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Give Credit Where it’s Due – Syracuse’s Defense is Fantastic

After SU’s 16-10 loss to NC State, it’s tough to find positive takeaways from Syracuse’s offense. Tommy DeVito was sacked eight times and the rushing attack gained just 41 yards. So instead, let’s look at the defensive performance and break down how well a few guys played.

SU sacked NC State quarterback Bailey Hockman three times, and didn’t allow the first time starter to find the end zone. Even without secondary stalwarts Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse didn’t allow receivers much separation. Antwan Cordy had a particularly tough challenge – matched up with Emeka Emezie, the Wolfpacks 6-foot-3 leading receiver. Cordy – who is just 5-foot-8 allowed just five receptions for 77 yards. As mentioned on Fizz Radio, that’s a solid outing for Cordy on a really challenging matchup.

After a rough season a year ago, Scoop Bradshaw showed how much he’s developed against the Wolfpack. For defensive backs, more tackles doesn’t necessarily mean better play. In most cases, it actually mean they played worse since they’re likely tackling a receiver who made a catch. Last season Bradshaw recorded 27 tackles. This year he has three. NC State tested Bradshaw, and he responded well. 

Andrew Armstrong also had a huge game at linebacker. He finished the outing with 14 tackles, two TFL, and an interception. Linebacker was a big question mark of the defense going into the season, and Armstrong alongside Lakiem Williams have locked down the second level. The Orange seemingly replace their starting linebackers every year, and will do so again after this season. While the position is a question mark during the offseason, players have stepped up the past two seasons. Expect that trend to continue into the future with Mikel Jones and Lee Kpogba seeming to be the next guys up.

Finally edge rushers Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson have been quieter than expected this season, but each had solid outings Thursday night. Robinson recorded a TFL – giving him 6.5 for the year, far off his mark of 17 last season – and a quarterback hit. Coleman ended up with five tackles, 0.5 TFL and 0.5 sacks, along with a quarterback hit. While neither guy is putting up the numbers from last season, they’re still very impactful for SU’s defense.

Next week Syracuse welcomes Pitt to the Dome, and maybe we’ll see a little more offense to go along with the defense.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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