, but only time will tell. Other Orange football players who missed Saturday’s bout with the Blue Devils included star safety Andre Cisco, safety/rover Eric Coley, running back Jawhar Jordan, offensive guard Dakota Davis and linebacker Tyrell Richards, according to an article by Nate Mink of Syracuse.com.

Things don’t appear all that good for the ‘Cuse at this juncture in the 2020 season.

Next: Syracuse football enters the fray for 2023 No. 1 safety Rahmir Stewart