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Three Up, Three Down Week 2: Syracuse

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Well that one hurt. Badly. If ever there was a game tailor made for this format, it was the one Wake Forest played on Saturday. Read on for three ups and three downs for the Syracuse defeat of the Deacs.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This one is coming in a little late partially because I was so upset about the game and I wanted to be able to write with more emotional clarity.  It's still not quite there, but it's close enough I guess, so let's do this.

The Ups

The Receiving Corps. K.J. Brent, Chuck Wade, Tabari Hines, Cam Serigne and Cortez Lewis all had big plays.  Only Brent is an upperclassman out of all of those names.  Unquestionably a good thing, and in my opinion is a good indicator of Coach Clawson's eye for talent.  Good stuff.

Third Down Defense. We held them to 1-9 on third down.  Seriously, how did we lose again?

Offense Managing To Stay On The Field (In The First Half, Anyway). 7-16 on third down and 1-1 on fourth down for Wake. The Deacs also led the first down battle 23-15, and the time of possession battle by a margin of  34:15 to 25:45.  We held the ball almost ten more minutes than the opposition?  What sorcery is this?

The Downs

Spotting Them Points.  A Lot Of Them. Three picks, one for a TD and one for an easy field goal.  Even if you assume we wouldn't have scored on those drives, which is dubious, that's 10 points GIVEN to the Orange.  That cannot happen.

That Cortez Lewis Penalty. That was the turning point in the game. Period.  We were firmly in control, driving to score again, and then there was that penalty.  I hate singling guys out in a negative sense but I can't avoid it here.  That should not happen, ever, in a million years.  To be fair, I'm sure in hindsight Cortez would agree.

Nothing Doing In The Final Frame. It was a 3 point game going into the fourth.  The whole team on both sides (but especially offense, to be fair) just folded at that point.  Absolutely ugly.  On the defensive side, whiffed tackles abounded and that cannot happen.

The Bottom Lines

That was a terrible collapse, one worthy of rage, despair, sorrow, frustration, and worry.  But the amount to which some people are losing their minds baffles me.  I firmly believe Coach Clawson is building something here, and there are going to be ugly steps along the way, this just happened to be one of them.  Keep fighting, Deacs.  I still believe, especially in the long term.  On to the next.  Go Deacs.

--SF