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What we learned from Syracuse football’s 62-28 loss to No. 13 Louisville

first_img Published on September 10, 2016 at 4:03 am Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Facebook Twitter Google+ After a opening the season with a win against an FCS team in Colgate, Syracuse (1-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) struggled against No. 13 Louisville (2-0, 1-0) in a 62-28 loss on Friday. Check out what we learned from the defeat.Syracuse struggles against the read optionSU is young on the defensive line. That’s been a storyline since last season ended. But the Orange did not defend the read option well on Friday. Aside from scrambling, Jackson was able to gain yards on designed run plays. Several times, he had enough space to walk into the end zone without being touched by a defender.Because of its deficiencies on the defensive line, the Orange relies on its linebackers and secondary to pick up the slack and clean up messes. But SU struggled with that, too. The Orange missed many tackles throughout the game.Part of the problem was that Syracuse played Jackson, who is one of the best running quarterbacks in the game. There were some positive signs, per Babers. He said he saw players were in the right position.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I saw him outrun contain, where three guys were exactly where they were supposed to be and we should have tackled for a 2-yard loss, and he runs all the way to the other side for an 8-yard gain and runs out of bounds,” Babers said. “And you can’t get mad at them, you have 2 yards of outside leverage on the guy, and he runs in and outside of the leverage and they still can’t touch him. He’s an extremely talented football player.”The run game is SU’s offensive weak spotAfter SU only ran for 117 yards on 35 carries last week, the Orange rushing attack again played poor against Louisville. Syracuse only could muster 121 yards on 40 carries against UofL.A key part of the problem has been Syracuse’s offensive line. Last week, the line couldn’t open up holes and only did so a few times on Friday.Jordan Fredericks had the longest run of any of SU’s running backs with a 29-yard scamper. Moe Neal and Dontae Strickland had long runs of their own, going for 16 and 13 yards, respectively. The other 37 carries SU tallied went for a total of 62 yards, or fewer than 2 yards per carry.Moe Neal is really the second running backNeal got the most carries of any of Syracuse’s running backs with 12. He didn’t do much with them, gaining only 40 yards, but there is a clear hierarchy. Strickland started the game and was given eight carries and gained 28 yards.Fredericks had the 29-yard rush, but on his other two, he only gained four yards. His first snap in the backfield came on a play where he was supposed to pass block instead of rush. Neal had the most impressive run this season (against Colgate) and should split carries with Strickland.Regardless of who has been in the backfield, however, SU’s run game has not found its rhythm through the season’s first two games. Commentslast_img

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