It was possibly the ugliest and most bizarre five minutes of football you will see for a long time. Syracuse and Notre Dame traded big play after big play and the scoreboard read 23-13 after less than five minutes. Things slowed down as the game went on, but the fast-paced Syracuse offense continued to do no favors for a struggling defense. And struggle they did in the 50-33 loss to Notre Dame, giving up big play after big play.
Well, it’s easy to point to the fast-paced offense and say that getting off of the field quickly did the defense no favors. This is true, but yet again, Syracuse surrendered a long touchdown on the first play of the game. Hardly the offense’s fault. Syracuse allowed DeShone Kizer (who is a very good quarterback), to throw for 471 and 3 TDs..
The Syracuse offense was actually able to keep the Orange in the game for a while. A bad throw by Kizer allowed the Orange to have a chance to cut the Irish lead to three before halftime. However, Cole Murphy missed a 40-yard field goal and the Orange went into the locker room down 33-27. It all fell apart from there.
Babers can groom this offense all he wants but they aren’t going to score on every possession. The defense, nearly every time, fails to bail out a bad offensive possession. Syracuse was forced to punt to start the second half. Less than two minutes later, the Irish pushed their lead to 40-27. The wheels fell off and the Irish went on to win big.
There isn’t really an answer to the Syracuse defense problem. It is likely that they just don’t have the personnel to stop anyone. The only solution is a long term one. They need players that Babers feels fit into his Tampa-2 scheme and who he handpicked. Not guys that Scott Shafer picked. It is a process for Syracuse, and a long one at that. We may see more games like Saturday before that game is complete.