Syracuse Sacks Wolfpack, Nabs First ACC Win: D.A.’s Knee-Jerk Reaction

The Orange rushing game manhandled the offensive line in a 24-10 win.

Syracuse beats NC State on the road 24-10 for its first ACC win. Here’s my knee-jerk reaction:

-Huge effort by Scott Shafer’s team. Going on the road anywhere in a new league can be daunting. The surroundings are new, the stage is bigger. But the Orange played like the better team on Saturday, which startlingly was reality. The Wolfpack might have more recent football success, but its three wins came against Richmond, Louisiana Tech and Central Michigan. Not that SU’s Tulane and Wagner victories are monumental, but these were two resume-equal teams. SU went on the road and grabbed a big swing victory.

-The reason it’s big is for bowl eligibility. The Fizz has broken down the math before. SU had to find a road win, and then take care of business with its three remaining home clashes (Wake, Pitt, BC). To nail down that road victory already means any other win away from the Carrier Dome is gravy. Not that SU should be content lying down the rest of the way on the road. Home wins against the Deacons, Panthers and Eagles are not guaranteed. But contests at Georgia Tech and Maryland are also winnable. The Orange will not face another ranked team except for FSU this season.

-Terrel Hunt now is now 3-1 by all measures as a starter. Drew Allen is 0-2. So who would you guess has thrown for more yards? Try Allen. After another mediocre performance through the air, Hunt has just 520 passing yards in four games. Allen has 572. Of course, in every other quantifiable measure Hunt is the better QB. Completion percentage, yards per attempt, TD-INT (7-3 vs. 2-7) and rating. But it’s going to be hard to win games in this league with a signal caller throwing for less than 100 yards. Hunt’s legs and penchant not to give the ball away made up for his lack of success passing.

-The rushing game was a monster Saturday, exactly what the strength of the team should be. SU ran for an insane 362 on the ground vs. NC State, which came in with a very stout rushing defense. Both Jerome Smith and Prince Tyson-Gulley ran for over 100 yards each and had 50-yard runs. The focus of the offense should always be the ground game, and continue to be for the next few seasons with George Morris and Devante McFarlane waiting in the wings. SU should once again brand itself as Running Back U. Brown, Little, Davis, Csonka, Morris. The time is right to keep playing that card in the recruiting game and on the field.

Posted: D.A.

30 Comments on this Post

  1. Smitty Section 129

    Great win on the road. defense played great and I think the OC MacDonald has finally figured out that running the ball is this teams strength and how you do that is with Smith and PTG not four different running backs. Morris and Mcfarlane your time will come but lets win some games with Smith an PTG as they need touches. I am concerned with Hunt and is passing but very happy with his running. Great win

  2. Perhaps a bit more tight end passing. A bigger target might help Terrel. He seems like a Tebow type player. Maybe bring Tim in for a little coaching and confidence session, McDonald could look at Florida’s play calling during the Tebow era.(Jump Pass)

  3. Hunt is Tebow. Not flashy, hard working,leader,winner.

  4. That was the “Syracuse of old”. Run the ball and shut the other team down with hardnosed smashmouth football.

    Coach Schwartzwalder looking down smiling telling Coach Shafer nice job and telling the team that’s the type of football that won us the National Championship.

    Play the game with “heart”,defense distributes hard hit’s,the offense protects it’s QB and then runs the ball just as hard as the defense is hitting the opponents.

    Great win Syracuse,go get em Coach.

  5. Congratulations to the kids! Nice win…I had NCST by 10 and the kids showed me they have some fight!
    I’m not willing to join Ron in praising the coach….but I’m proud of the effort!
    Good job!

  6. Ron,
    It was in the sub Standard…. It was wishful thinking but the headline was
    SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor to step down next week
    Friends sent me lots of tx/ emails. I confirmed with an SU Administrator.
    Yes, I’m thrilled!
    I was an active alumni.. Been AWOL since they renewed her contract.I plan on getting back in now that the stench is gone.

  7. @Cuse17

    I’m not willing to join Ron in praising the coach.

    That’s ok “Cuse17” I’ll do it enough times for all who doubt Coach Shafer.

    We’re quick to critize Coach Shafer when things go bad and Syracuse loses a game and ALWAYS never quick enough to give him or the team credit when things go right.

