Syracuse Defense Finishes Season With a Pair of Safeties
News: The Syracuse defense limited the potent West Virginia offense to 287 yards and two touchdowns in the Pinstripe Bowl win on Saturday. The defense also had a pair of safeties and forced a pair of turnovers.
Analysis: The Orange defense allowed Geno Smith just 187 yards and the Mountaineers were unable to sustain drives. West Virginia had just 2.9 yards per carry, so it looked like Syracuse just enjoyed being in the state of New York.
News: The Orange defense shut down Temple in the second half and scored on an interception return to seal the game on Friday.
Analysis: Temple threw for a relatively high total of 173 yards, but only had 167 rushing yards. The Orange forced four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles). After allowing 13 points before halftime, the Owls only scored a touchdown in the second half.
News: The Syracuse defense allowed 484 yards and 27 points, but allowed the offense to come back and win against Missouri on Saturday.
Analysis: The Orange defense did have an interception, but the Tiger quarterbacks threw for 364 yards. Missouri only averaged 2.9 yards per carry on the ground, so the Syracuse defense showed that it could stop the run outside of the Carrier Dome.
News: The Syracuse defense shut down the Louisville running attack and forced two turnovers as the Orange gave the Cardinals their first loss.
Analysis: In the Carrier Dome, the Orange defense is very difficult to run against. Louisville had just 48 yards on the ground. Most of the passing yards for Louisville came when the game was out of reach.
News: The Syracuse defense had few answers for Cincinnati on Saturday. The Bearcats scored five touchdowns and had 470 total yards.
Analysis: The Orange defense did get Cincy quarterback Munchie Lageax out of the game and picked him off once. Syracuse also forced two fumbles, but could not stop Cincy running back George Winn.
News: The Orange defense allowed 552 yards and 36 points, but the offense was able to bail them out for the win on Saturday against South Florida.
Analysis: The Orange did recover a fumble and were able to hold the Bulls to 13 points in the second half. The Orange are a different defense at home where they will play next week against Cincinnati.
News: The Syracuse defense once again dominated the line of scrimmage and held Connecticut to a cumulative -6 rushing yards on Friday.
Analysis: The Syracuse defensive line is able to control the opponent's offensive line, especially at home. The Orange also forced two turnovers. Connecticut did have 296 passing yards, but they were mostly when the game was out of reach.
News: The Orange defense only allowed 237 yards and kept Rutgers' running back Jawan Jamison under 100 yards for the first time this season on Saturday.
Analysis: The Syracuse defense has come alive the last couple of weeks, but they couldn't overcome four turnovers by the offense. They make for a nice play, especially in the Carrier Dome.
News: The Orange defense was dominant at home and allowed just 27 rushing yards against Pittsburgh in a Friday win. They also had a fumble return for a touchdown.
Analysis: The defense also was able to get to the quarterback throughout the game. When Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri was able to make a quick throw, he was very accurate. Otherwise, he was on his backside. Syracuse looks like it will have a good defense in the Carrier Dome.
News: The Orange defense allowed Northwestern to score 42 points and could not stop the Wildcats late in the fourth quarter as quarterback Trevor Siemian led Northwestern to a game-winning touchdown Saturday.
Analysis: While two of the touchdowns were not allowed by the defense (one on a punt return, another on a botched backward pass), the Orange had troubles with missed tackles throughout the game.
News: Syracuse may have beaten Wake Forest on Thursday night, but they didn't get out unscathed, especially on defense. Defensive end Chandler Jones is out indefinitely with an undisclosed lower body injury, cornerback Ri'Shard Anderson has an upper body injury and safety Orlando Fisher has a lower body injury.
Analysis: Unfortunately, schools don't have to divulge much with regards to injuries since the Big East scrapped last season's rules, so it's tough to tell how severe the injuries are. But for Syracuse to not have Jones opposite Mikhail Marinovich is a crucial blow to the defense.
News: One of the weaknesses for Syracuse that was exposed in their 36-29 win over Wake Forest was the secondary. Wake Forest, who put up 406 yards of offense, threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns against a group that struggled in both defending the pass and tackling in space.
Analysis: Syracuse began to assert itself defensively once Wake lost starting quarterback Tanner Price to a leg injury. Cornerback Kevyn Scott intercepted a pass for the Orange but the group must get better in order to be a factor in the Big East.
News: Syracuse senior free safety Phillip Thomas, who missed a good portion of fall camp due to a fractured jaw, says that he's pain-free and expects to start on Thursday against Wake Forest.
Analysis: That's good news for the Orange, who have some experience to replace defensively (especially at linebacker). To have an experienced player back on the field and ready to go should help them out.
News: Syracuse gave up nearly 250 rushing yards and 37 points on Saturday to Pitt.
Analysis: Syracuse's defense simply isn't very strong and will struggle against better offenses. THey travel to Louisville to play the Cardinals on Saturday.
News: Syracuse allowed a touchdown pass in the first quarter and a kickoff return score in the third against Akron on Saturday.
Analysis: The Orange recovered two fumbles on the day as well. Things will get tough this week against No. 5 Cincinnati, even with Tony Pike sidelined with an injury.