Syracuse football struggles defending 3rd downs in 35-20 loss to N.C. State

first_img Published on November 12, 2016 at 7:52 pm Contact Chris: cjlibona@syr.edu | @ChrisLibonati SU tried a number of strategies against N.C. State, including overloading the offensive line with blitzers on third down and changing personnel. The changes worked initially — SU held the Wolfpack to just 4-of-11 on third down at one point — but broke down late in the game.“Fifty percent, that’s a big number, that’s a big number,” Babers said. “And that’s going to continue drives, that’s going to give them a lot more plays and that’s going to give them a lot more time of possession.”On North Carolina State’s first drive, the Wolfpack gained at least eight yards on its first five plays, driving 43 yards to the Syracuse 35. On second and 2 from SU’s 27, Josh Black and Zaire Franklin stopped Dayes for a 2-yard loss. Then safety Kielan Whitner jumped on a North Carolina State wide receiver and tipped Finley’s pass away.For third down, Syracuse trotted out De’Jon Wilson and Kendall Coleman at both defensive end spots and paired Josh Black and Chris Slayton at the defensive tackle spots. Franklin and linebacker Parris Bennett walked to the line of scrimmage. In all, Syracuse showed a six-man blitz.The Wolfpack kept its five offensive linemen to block and sent its running back on a swing route. Wilson pass rushed for two steps to pull the right tackle’s attention and then left to cover the running back. That left four offensive linemen to cover five defensive players.Coleman rushed unblocked and sacked Finley. He got up from the sack and pointed at defensive line coach Vinson Reynolds. Babers said SU brought extra pressure because it forced the Wolfpack into third-and-long plays. SU pushed N.C. State into 10 third downs of 5 or more yards and five of 10 or more yards.Jessica Sheldon | Photo Editor“We realized they had a max protection formation,” Coleman said, “so we tried to bring more guys to even that out.”“I thought we matched up extremely well with this football team,” Babers said. “So we didn’t just want to play coverage all the time.”That only worked until midway through the third quarter. On one drive N.C. State converted four third downs of 4, 6, 5 and 12 yards. The Wolfpack picked up 49 yards on those four third downs, which accounted for all but 37 yards on the drive. On N.C. State’s non-third downs, it picked up 3.7 yards per play as opposed to the 12.25 yards per play on third down.Finley and N.C. State moved down the field in 7 minutes, 34 seconds. On its final third down conversion, Wolfpack tight end Jaylen Samuels caught the ball well short of the first-down marker. But he stiff-armed linebacker Parris Bennet, outran defensive back Scoop Bradshaw to the sideline and cut up to pick up 18 yards.Two plays later, Dayes scored again, widening N.C. State’s lead to eight points and distancing itself from SU for good.“We have been been really good on third down and in the red zone,” safety Rodney Williams said, “so when it’s something we really pride ourselves on, it’s tough when we give it up.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img North Carolina State running back Matthew Dayes had beat Zaire Franklin down the left sideline. Ryan Finley’s throw dropped right in front of Franklin because the linebacker failed to turn around. He placed one hand on Dayes, minimal contact on the coverage.The running back dropped the ball as he fell out of bounds. For the second time in two drives, Syracuse would have found a way to get off the field on a fourth down in its own territory. Except the referee drew the flag from his pocket. He called Franklin for a pass interference because the linebacker failed to turn around on the coverage.“I thought I played through the hands, I should have gotten my eyes back,” Franklin said.“I could have played it way better,” Franklin added later. “I look at the penalty as a consequence of me not sticking to my fundamentals.Instead of getting off the field, SU allowed Dayes to rush for a touchdown three plays later. The score tied the game at seven and began the Orange’s (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) inability to usher its defense off the field. N.C. State (5-5, 2-4) punted just four times, converted 10-of-18 (55.6 percent conversion rate) times on third down and converted on one of its two fourth downs. The Wolfpack held the ball for 41 minutes, 18 seconds of the game, good for 68.8 percent of the clock. NCSU won Saturday’s contest in the Carrier Dome, 35-20.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMORE COVERAGE:Eric Dungey ‘probably doubtful’ against Florida StateSyracuse is down to its last strike after loss to N.C. StateGallery: The best sights from SU’s loss to the Wolfpacklast_img read more

