Stock watch: Lots down after Syracuse’s blowout loss to Notre Dame

first_imgTommy DeVitoAs Dungey walked to the locker room, DeVito slung a deep pass to Nykeim Johnson in the endzone. Blanketed by a defender, Johnson got his hands to the ball but couldn’t haul it in. It was about as close as SU got to the end zone all game. DeVito struggled mightily, going 14-for-31 for 105 yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked six times. Notre Dame’s defense deserves kudos for putting DeVito under constant duress, but the redshirt freshman quarterback was inaccurate throwing the ball and didn’t sense the pass rush well.Of his two interceptions, only one can be pinned fully on DeVito. Throwing deep down the right side in the second quarter, DeVito didn’t spot UND safety Alohi Gilman over the middle, and the free safety trotted over and swiped an underthrown ball. (The second interception, also picked off by Gilman, came from a Taj Harris bobble.)With Dungey out, SU needed DeVito to shine, like he did against North Carolina and Florida State. He didn’t.Wide receiversOutside of Harris’ five receptions for 78 yards, SU’s wideouts caught seven passes for 24 yards. Against a veteran Notre Dame secondary, they struggled to get open, and even when they did, drops were frequent.In the fourth quarter, Johnson came across the middle with separation from his defender. DeVito delivered the ball on time and on target. It went right through Johnson’s hands. Harris, despite his career-high outing, had a potential touchdown ripped from his hands by Julian Love in the fourth quarter and also gave up the interception. Jamal Custis caught one pass for 10 yards, Dungey’s only completion of the game. Notre Dame’s defensive backs were arguably the best unit on the field Saturday, and even when Syracuse receivers did get open, the results weren’t good. Comments NEW YORK — No. 12 Syracuse (8-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) endured a 36-3 beat down in Yankee Stadium at the hands of No. 3 Notre Dame (11-0) on Saturday afternoon. The loss ended a four-game winning streak and effectively ended most realistic hopes for a New Year’s Six bowl.In the first quarter, Eric Dungey left with what was later announced as an upper-body injury. In his stead, Tommy DeVito struggled heavily and SU’s offense never got moving to help a defense struggling to slow the Irish.Here’s whose stock is up, or down, after the thumping.Stock upClark LeaAfter getting dominated by the Irish defense for 60 minutes, all Syracuse — a team that was averaging 44.4 points per game — could do was kick a field goal in the dying seconds of Saturday’s game to avoid the shutout. In his press conference after the game, SU head coach Dino Babers offered his praise for UND defensive coordinator and former Orange assistant, Clark Lea.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Really they turned the game from chess to checkers and now guys have to make plays,” Babers said of Lea’s scheme. “There was numerous combination, passing combinations that we called, and you looked out there and everybody was covered.”Lea’s defensive gameplan was great, UND head coach Brian Kelly said, and the Irish felt confident in their scheme in the week leading up the game. After a dominating defensive performance, Lea, a first-year coordinator, deserves the praise for stifling SU’s offense.Moe Neal and Dontae StricklandWith Dungey hurting and DeVito struggling, SU turned to its ground game. Neal and Strickland toted the rock a combined 26 times for 124 total yards. Neal ran well behind SU’s zone blocking scheme in the first half, spotting lanes and cutback angles and using his speed to burst to the edge when needed. Strickland ran hard through contact, leveling one Notre Dame defender on a right-side handoff.The two also hauled in three catches for 13 yards.In a game where pretty much nothing else went right for SU, Strickland and Neal produced as well as anyone could hope for.Stock downPass rushBefore Saturday, Syracuse’s defense had produced 33 sacks through 10 games. The unit had two against the Irish.Kelly said postgame that defensive ends Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson were of particular concern, and the Irish placed a big emphasis on blocking them throughout the week. Neither recorded a sack. “I thought we blocked two very good ends,” Kelly said. “Coleman and Robinson are really good defensive ends. I thought we did a pretty good job blocking those guys.”Both times SU got to quarterback Ian Book, it was because he spent too much time in the pocket. Published on November 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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