Syracuse gets crushed 56-0 by Georgia Tech. Here’s D.A.’s knee-jerk reaction:
-It’s nice that Scott Shafer took much of the blame of this disaster, but it rings hollow. Shafer wanted to make sure he cruised through the first question: “How shocked are you by the final score?” Shafer tried to play it off like this happens all the time in football, but that’s just not sincere. An 8-touchdown thrashing doesn’t normally happen, especially between two reasonably matched conference opponents.
“Not shocking at all. Look forward to playing the next game. It’s football. Sometimes you get your rumps kicked. We got our rumps kicked today, and it’s a great job by your Georgia Tech team. And I wish them all the luck in the future. Next question.”
That doesn’t make any Orange fan feel better. You probably don’t need to move on to the next question. The first one needs plenty more answers. Historically speaking, SU hasn’t taken it on the chin this bad in over a decade. So playing the “it’s football” card just sounds ridiculous.
-That’s an absolute defensive embarrassment. For Shafer to be a defensive mind and allow that on his watch, it’s one of the low points of his entire career in football. Every Syracuse fan figured there would be some tough moments in this first ACC season, but who could’ve figured this? GT put up 56 points and yet only completed three passes. Let that sink in. The Jackets only threw the ball 5 times, but nearly rushed for 400 yards in this game. That could be a month for most teams. Everyone in the Western Hemisphere knew GT would run, run and run some more. The triple option is the only thing it does. The fact SU was clearly not ready to stop it, nor have the ability to stop it once it got going, is very much an indictment of the coaching staff. Surely the players deserve blame too. SU’s front 7 was just manhandled. But the Orange also looked lost and ill-prepared, which comes back to the staff.
-This is particularly frustrating because of how poorly the Jackets had been playing coming into this game. Granted, the previous three opponents were good teams. But GT lost by 7 to Va Tech, 15 to Miami, and 18 to BYU. It wasn’t like GT was hot coming into the game. But Tech found its mojo and rolled with it. Despite being on a three-game losing streak, the Jackets rebounded in a big way.
-This was history for SU, in a bad way. It was the eighth worst loss in program history. It ranks up there with Va Tech in ’99 and Miami in ’01. But almost every other game on that list is from the 1890s or before 1937. It was a different world back then. So this ranks as one of the four most embarrassing losses of the modern Syracuse era.
-It’s one thing to give up a ton of yards and points to a quirky offense you’ve never seen before. But the SU offense was dreadful in this game, and it makes you wonder where Terrel Hunt really is in his development? The quarterback was ineffective last week in the win vs. NC State, but led first half drives of punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, fumble. It was a total of just 30 plays in the entire first 30 minutes. Can Hunt actually move the ball, or was that just against the Tulane and Wagner’s of the world? While Shafer and Chuck Bullough deserve blame for the defensive woes, George McDonald also should take his lumps. Hunt doesn’t appear to be progressing as a QB, and that falls on the coaches. The offense was unable to move the ball with either Hunt or Drew Allen in the game.
-All in all, a complete disaster. A Shafer-led defense should not allow this type of avalanche, but his quick dismissal of the slaughter also begs the question whether he actually has the answers. The good news? SU gets Maryland and Wake the next two games before a mismatch against FSU.