Grinding Gears: Coliseum change abandons history

first_imgEric He | Daily TrojanOn Monday, USC announced a new naming rights deal for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with United Airlines, signing over the name of the historic sporting venue in exchange for $69 million. At base level, this is a simple argument. The deal is an easy way to make cash, and we all know USC loves cash. But look at the optics. Look at what we’re going to be calling the Coliseum — this hallowed landmark, the home of two Olympic Games (and soon to be a third in 2028) from now on: the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum. Yuck. First off, they literally replaced “Los Angeles” with “United Airlines.” That just sounds pathetic, and honestly, nobody will ever say the words, “What a great game we saw at the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum last night!” I wouldn’t say those words even if United paid me a royalty every time I uttered their company’s name. Second, of all the airlines out there, it is United, a company best-known for always coming through with that clutch, three-hour flight delay and for dragging screaming passengers off of planes. Lord help us if they ever overbook games at the Coliseum. In all seriousness, this decision boiled down to USC putting profits over tradition, sacrificing history to make a few bucks. Immediate reactions on social media were, as expected, not so popular. But University president C. L. Max Nikias felt proud enough to post not one, not two, but three pictures on his Instagram account from Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony of a $270 million renovation project at the Coliseum, where he also announced the naming rights deal. “L.A. Coliseum was one of the few classy stadiums with no corporate name left,” one commenter responded. “Too bad.” That is true. We’re used to referring to stadiums by their corporate names by now — STAPLES Center, Petco Park, Levi’s Stadium. That’s why these companies break the bank to have their names in big letters: It is an advertising tool that is almost guaranteed to gain attention. But there is something to be said about keeping a stadium’s traditional name. Usually, these are historical sporting venues that a casual fan might know: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Yankee Stadium in New York, Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Before the San Francisco 49ers moved to Levi’s Stadium, they played for decades at Candlestick Park, a stadium located on Candlestick Point, known for its windy, bone-chilling and terrible conditions, but also for hosting the 49ers dynasty of the 1980s that featured multiple Super Bowl runs, as well as the infamous 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s that was interrupted by the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Its name endeared itself so deeply with San Francisco residents that after two highly criticized naming rights deals, residents voted for a proposition to restrict the team’s ability to sell its naming rights. “It was a dump,” former 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark once said of Candlestick Park, “but it was our dump.” Compared to other, newer college football stadiums, the Coliseum might, too, be considered “a dump.” The seats are old and rusty, the concourse looks corroded and — speaking for a friend here — the press box needs an upgrade (read: air conditioning!). So, this $270 million makeover is necessary. “If we’re not changing and moving forward, then we’re stagnant and other schools will pass us up and we won’t be relevant in terms of our facilities,” Athletic Director Lynn Swann said. “There’s a need for change every step of the way.” Swann also added that United’s partnership was key to funding the renovations, which adds to the conundrum. At a school like USC, where boosters and alumni almost always stand behind tradition and legacy, is selling the name of the historic Coliseum worth it to maintain and renovate that piece of tradition? Sadly, in this day and age, where everything must be modern, sleek and state-of-the-art, the answer is yes. Despite the fact that “Los Angeles” is literally being removed from the name, the fact that the sponsor is my least favorite airline and the fact that no one will ever call the stadium by its new official name, this deal is a necessary evil for USC to undergo. Just remember, though, that the Coliseum should,  and will, always remain just that — the Coliseum. It is forever and ever “our dump.” It belongs to us, not to an airline company. Eric He is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Thursdays.last_img read more

Dumoulin wins Giro

first_imgDutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin was the winner of this year’s Giro D’Italia.He claimed first place yesterday in the one-hundredth edition of the race – finishing ahead of Colombia’s Nairo Quintana in the overall standings.Dumoulin took second spot in the final day’s time trial – enough to secure the prize. Photo © Pixabaylast_img