    Like I said before after watching the NCST/Clemson game a couple of weeks ago I didn’t expect Syracuse to win this game because of NCST’s defensive unit. They looked good then.

    That’s ok “Cuse17” I’ll do it enough times for all who doubt Coach Shafer.

  8. personalbias

    SU has mediocre quarterbacks, period. Hunt just has enough in his legs and football IQ to get by. His throws were just plain awful, I am not clear how someone who has played football as long as Hunt can throw so inaccurately and get to DivI. In his defense though, the receivers don’t appear to know how to give him enough room to complete a poorly thrown ball. The run game is getting better but not sure if McD sets the plays according to the strengths of the backs. Nonetheless, a road win is a good win. Go SU, from Raleigh

  9. @Cuse17;

    Cuse17,I stand with you and share your enthusiasm just knowing the fact that she’s gone gone gone.

    I wasn’t happy when she was hired,couldn’t believe that the Syracuse Board of Directors could be so stupid. But after watching liberals do their thing,one would come to the conclusion “their all friggin stupid” and don’t know what they’re doing.

    Again thanks for the wonderful/great news this Sunday morning.

  10. @Cuse17;

    Let’s hope the new chancellor has the knowledge and insight to look to the future and guide Syracuse University to greatness that at one time was so proudly displayed.

    I really hope he starts taking interest in the athletics dept and starts to turn the football program around by retaining the coaching staffs and all other coaching staffs of the programs at Syracuse University. We have an abundance of great coaches,I wouldn’t want to see them go anywhere else. I hope he gets it done.

  11. Ron,
    It goes..the students, the academics , the athletics, the alumni and then social good.
    I’ll support the new chancellor in whatever decisions they make…as long as it follows the correct priorities and helps restore our University…

    Let’s get back to football and a great job against NCST. Loved the run game. Shafer’s strength is defense and while it was NCST they played well. Maybe McD has finally figured out our talent is what it is… Play to it!

  12. I enjoyed watching the game and that is the point of this stuff. The team as a whole played well and the coaches deserve heir moment of satisfaction in getting their first ACC win. I think the anti Nancy stuff is over the top harsh. Maybe alluding to a subject I’m not totally familiar with here, during her tenure here in Syracuse.And maybe when say “they’re all friggin stupid” you might want to chose and spell,”they’re” correctly as opposed to the possessive “their”. Really?

  13. @Russell Stugots;

    Could it happen again? Syracuse finishes strong and wins 5 of their last 6 games of the season to go 8-4 and earns their 3rd bowl game in the last 4 years. That would be downright awesome baby,PRICELESS.

  14. I was wrong again!! I am like eggs and spam-HUH??? Great game but a few thoughts.

    Hunt just does not have the arm strength or mind for the game-sorry!!

    HCSS said in his after game presser that the run game was great ,but they’ll load up and try to stop it. DAH you think so. After watching SU’s passing game the last 2 weeks. 8 in the box and try to pass over it!! Good luckHCSS/SU!! Love the coach, but he has to gett the passing game going!! In the last 10 yrs has AF/NAVY/ARMY/GT and their running games won many games against top flight DIV 1 talent-Hell No!! Maybe GT only!!

    What a crowd at NCS!! How come the CUSE can’t get those kind of crowds. After SU is no Clemson.

    Still rated in the 60’s for recruiting. Last 2 gets only moved that up 3 spots!!

    Russ you’re sounding like Ron. No way they win 5 of 6 coming games!! Maybe WF and Pitt for sure, but the others(forget FSU and Maryland)are toss-ups!! Not as long as Hunt is their QB!! I watched a dozen games over the last 4 days and the good programs have a quality QB. As of now SU does not have one. Stop the run and the CUSE are #@&*ed(sorry Ron LOL)!!

    HCSS is still learning the game of Head Coaching!! He has made some glaring mistakes on the national view to see. He needs to tighten those mistakes up. At his presser he mentioned those issues. Unlike you dougie lovers, out there, you’d never hear dougie say that!! Love the guy for that!!

    Do not forget the 19 abused kids of PSU!! The NCAA did!! And do not forget Pan Am 103 either. RIP!

