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3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 41-3 handling of Holy Cross

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 28, 2019 at 3:26 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Syracuse handled Holy Cross 41-3 on Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. After exploding for 52 points against Western Michigan last week, the Orange offense throttled their FCS opponent. The Orange extended their turnover streak to 19 with a Holy Cross fumbled punt in the first quarter which led to a score. Quarterback Tommy DeVito completed 19-of-31 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns, including freshman Luke Benson’s 70-yard touchdown reception. Below are takeaways from the Orange’s (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) rout of the Crusaders (1-3).The return of Taj HarrisA year ago Taj Harris caught 40 passes for 565 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman. But through four games this year he’d caught just 11 balls for 163 yards. Saturday, Harris tallied 107 yards receiving and a touchdown for his first 100-yard game in 2019.Harris’ first big play came on over the middle. About 10 yards down the field, Harris spun off two defenders and barreled toward the sideline for a first down. In the second half he caught a pass in a similar location, only this time as he tracked back one step, blockers set up around him. Almost like a punt return, Harris dashed horizontally across the field to the sideline as Syracuse blockers formed a wall. Harris ran down the sidelines and converted on the touchdown.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe game from Harris came at a much needed time for Syracuse. The Orange receiving unit hadn’t had consistent yard gainers outside of Trishton Jackson, who entered Saturday’s game with more than 150 receiving yards than the next receiver.Defense holds up After entering the game favored by as many as 38.5 points, the defense held up its end of the bargain in regards to blowout expectations. It held Holy Cross to 138 yards, including just 18 yards on the ground.The Crusaders’ few attempts to run the ball up the middle failed and as the score opened up, they opted to throw more often. In pass defense, Syracuse’s defensive line finished with five sacks and constantly pressured Holy Cross quarterback Connor Degenhardt.One of the pressure’s on Degenhardt came from defensive linemen Tyrell Richards. As Degenhardt escaped one defender and paroused his options down field, Richards came barreling straight at the quarterback and lowered his head into Degenhardt’s shoulder. The hit elicited an “ooo” from the crowd and after review, Richard was flagged for targeting and ejected from the game.Syracuse’s suffocating defensive line took over in the third quarter. On one series, with Holy Cross still trailing 21, the Orange defensive line pinned the Crusaders against their own end zone. On the first play Alton Robinson and Kenneth Ruff wrapped up Holy Cross running back Domenic Cozier four yards behind the line of scrimmage. The next play, Holy Cross attempted a quick screen to an outside receiver but the ball never made it past Robinson’s hands as he batted and nearly intercepted the pass. Josh Black negated a running back almost immediately after the catch on the following play and one of Holy Cross’ last attempts to stay in the game fell short again.He can kick field goals too! Late in the first quarter Syracuse lined up for a 52-yard field goal but last year’s Lou Groza Award-winning kicker wasn’t attempting the field goal. Instead, punter Sterling Hofrichter trotted out and drilled a 52-yard field goal.Hofrichter, who Dino Babers has praised for hang time on his punts in the past, also kicks off for the Orange. His displays of leg strength in the past correlated with him having a bit of room on the long kick. Andre Szmyt, the Orange’s usual place kicker, kicked all other field goals including attempts after Hofrichter’s long kick. Commentslast_img read more

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