Well that was ugly. Notre Dame scored three touchdowns and added a two-point conversion in a 22-6 win over Syracuse on Saturday. This is the most goals SU has conceded since last year’s 22-8 drubbing at the hands of the Fighting Irish. Furthermore, the 16 goal shellacking is the largest the ‘Cuse has absorbed in nearly 45 years. Obviously the defense was bad as you can see by the final score and the offense was no better. Let’s roll the tape…
Dave Pietremala’s tried to deploy some of the same pressure packages we saw last week. The difference between Notre Dame’s offense and Duke’s though is the efficiency and team aspect to its offense. How do you beat a double team and aggressive defense? Move the rock. Nick Caccamo (28) fires on the double as he was coached too, however the Fighting Irish recognize that and find the 2 on 1 and missed assignment in front.
Better communication and assignment defense would have taken this goal off the scoreboard but that’s a problem that has plagued SU all season. To be honest, love the pressure defense and all but there was no reason to use it in that instance. Brandon Aviles (43) had his man on lock and Caccamo sliding just put everything out of wack in this instance.
Caccamo has earned our praises for the past few weeks but this is bad. He lets a simple screen put him way out of position and free up Notre Dame’s Chris Kavanagh for an easy step down rip. Caccamo needs to fight through that screen better and stay on the top side. Additionally, Brett Barlow (41) needs to call out that screen more demonstratively and switch if Caccamo gets out of position.
It’s not surprising to see him hesitate because he doesn’t play a whole lot and he is keeping it close to the vest. However, help your defender out by alerting him of the screen and then make a decision to fire or not. In this instance, he should’ve released and helped shut down Chris Kavanagh.
Where is the 2 slide? It shouldn’t be Grant Murphy (90) that is way to much ground to cover. Aviles (43) should’ve moved over to pick up the open man on the crease, then Murphy is supposed to fill his spot on the wing. We are past the midway point of the season and these basic defensive concepts still aren’t understood.
Landon Clary… what are you doing? He simply loses his man ball watching out defense, then gets juked out of his socks. That’s just embarrassing and it’s all on the head of one player. Again though even before that, why is Shaffer Woody (36) challenging an offensive mid 30+ yards from cage? We talked about this last week when it lead to a goal, there’s just no reason to do it stand on the restraining line and wait.
Okay let’s talk some offense because that unit isn’t off the hook either. This is just simply not the shot. Owen Seebold, falling away with a defender in his grill and shooting with his non-dominant left hand. This ball needs to be in the hands of Matteo Corsi (42) behind cage matched up against a shorty. The true frosh had it momentarily but gave it back to Seebold instead of setting up his approach. We love what Corsi has shown recently but he needs to want the ball here.
Okay, so Aviles can’t hit the 2-slide, nor the initial slide clearly. What is this?
Another example of how to beat a blitz heavy defense, circulate the rock.
Clearly still a lot to work on for Syracuse on both ends of the field. There were some travel issues heading into this one as SU didn’t arrive in South Bend until very late Friday morning. Obviously that’t not ideal for a 2 p.m. game the next day. No matter what, to go from looking like a top 3 team in the ACC last week, too far and away the worst the next is inexcusable.
This defense needs a lot more work and the offense has a long way to go because it just disappears when it meets a unit that has three good poles and few weaknesses. On the bright side Jakob Phaup won 20-31 faceoffs son that’s wasn’t a problem… idk guys I’m trying.
Let’s see if this was an outlier or the norm moving forward. You won’t get your answer on Thursday against UAlbany because that should be a win. However, next Monday against top-10 Cornell is a good bounce back opportunity.