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Three Up, Three Down: Syracuse

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Woah. Not much more to say than that, other than of course, BOWLING BABY. I think this is the most jarring tale of two halves I’ve ever seen.

Wake Forest v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Ups

John. EXPLETIVE. WOLFORD. Okay folks, peep this line. 25-38, 363 yards passing, 3 TDs. No picks. 19 rushes, 136 yards and ANOTHER THREE TOUCHDOWNS. Also Wolford spread the love in the air attack, creating three 100+ yard receivers in a game. I mean they did a heck of a job getting that open, but seriously. Good Lord. I don’t know if there’s an award for the nation’s most improved player, but if there is, it’s John Wolford. It’s not even close.

Offensive Line. ALL DAY. The big boys up front were vital to the success of John Wolford, but also one Matt Colburn, who WENT OFF (yes, I’m probably overusing caps, sue me) for 237 yards and another 2 touchdowns, including an absolute laugher of a 76 yard scamper that was a dagger late. Honestly once Matt got the initial push up front he was gone in an exhibition of “hold my beer” running that would make Nick Saban feel something approaching that alien emotion that some people call joy. I don’t want to diminish Colburn’s individual effort, because he was a grown man all day, but I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you the big fellas were vital to the success.

The Opportunistic Defense. After an utterly woeful first half, the defense tightened up in the second half, only giving up 3 points (the other two were on special teams) and comiing away witth two gigantic picks, one by Jaboree Williams and one by Justin Strnad.

The Downs

The Defense Early On. Seriously, Syracuse racked up 621 yards of offense, which is disgusting, except for the part where we managed to outgain them by 113 yards (seriously how), and in the first half the Orange were 3-3 on 4th down, two of which were 4th and medium. That’s just unacceptable, and Zack Mahoney had absolutely all day until the 4th quarter or so. It was brutal.

That Special Teams Cluster. Okay, I can accept a blocked PAT returned for two. Crazier things have happened. But what in the name of Big Daddy was that punt muff wherein Ja’Sir Taylor got shoved into Alex Bachmann, who fumbled the ball for a Syracuse recovery and an eventual score? Seriously guys, what WAS that?

Me. I gave up on them not only for this game, but for the entire rest of the season. I was talking all kinds of mess, especiallly towards the defense, and really dragging them badly, and they completely and totally clowned me. I should be ashamed of myself. Hopefully hoops learns a dang lesson in grit from their gridiron brethren and they do something similar over the next stretch of games. I’m begging you guys, make me feel like a bad person.

The Bottom Line

We should probably be top 25, and we will be if we take care of business against a limping Wolfpack on Saturday. NC State has dropped 2 of 3 (admittedly to Clemson and @Notre Dame) and squeaked out a win, 17-14, against a backup QB-led BC. Then we finish with a Duke team that has positively come off the rails, dropping 6 in a row after winning their first four. We’re bowl eligible period, but the wonderful and insane truth is 8-4 for the regular season is possible, and dang it, it should be a possible 9-3 if we hadn’t let that FSU game get away from us. It’s a good day. Let’s keep perspective and remember that BOTH major coaches are building amazing things. And please let us destroy Liberty on Tuesday night.

On to the next. Go Deacs.

--SF