Syracuse arrived in College Park, Maryland expecting to cruise to a 2-0 start to the season. Instead, the Terrapins walloped the Orange 63-20 behind six rushing touchdowns. The strength of SU‚Äôs squad ‚Äì the defense ‚Äì seemed to think arm tackles would get the job done. The Terps had other plans.
Generally I try to look ahead after a rough game like this one. But with Clemson on the horizon, maybe it‚Äôs best to peer into the gloominess of this game instead of gazing into the dark future of Week 3.
The Rush Defense Was Horrendous
As mentioned earlier, SU gave up six touchdowns and 354 yards on the ground. The Terps depleted their running back room, with four rushers gaining at least 68 yards. And once Maryland started pounding the rock with its fourth-string running back ‚Äì Jake Funk ‚Äì SU seemed to quit. On one three play drive, Maryland drove 92 yards to the end zone. Those three plays were all handoffs to Funk, and seemed to be the same exact play call. Three plays in a row, Maryland opened gaping holes for its running back to gallop for tens of yardage.
Syracuse Offensive Line
SU‚Äôs ran for just 70 yards (including sacks) a week after tearing up Liberty for 192. Offensive line was a question mark heading into the year and improvement still needs to be made. Abdul Adams had the longest rush of the game, a measly 13 yards. SU needs its running backs to break open the game with big plays. That didn‚Äôt happen on Saturday. Meanwhile Tommy DeVito was sacked four times, and consistently pressured out of the pocket.¬†
Josh Jackson‚Äôs Legit
Heading into this game, I had my doubts about Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson. Sure the Virginia Tech transfer tore up Howard as the Terps romped to a 79-0 in Week 1. But‚Ä¶ it‚Äôs Howard. Right off the bat Jackson showed that he was in control of the game, leading Maryland to scores in seven of its first eight drives. He took just one sack on the afternoon while throwing a shade under 300 yards to go along with 3 TDs.
No Sophomore Slump Looming For Andre Cisco
For the second week in a row Andre Cisco hit jackpot and picked off a pass. The reigning interception leader appears just as good, if not better than last season. He‚Äôs a ball-hawk in the secondary that any coach would want on their team. Unfortunately for opposing coaches, Cisco may be waking them up at night in cold sweats.
Where Is Alton Robinson?
Half of Syracuse‚Äôs daunting edge rush combo didn‚Äôt look so ferocious on Saturday. After a solid performance against Liberty, Alton Robinson recorded just one tackle against Maryland. In Week 1 Robinson showed up late to the sack party, and came bearing the subpar gift of 0.5 sack. Now he did have 1.5 TFL against Liberty, but compared to his partner in crime Kendall Coleman, his performance lacked a little luster.