only trailed fellow Empire State foe Army on the Hill by sev..."/> only trailed fellow Empire State foe Army on the Hill by sev..."/>

Syracuse Football: Embarrassing first half for ‘Cuse against Army at home

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

The good news is that Syracuse football only trailed fellow Empire State foe Army on the Hill by seven points at halftime.

The bad news is that the Black Knights (2-1) dominated the Orange in the first 30 minutes of play, and the ‘Cuse (3-0) has a lot of work to do after the intermission from the JMA Wireless Dome.

Army’s physical play with its strong rushing attack pushed the Orange’s Mob defense around, and time of possession was a huge factor in the initial two quarters of action.

I’m concerned here that the Syracuse football defense is going to get totally gassed as this non-conference battle proceeds in the third and fourth quarters.

Syracuse football had an abysmal first half at home versus Army.

First and foremost, in the first half, Army had the ball for more than 23 minutes, per ESPN statistics. That is a significant problem for the ‘Cuse.

The Black Knights came into this encounter a perfect 10-of-10 on fourth downs so far in the young 2023 season, and that unblemished trend has continued in Central New York.

In the first half, Army went 3-of-3 on fourth downs, including a conversion on fourth-and-short on its own 24-yard line. Gutsy call there.

In total, the Black Knights had 10 first downs, as compared to just four for Syracuse football. The Orange didn’t convert a third down, going 0-for-3.

Through 30 minutes of play, Army had 149 yards of total offense, including 129 yards on the ground. The Black Knights ran the ball a whopping 33 times.

Conversely, the ‘Cuse sported a mere 77 yards of total offense in the first half. Senior quarterback Garrett Shrader completed 6-of-10 passes for 59 yards, and he threw an interception right before the break.

Additionally, Syracuse football only collected 18 rushing yards in the first half, and that won’t do if the team hopes to move to 4-0 before Atlantic Coast Conference competition commences.

To reiterate, the Orange only had a seven-point deficit at halftime, but the ‘Cuse needs to get things going on offense as the squad was set to start the second half with the ball.

Army’s methodical offensive attack include two drives of more than nine minutes, and if Syracuse football can’t get some stops, it could prove a long second half for the Orange and its fan base.

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