  15. HedgeHog

    My thoughts on the game. The defense and running backs won the game for SU hands down. The play at QB needs to improve drastically. Hunt has thrown for a mere 126 yards in 2 games and tossed 5 INT’s to the other team. Against better teams, that will lead to losses. He is a run first, pass second QB. A ‘C’ grade version of McNabb without the throwing capability. Watching the replay, he routinely had receivers wide open, didn’t make the read and chose to take off and run. Teams will start to adjust for this and he will have limited running room. Not sure if Allen would be much better but if Hunt can’t find receivers and continues to turn the ball over in critical situations, the coaching staff should switch back to Drew Allen.

  16. Dr. bill

    I know this is a sports site, but why all the criticism of Cantor? What did she do that was so bad. As an Alum, when I go on campus, I see new buildings and growth. Doesn’t appear SU is hurting for students. I get concerned when I see labels being thrown around like..”Liberals”…..Liberal as opposed to who? Syracuse University looks like it has prospered during her tenure(didn’t they just raise 1 billion dollars under her watch?)……..

    Our sports programs are on the rise..even football. We just got off the Titanic(B.E. Football) and have a new coach that appears to be recruiting better. Let’s give this new coach time to implement his plan before we start judging. If the school listened to the so called experts on this site…..We would have had the following coaches: 1. Skip Holtz 2. Lane Kiffin 3. Turner Gill 4. Mike Locksley…Did I miss anyone? At last I checked, all of the above got fired..except Kiffin..who quit for a better job…but then got fired. Marrone, who ended up with the Cuse job…..improved the program, and then got a promotion to the NFL. So, much of the expert opinions on this site, are not very expert….and are just opinions…for which we all have one.

  17. HedgeHog

    Well said Dr. Bill. I concur. All in all a great win for the program. Need that momentum for the next few games. I smell a bowl birth on the horizon!

  18. OrangeCrush27

    My Knee Jerk reaction:

    – Agree with you all, solid win. Huge for bowl implications. I felt that we were about 3+ touchdowns better.

    – I know its GM first year as an OC, but i feel that he didnt utilize the run as much as he should. I felt JS and PTG could have ran for another 100 yds. The run game was there all day. Also Hunt could have kept a few more handoffs to keep NC State off guard as well. Probably could ran more yardage as well.

    -To add another point on GM, again, not a fan of his play callin on a couple crucial series. PTG breaks one to the 1 yard line..pass, run, run, FG. WHY ARE WE PASSING AT ALL ON 1 YARD LINE??!! Hunt had an off day throwing RUN RUN RUN!!!! Tank package? Wildcat with Broyld?

    – Gotta get Broyld more touches. Such a huge weapon on offense.

    – I like Hunt and i like some of the deep balls he threw. Needs some work on his touch, but i feel he would settle in a bit more with hitting the TE and WR on slants (like Nassib last year). The WR’s have to be alittle upset there not getting more touches.

    – D was solid but against a 2nd/3rd string QB’s. Couple missed throws by NC State QB’s to wide open receivers. Be interesting to watch the D against GT’s offense.

  19. I felt that was a great win for the cuse. I have to agree with some of the comments on Hunt though. I will say this. I will take Hunt any day than but Allen back in at QB. So Hunt throws ints. The kid is human. Also if any of you though that Hunt would keep that pace going into the ACC then wow. Hey I just want to warn some of you. I bet that Hunt will throw some more ints before the season is over.

    Moving on to the run game. I’m glad for both Smith, and PTG. What a game by both. I feel that the biggest praise should go to the oline. If not for them doing their job up front both running backs don’t do a thing. So glad to see the oline have a good game and hope to see more of that.

    The receiving game is killing me. I know that I have read in the paper some where that Hunt and West had a good connection. I have to say . I don’t see West doing so well. He said that earlier in the season that he was upset that he wasn’t getting thrown to to much. Now when we need a big play. The ball comes his way and he has no effort. I wish the coaching staff would give Funderburk and Kinder some time. I’m sure that they would love to prove their worth. I know that I would like to see something other than what we have at that position. I feel a shake up at that position would make some of those starters get their heads out of their butts.

    One other thing. The defence for me was much improved than last week. I thought that the secondary was better but still need improvement. I think that the right players there but still don’t like to see andreson in. Any teram we play sees him in will throw to hius side of the field every time. NCST did and he couldn’t stop it. What is sad is even my mother noticed it and made the same comment. Why can’y the coaching staff see the same thing.

