Stock watch: Cole Murphy up, Eric Dungey and pass defense down after Syracuse’s 27-19 loss at No. 8 Miami

first_imgSyracuse (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) could not pull off a second-consecutive top-10 upset and lost to Miami (6-0, 4-0 ACC) on Saturday, 27-19. SU scored just three points in the first half and mustered just one touchdown by the game’s end.Here’s a look at some of the notable performance’s from Saturday’s contest.Stock upCole MurphyThe senior kicker kept SU and its listless offense in the game with what was likely the best game of his career. He sunk four field goals — from 22, 40, 45 and 53 yards, respectively — to match his career-best and connected on a new career-long in the fourth quarter to bring the Orange within one point of Miami.Murphy’s offensive output was more than double what the rest of the entire team produced. And it was all done on Hard Rock Stadium’s grass that had been doused with rain earlier in the day, which was evident when Murphy slipped amidst hitting a 40-yarder in the third quarter.If there was ever a performance to show that Murphy has moved past his struggles on the road, this was it. He now needs just three more field goals to become the program’s all-time leader in the category.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRunning gameSU continued to improve running the ball, with senior back Dontae Strickland surpassing 100 yards on the ground for the first time in 2017. He finished with 105 and averaged 7.5 per carry. Junior quarterback Eric Dungey — while he might have made some hearts skip a beat or two with two attempted hurdles over Miami defenders — added 100 yards of his own. And sophomore back Moe Neal carried 14 times, double the highest amount of carries he had received in any game prior this season. Neal finished with 46 yards for a 3.3 average per carry.On a day where Syracuse’s output in the passing game was uncharacteristically low, the running game picked up some of the slack. If SU can manage to do both well in its remaining games, it’s sure to do better than the single touchdown it scored Saturday.HealthPlaying in arguably the toughest division in football seemed to catch up with SU at the end of the game. Players looked to be breathing a little heavier. Limping was commonThe injuries that are piling up don’t help Syracuse: defensive ends Josh Black and Kendall Coleman did not travel with team; the secondary was missing sophomore corner Scoop Bradshaw and graduate transfer safety Jordan Martin; Steve Ishmael missed time in the first half. One of the team’s top defenders, Antwan Cordy, hasn’t played since the opener.Syracuse could use a break, and that’s what it’ll get this upcoming weekend with no game schedule until next Saturday, Nov. 4 at Florida State.Stock downReceiving corpsHead coach Dino Babers said after the game that his team “can’t always be the Ishmael show.” He needs other receivers to step up. That statement is understandable considering Dungey completed a season-low 13 passes to four different receivers — Ishmael, senior Ervin Philips, sophomore Devin C. Butler and Strickland.Ishmael’s productive season so far— he was named a midseason second-team All-American last week — has helped mask a lack of depth among the receiving corps. But if he goes out with injury or has a four-catch day like he did against Miami, the offense is left with a massive void that needs to be filled. For Butler, Sean Riley and Jamal Custis, that space is theirs to fill.Eric DungeyDungey became the first quarterback in FBS this season to throw four interceptions in a half. After 11 pass attempts, he had just one completion. He finished the game with a 31.7 completion percentage, a stat that hadn’t dipped below 54.3 percent all season.Dungey deserves credit for fighting through a walloping at the hands of the Hurricanes — he was sacked four times and hurried another six — and can’t shoulder all the blame. On some of the interceptions, it appeared a receiver might have run the wrong route. His offensive line was porous. But he is the leader of the team and offense, and when he doesn’t perform well, it’s hard to expect wins.Pass defenseOn the flipside, Miami’s quarterback Malik Rosier put up a career-best 344 passing yards for two touchdowns. In the second quarter, a five-man rush from SU didn’t get nearly enough pressure and Rosier calmly flicked a 10-yard touchdown to Christopher Herndon IV. The Orange finished with no sacks and just three quarterback-hurries.Later in the third, Rosier connected on a 48-yard throw to Jeff Thomas after SU’s graduate transfer defensive back Devin M. Butler got beat right off the line. Syracuse and its injury-plagued secondary had just two passes defensed.It is hard to win when you let the other team’s quarterback have his best game ever. And that kind of showing can be especially dangerous when two of the ACC’s top quarterback’s by passer-rating remain on SU’s schedule; reigning Heisman Trophy-winner Lamar Jackson is at the helm for Louisville and ranks third in ACC with Wake Forest’s John Wolford sits one spot behind him the fourth slot. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm Contact: [email protected] | @jtblosslast_img

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