Syracuse, NY-In front of an announced crowd of 50, 248 the third-largest crowd in Carrier Dome history. No.1 Clemson, the defending national champions, cruised by Syracuse 41-6 on Saturday night, improving their record to 3-0.
Orange QB Tommy DeVito completed just 15 of 27 passes for 172 yards in addition to an interception against the No. 1-ranked Clemson Tigers. DeVito was pressured all game long with exotic blitzes coming from all directions. Syracuse was held to just 15 yards rushing. DeVito was sacked eight times by the Clemson defense. The Orange quarterback couldn’t set his feet in the pocket, let alone run a football play against the best defense in the country. He has been sacked a total of 14 times in the Orange’s first three games.
In four trips to the red zone, Syracuse kicked two field goals, threw an interception and turned the ball over on downs. The Orange never got into a rhythm offensively and couldn’t block the Tigers front four.
“I’m just sad we couldn’t do more for the community. They wanted the giant upset and all that kind of stuff and we sure wanted to deliver for ’em. The student body was fantastic, the band and the entire city’s support. We’re disappointed that we couldn’t deliver, but our guys will be back. Our guys will be ready to go.” “Syracuse coach Dino Babers said.
Sophomore Trevor Lawrence had an electric night with 395 yards passing and three touchdowns, but his two interceptions brought him to five on the early season, more than he had in all of 2018. Power back Travis Etienne was held in check with 76 yards rushing on 14 carries and didn’t see paydirt. Receiver Tee Higgins (seven catches for 150 yards) and Amari Rodgers (four catches for 121 yards and two scores) had huge games for the Tigers.
Clemson’s defensive guru Brent Venables deserves credit for his exotic packages that left the Orange offense looking confused. Venables’ defense simply ran over the Orange offensive line with ease.
The Orange had a few opportunities to punch it between the pylons, their offensive line fell apart at crucial times. Cuse in the third quarter started a drive on the 3-yard line, after a Trill Williams interception was returned 41 yards, resulting in zero points as the Orange couldn’t punch it in on fourth and goal.
Syracuse had four trips into the red zone and just six points to show for it. They just didn’t get it done when it mattered the most.
“I’m a little disappointed on the point production. We had the ball on the 3-yard line. We ran it in there two times and we got about that much,” Babers said.
The Tigers led 17-6 at the break. The Orange defense shut down two momentum-changing drives in the third quarter with turnovers that the offense didn’t take advantage of.
“Anytime you win it’s a great thing, but to go on the road and win, especially a division road win, that’s a huge next step for us,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “It starts with our defense. I thought they were amazing.”
- Saturday marked the 12th time Syracuse had faced the top-ranked team in The Associated Press Poll. The Orange slipped to 1-11 in those matchups
- Syracuse faced the reigning national champions for the 10th time with Clemson’s appearance in the Dome. The Orange is 4-6 in those matchups.
Who: Charlotte at No. 1 Clemson
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21
Where: Memorial Stadium (Clemson)
TV: ACC Network