    I’m so gald that we won this game. I feel that the GT game should be played the same way. I still feel this is a ? of a game. If we play the way we played against NCST then we should have a chance. GO CUSE beat GT!!!!

  20. I wish we would throw to the TE more too. Don’t understand why we don’t.

  21. @Dr Bill

    I’m not an alum of SU. I have though worked and followed SU my whole life. My mother has worked at SU for 35 yrs now and still going. SO does my wife. She has been for 18 yrs and counting. I’m not going to throw names around but do have a few questions.

    I will agree with you that SU is investing money into the education of the university. I have noticed many building going up to improve that. Yes the university did raise 1 BILLION $. I too am glad that SU didn’t employ the coaches that you mentioned and went with Marrone. Yes the sports teams are doing well. SO I do have to ask you. These are all true right? Well how do you explain that if the university can raise 1 BILLION dollars. And all that money went to academics(not athletics). How does it double its debt? I read an article in the PS about her. That when she became chancellor SU wasn’t that much in debt. Now that she is leaving SU will be about $5oo MILLION in debt. Where did that BILLION dollars go? Why was she one of the top earning people? She paid herself more than what Buzz Shaw paid himself. WHY? Why hasn’t working conditions improved in her time? They have gotten worse. I feel that is in her responsiblity to make it the best place for student and workers of the university. How hasn’t SU raised that kind of $ for the athletics? I would think that if SU raised a billion $ for the athletics that we would have the best facilities around. Don’t get me wrong though. Education is important. I just see some things a little different that’s all.

  22. Clay Cleland showed he can catch. Block on passing plays tnen release for short dump passes over the middle, like Moose Johnston in the days of yore.

  23. Cleveland, sorry Clay.

  24. Ron,my guess is we should win 4 of the last 6 games to finish 7-5 for the regular season and get another pinstripe bowl bid!Thats the way I saw it in preseason and still see it that way!Not too shabby for our 1st season in the ACC.Thats why I was surprised u let the Clemson game blues get you down?Remember last year we went through the same early season disappointments and finished strong?

  25. @Russell Stugots;

    I guess I let the players enthusiasm leading up to the Clemson game get to me. The way they played in the NCST game is what I expected from them during the Clemson game.

    Your probably right on with your prediction Russell,but a 8-4 season would be an improvement over last year. I’m dreaming again aren’t I?

    If Syracuse goes 6-2 in it’s first year of ACC play,do you think Coach Shafer gets the 2013 Coach Of The Year?

    That Northeastern power running game was on display for all to see. I congratulated Princ Tyson Gulley for his game on Saturday,talked with Devante McFarlane for about 15 minutes about the remainder of the season lastnight and I will say Russell that the players seem more focused. I wished both of them and the team good luck for the rest of the year.

    Starting with a win against Georgia Tech on Saturday and getting rested with a bye week before we finish with WF,Maryland,FSU,Pitt and Boston College should make things real interesting. The Pittsburgh and Boston College games could be played to a near capacity crowd at the dome if we beat GaTech,WF and Maryland.

  26. Calm down Ron/Russ!! SU will have to play its A$$ off to win 2 more ACC games!! Cantor or her replacement will have very little to do the necessary changes needed for SUFB program to improve!!

    PTG has shown me wrong again. But I’m always nervous when he or Smith let the ball move/wave(protect please) all over the place when they run around!! Don’t break our hearts-please!!

    I’m not so sure its the best that HCSS mentions the North kind of ball played at SU since 50% of SU’s talent comes from the South/ Deep East Coast!!

    Can’t wait for the FSU/Clemson game. I bet you(RON and others) that there are FEW 2 star/NR players starting in this game for both teams!! And you wonder why SU is far behind them!! Talent does matter!!

  27. @Terry;

    You may be right,but let me ask Terry. You do know that both programs recruit JC players don’t you? How many stars do you think they received once they commit to either program?

    The line between a 2* and a 3* or a 3* and a 4* is so fine that maybe the people who distribute them do make mistakes. We’re always hearing about these 5* athletes,have you noticed Terry when your reviewing the class rankings just how many programs get a 5* athlete. Where do they all go too? Do they jump to the NFL out of high school because of their skills. All I can say is when I review those same class rankings I don’t see to many of those 5* athletes listed.

  28. @Terry;

    I forgot to add that I’m going to rooting for FSU in the game this weekend.

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