Syracuse closed its season with a 39-30 overtime victory over Wake Forest. The Orange finish 5-7 and bump Wake Forest down in bowl prestige.
1. Senior send-offs
Syracuse dressed 22 of its 23 seniors on Saturday. Players took pictures with Dino Babers and AD John Wildhack in a pre-game ceremony.
The most impactful losses for the Orange are edge rushers Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman. That duo, along with punter Sterling Hofrichter, will get a chance to play in the NFL. Moe Neal ‘s hard work over four years culminated in a strong senior season dampened by poor run-blocking. Fan-favorite speedster Sean Riley will be missed. Linebackers Andrew Armstrong and Lakiem Williams stepped into starting roles this season and showed toughness. Christopher Fredrick and was often under-looked at defensive back. Eric Berry tied for the team lead in sacks this season with 5.5. Clayton Welch just secured a legacy, albeit a small one, at Syracuse. KJ Ruff, Scoop Bradshaw, Otto Zaccardo and Carl Jones are other notable departures.
2. Trill Makes play of the year
Syracuse was ten yards away from losing this game. Sam Hartman hit Kendall Hinton on a bubble screen, who motored towards the end zone. Trill Williams wrapped him up, and flat out took the ball. Enjoy!
3. Welch ends career in fairy-tail fashion
Clayton Welch hadn’t won a game since his freshman year at Butte College. Talk about a buzzer-beater. He gets his first start and first win at Syracuse in his last career game (234 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs). Who cares that his stats don’t jump out ? What a story.
4. Receiver tandem is something to look forward to
Two players whose stats do jump out are Taj Harris and Trishton Jackson. Jackson eclipsed 1000 yard on the season with an 111 yard performance. Harris had 7 receptions for 70 yards including this mind-bending run-after-catch.
5. Mikel Jones gains valuable experience
Andrew Armstrong was sidelined today. That opened the door for Jones to log his highest snap-count to date. He wound up tied for second in total tackles (10).
6. Red zone play remained awful
Settling for field goals has plagued SU all year. That continued.
7. Luke Benson is an exciting prospect
Benson scored another touchdown against Wake Forest. The true freshman has seriously impressive quickness for a tight end. It’s a big positive for Syracuse that he slowly came into his own late in the season.
8. Penalty forced overtime
The game would never have gone to overtime if not for a facemask call on Alton Robinson, after he appeared to stop Hartman on 4th down. It was the correct call, but an awful break given the play was going nowhere.
9. Szymt has signature game
The reigning Lou Groza winner hasn’t had the same dominant season he did in 2018, but Szymt had to be perfect on Saturday. He was 4/4, including two from 40 or more, in the 4th quarter and overtime.
10. DeVito’s health mysteries continue
It seems like the SU quarterback has been ambiguously half-injured all season. We were told DeVito’s foot was stepped on in practice this week. But when Clayton Welch exited after a helmet-to-helmet hit, DeVito entered for two consecutive series. So… he was healthy enough to play, just not start. Babers has kept DeVito’s health status very private, to his credit. Today continued a trend of media confusion regarding the QB’s health.