Syracuse dropped its 4th consecutive game, this time to Wake Forest 38-14. It was more of the same from a team that continues to disappoint. The Orange run defense wasn’t there as per usual, they showed no ability to stop the Demon Deacons on 3rd down either. The offense wasn’t much better, however, Cooper Lutz shined as a diamond in the rough, rushing, and receiving for a combined 112 yards. This offense, led by Rex Culpepper hasn’t looked at all special this season, something that must change if SU is to win any games remaining in its schedule. JaCobian Morgan came in late, immediately drove down the field, and scored on a perfect drive, it appears the writing is on the wall.
Injuries have hit this team hard. Andre Cisco most notably went down with an ACL injury earlier this season against Georgia Tech and has since declared for the NFL draft. Trill Williams didn’t play due to injury today, neither did Sean Tucker. Thus, depth has become a huge problem for this team. On defense, we’ve seen some young guys really flourish, especially in the secondary. Ja’Had Carter, Rob Hanna, and of course, Garrett Williams have been the names Orange fans have come to know this season, due to their great play. On the offensive side, the story hasn’t been exactly similar. Coming into this season SU fans knew Taj Harris would be the number one guy. Though names like Anthony Queeley and Ed Hendrix were thrown into the mix as young guys who could provide some much needed help in the receiver corps. That help really hasn’t been there. With nowhere to throw the ball, Culpepper’s offense often stalls and leads to offensive outputs such as this one. There’s no excuse for the poor Orange offense today. Wake came into today’s game ranked 75th in the country in terms of yards allowed per game with 447. Syracuse could only muster 221.
Playcalling was questionable today as it has been all season, a designed QB-run on 3rd-and-13 was reminiscent of the wildcat play to Nykeim Johnson against Clemson on 4th down, neither got the job done. Stuff like that isn’t going to solve this offense, Cooper Lutz and Sean Tucker have both proven themselves to be some of the only steady contributors for this offense, why there aren’t more plays designed for each of them, is unbeknownst to most.
Coming into today, just about everyone knew about Christian Beal-Smith and Kenneth Walker III, the Wake Forest rush tandem that’s been tearing up defenses everywhere they go. Nothing changed against SU. Walker III rushed for 80 yards and three touchdowns, while Beal-Smith tacked on 91 more. It’s been said once it’ll be said 1,000 times, you can’t win football games if you can’t stop the run. The pass defense wasn’t any better, Jaquarii Roberson caught an 80-yard touchdown in which he caught the ball without an orange jersey in his area code, seriously, not a guy within 15 yards playing defense. That’s inexcusable for any team.
This squad is in shambles, major changes need to take place if an effort will be made to save this season, if not, better start thinking about next year.