Fizz Five: Syracuse Squeezes Maryland 20-3, Eyes Bowl with 5th Win

AP

Syracuse thrashed Maryland Saturday in a 20-3 win. The victory puts the Orange over .500 for the first time this season and in position for a bowl. The offense was more efficient against Maryland than even Wake Forest and the defense played just as well as last week. Let’s get to breaking down the five biggest takeaways of the Orange’s second ACC road win.

This defense is for real

There is a fair argument that Wake Forest and Maryland are not the best offensive teams in the country, but even with that the Orange held them to three combined points after allowing 56 to Georgia Tech in the previous game. To put that in perspective, Tulane and Wagner scored 17 combined points against the Orange, and everyone will agree that Wake and Maryland are better than Tulane and Wagner. The front line of the defense harassed C.J. Brown and forced two interceptions out of the Maryland QB. The front line was outstanding against the running attack as well, holding the Terps to just 81 rushing yards. The secondary played well again, and much of the success could be because of how well the d-line is doing getting pressure on the QB. For the first time since 1997, the Orange kept its opponent out of the end zone in two straight games. That’s impressive regardless of any team’s shortcomings.

Turnovers are key

The Orange are 4-1 when it wins the turnover battle (with the lone loss coming to Penn State in the season opener). Syracuse forced two interceptions and two fumbles compared to one interception and one fumble on offense. The defense did a great job pressuring Brown and flying to the ball when passes were completed. On offense, it was more feeding the running game and playing smart with Terrel Hunt.

Keep feeding the backfield beast

Jerome Smith pounded the Maryland defense for 118 yards and two touchdowns. When Prince-Tyson Gulley went down with an injury, George Morris II stepped in and was able to provide a speed burst for the Orange and give Smith a breather. Terrel Hunt is still a weapon in the running game as he showed again this week with nearly 70 yards on the ground. The concerns surrounding the running game at the beginning of the season seem to be gone as Jerome Smith and the offensive line turned a corner a couple weeks back.

Terrel Hunt is visibly improving

After two outstanding games, Hunt struggled in games against Clemson, NC State and GT, but he has been getting better the past two weeks. It is pretty obvious at this point. Hunt is not making some of the mistakes he made earlier in the year and he had no interceptions against Maryland. Although he still hasn’t thrown for a touchdown in ACC play, Hunt is making better throws and putting the Orange in a better position to score than he had during the first three ACC games. Of course, Hunt still makes some questionable plays, and perhaps takes off to run too early sometimes, but he is still just a redshirt sophomore and has two more years to grow and become a better quarterback.

A bowl is well within sight

Just two years ago, the team was 5-2 before losing 5 straight and missing out on a bowl game. With the win, the Orange now sit just one win away from bowl eligibility and have three games remaining, including two winnable home games. If Syracuse can win just one of two home games against BC and Pitt, the Orange will go to back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 1996-1998, when Donovan McNabb was under center. This would be a huge success for the Orange after losing its head coach, offensive coordinator, two starting receivers, starting left tackle and quarterback from last year’s Big East co-champion. In year one of the ACC, a 6-6 or 7-5 season with a chance to improve on that in a bowl game would be outstanding for first year head coach Scott Shafer.

This week was a big W for the Orange. The win gives the Orange two wins on the road in conference play, something Syracuse hadn’t done since 2010 when they won four road games in Big East play. The game signaled a turnaround in the Syracuse defense that played so horribly against GT but so outstanding against Wake and Maryland. Now just one win away from bowl eligibility, the Orange travel to Tallahassee for a big matchup with second-ranked Florida State.

Posted by: Seth Goldberg 


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  1. Ron says:

    @Russell Dangerfield;

    I do and have ignored a lot here Russell,but when newbes make stupid remarks and tries to speak for me and others who have been here debating different subject matters longer than they’ve prbably been alive irritates the living hell out of me. I know that the different members that you’ve mentioned here can stand on their own and “respond in kind” to some of the newbes remarks. How in hell Russell can anyone make a statement that because we like to watch college football that guy’s like Terry and I aren’t “TRUE” Syracuse Football Fans. It’s mind boggling.

  2. Ron,that nut started talking sh*t right from his 1st post and my instinct right away was he was an arrogant bugger!!I won’t even respond to him because he acted like he thought he could walk right into the Fizz and show us the “mistakes of our ways”?I said right away that hes either VERY young,arrogant,stupid or all of the above!!He’ll disappear just as quick as he came but he’ll still be stupid!Worse,he don’t respect his elders….the problem with a lot of kids today!Thats why I appreciate CDL from Houston so much!!He’s an abberation today but we could use more.Try not to let J+B get under your skin too much cause no one cares what he says!

  3. Ron says:

    @Russell Dangerfield;

    You know Russell “old habits never die”. My kids keep on calling me crazy,but if I were to meet JB in a bar I would have kicked his frigging teeth down his throat.

    As I grow older Russ I try real hard to stay level headed and mellow like most people do,but there comes time when old feelings are stirred and the blood starts to boil again.

    I’ll take your advice though and try real hard to ignore the stupid remarks from him on this website.

    Thanks old friend.

  4. Yeah good move bud…but your right about the bar or street corner!Its frustrating on the internet deez guyz who would’nt say boo to ya in da street become wizeazz’s online!!The internet is a punks best friend!I’ll bet he’s 5’3″ and 185 lbs fugly at 24 yrs old in moms basement with pizza boxes and buffalo wingbones piling up around the dank glow of his computer screen?Ha Ha sorry but thinking of him brings out the worst in us!We got to stay dignified and above him or get down to his level in the eyes of the decent fizzfam!!

  5. Ron says:

    @Russell Dangerfield;

    Russ using that NYC “Hells Kitchen” vocabulary has me laughing again this morning. You’ve painted a pretty accurate picture of the loud mouth this morning,keep up the good work.

    It’s nice to hear from you again. Going outside for the rest of the day to put some Christmas lights up.

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