3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 31-6 season-opening loss to North Carolina

first_img Comments The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.For three quarters, nothing about Syracuse’s 31-6 season-opening loss was predictable. The expected high-scoring blowout didn’t happen, as both teams struggled to move the ball and stayed within one score.Then, the fourth quarter began, and UNC scored 21 unanswered points. SU’s offense sputtered for four consecutive three-and-outs, leaving its defense out to dry.  Neither team played well. Both showed signs of rust and of a disjointed offseason, including two punt return touchdowns called back, dropped passes, missed tackles and a missed Andre Szmyt chip shot.Here are three takeaways from SU’s 31-6 defeat to UNC:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTony White dialing up the defenseAfter every play, the defense looked over to defensive coordinator Tony White. The schemes varied almost every play, and UNC could hardly decipher them. Preseason All-American safety Andre Cisco added to his FBS-leading 14 interceptions by reading quarterback Sam Howell’s eyes on a vertical route down the seam in the second half. Ifeatu Melifonwu set the tone early by recovering on a deep route on a play Howell extended with his feet and doing so again with a solid open field tackle. Redshirt freshman Garrett Williams played well, despite matching up against bigger receiver Beau Corrales. Williams finished with a team-high nine total tackles and showed proficiency in tackling, a key for the defensive-back heavy 3-3-5.SU also put pressure on Howell. To hold UNC to a field goal late in the third quarter, Kingsley Jonathan moved quickly to win his matchup and blindside sack Howell on third down in the redzone. Syracuse recorded two sacks and several more pressures in total.But by late in the fourth quarter, Syracuse’s defense was fatigued, and UNC took advantage. Four consecutive three-and-outs had the defense on the field for what felt like forever, and the Tar Heels extended their lead with a trio of touchdown drives. It’s not DeVito’s faultWhile Tommy DeVito is partly responsible for the points Syracuse left on the table, he’s wasn’t the main problem with SU’s offense in Saturday’s loss.Even with minimal protection, DeVito protected the ball, scrambled when he had to and made enough accurate throws downfield. His receivers just didn’t make plays, and the offensive line rarely gave him time to let plays develop. When DeVito had a clean pocket, he made accurate throws. In the redzone in the second quarter, he found a wide-open Sharod Johnson on a corner route, but his touch pass fell right through the redshirt junior’s arms. On a two-minute drill to end the half, DeVito scampered out of the pocket on a 3rd and 9 to extend the drive and threw two perfect balls deep down the sideline to Taj Harris. The first, where Harris was held but no penalty was called, led Harris half a step out of bounds. The second went through his hands.DeVito also extended Syracuse’s field goal drive by running for a first down on 3rd and 11, though he didn’t see an open Aaron Hackett in the end zone on third and goal minutes later. Earlier in the week when asked about his unproven receiving corps, DeVito said, “everybody can catch the football.” At least on Saturday, he was wrong. Struggling running backs On the first drive of the game, UNC’s running back Javonte Williams started to the right of Howell, crossed in front of him and took linebacker Geoff Cantin-Arku’s legs out. If he hadn’t been there, Cantin-Arku would’ve had an easy blindside block. Syracuse’s running backs didn’t make enough of those plays. Second string back Markenzy Pierre just barely grazed star linebacker Chazz Surratt on a blitz up the A-gap on second down. Surratt brought down DeVito for a 10-yard loss, effectively eliminating Syracuse’s comeback chances. Pierre and Jawhar Jordan also struggled in the running game, totaling 38 yards. DeVito, who struggled to extend plays with his feet last year, led SU in rushing (30 yards).SU needs any help it can get in pass protection. Pierre and Jordan, now key players after Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard opted out of the season, didn’t provide much help on Saturday.  Published on September 12, 2020 at 3:42 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmermancenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Gor thrash Sofapaka to go massive 20 clear

first_img0Shares0000Gor Mahia fans show full support for their team. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – Gor Mahia thrashed Sofapaka 3-0 in a Kenyan Premier League clash hosted at the Narok Stadium on Wednesday to go massive 20 points clear at the top of the table, needing just one point in their next match to seal a record 17th title. K’Ogalo, who entered the clash at the back of a 1-2 loss to Rayon, got its goals from Joachim Oluoch who netted the opener two minutes to the half time whistle before Innocent Wafula doubled the lead on the 63rd minute. Samuel Onyango then sealed the win six minutes to stoppage time to see the 16-time record Kenyan Premier League champions open a massive 20 point lead at the summit ahead of second placed Bandari.The win left Gor needing just a point when they face bitter rivals AFC Leopards on Sunday in the second leg of the Mashemeji Derby to retain the title with six matches to spare.Sofapaka, who stretched their winless run to three matches,  remained fourth on the log with 44 points.Sofapaka could have gone ahead early when they were awarded a penalty after Gor defender Charles Momanyi brought down Ezekiel Okare in the box but Kepha Aswani squandered the opportunity, this is after K’Ogalo third choice shot-stopper Fredrick Odhiambo punched away the spot kick to keep the champions in the game.On the other end, Gor utilized their chance well to break the deadlock on the 42nd minute when Oluoch fired a Samuel Onyango rebound past Sofapaka goalie Wycliffe Kasaya.In the second half, Sofapaka suffered a double blow on the 62nd minute when Kasaya failed to clear a back pass from Mohammed Kilume after being charged down by Lawrence Juma who nicked the off him forcing Kasaya to bring him down.Kasaya was handed his marching orders with keeper Kigonya coming in place of Mico Justin for Innocent Wafula to score the resultant penalty.In the 83rd minute, Samuel Onyango secured all three points for Gor with a curling effort into the left-hand post after being played through by Cercidy Okeyo.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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