Newton’s third law of motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Syracuse football’s three game winning streak to start the season has been followed by an equal and opposite three game losing streak. But where Newton’s laws were meant to help people understand, Syracuse football fans have never been more confused. This team was supposed to be a game away from bowl eligibility right now, but now we’re all wondering if this year will be a repeat of 2014. The team has seemingly fallen apart over the past four weeks, and in this week’s “By the Numbers,” we take a closer look.
If there’s a silver lining to this losing streak, it’s that the offensive production hasn’t dropped off like it did last year. In the three games it has lost Syracuse has scored only a touchdown less than when it was winning, 28.7 PPG compared to the 35.7 points it was scoring per game to start the season. The real downfall has been on the defensive side of the ball. In its first three games, the Orange allowed only 14.7 points per game. During this losing streak, Syracuse has allowed 41 points per game. Not good.
Again, the offensive production hasn’t dropped off too much in October. The Orange is averaging 307 yards of total offense per game in the losing streak. That isn’t great, but it still isn’t severely less than the 374 yards it was getting in the first three games of the year. The defense, which allowed 334 yards per game at the start of the year, has given up 453 yards per game during the losing streak. When it was winning Syracuse was outgaining its opponents by an average of 40 yards, but in its losses the Orange has been outgained by almost 150 yards per game.
There isn’t much of it. Three of Syracuse’s next four games are against top 25 teams. If you assume those games are losses (which is probably a safe assumption), then the Orange has to win out against Louisville, NC State and Boston College. Syracuse went 0-3 against those teams last season.
What needs to change for Syracuse to get back on track? Let us know in the comments section below.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson