Run defense, job security down in this week’s stock watch

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first_imgSyracuse (3-6, 0-4 Atlantic Coast) football hit a new low on Saturday against Boston College, falling to the Eagles, 58-27, and allowing 496 rushing yards in the process. The Orange started as well as they could’ve asked for on offense, jumping out to a 17-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. The ensuing period was one of the worst ever in the program’s history, as SU was outscored 34-3 and quickly saw the game and its season slip away. Defensive coordinator Brian Ward was fired the next day by head coach Dino Babers, who “felt a change needed to be made.” To automatically qualify for a bowl game, Syracuse must now win its final three games, which include a pair of road games and a season finale at home against No. 22 Wake Forest.Here’s whose stock is up and down after the Orange’s most recent disappointment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn what seemed like the first week in ages that fans weren’t calling for DeVito’s head after the game, the redshirt sophomore turned in another strong performance. DeVito threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception for the fourth straight game. He’s quietly on pace for 2,767 yards and 20 touchdowns — which would both be top-five marks in Syracuse history — and looks to be past his early-season turnover struggles. A lot of blame can be placed on players and coaches on this team for Syracuse’s struggles this year, but DeVito doesn’t deserve much of it. Despite all of the issues surrounding this SU team of late, it’s been generally solid at taking care of the football. After committing 11 turnovers in the opening five games of the season, the Orange have coughed the ball up just once in the last four, which ironically have all been losses. And while Syracuse’s nation-leading 21-game takeaway streak ended last week against Florida State, a new one began versus the Eagles. Andre Cisco led the way, first forcing a fumble on BC’s Hunter Long before contributing to another forced fumble on the Eagles’ next possession, which was officially given to Trill Williams. Yikes. Syracuse’s run defense was in this same section last week after allowing Cam Akers to lead Florida State’s 241 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Somehow, the run defense got significantly worse against the Eagles, who more than doubled that yardage total and also poured on five rushing scores. Coming into the game, everyone knew what Boston College’s game plan would be: Run, run and run the ball some more. In his weekly press conference prior to the game, Dino Babers said it “would not be good” if Syracuse can’t find a way to stop AJ Dillon and David Bailey. He was right. The Orange defense, at one point this season the strength of the team, looked as lost as it has all year. Aside from its lack of contributions to stopping the run, SU’s defensive line was also non-existent in the passing game. Granted, the Eagles only threw the ball 10 times on Saturday, but Syracuse failed to reach quarterback Dennis Grosel on any of those drop backs — failing to record a sack for the second time all season. All-ACC defensive ends Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman tied for last on the team with one tackle each and both failed to register a single quarterback hit. Yes, Boston College has one of the best offensive lines in the ACC and arguably the best running back in the conference. But that’s no excuse for a no-show of a performance by SU’s defensive line.Babers had said earlier this season that “everybody’s job is in jeopardy,” and that was before two embarrassing losses to Florida State and Boston College. Changes are finally being made, as with defensive coordinator Brian Ward, who’s two years removed from being a nominee for the Broyles Award, given to the best assistant coach in the country. Additionally, true freshman running back Jawhar Jordan saw his most playing time ever and responded well, finishing with more yards than both Moe Neal and Abdul Adams. Fellow true freshman Mikel Jones also received significant playing time, making four tackles and furthering the argument for younger players to receive more snaps. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on November 4, 2019 at 10:45 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34last_img

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