After jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Tiger offense struggled for much of the remainder of the first half. The second quarter begins with the Orange in the middle of a 10 play 48 yard drive that would eventually result in a FG. The rest of the quarter saw the two teams combine for six 3 & outs, with a couple of FGs mixed in, one by each team.
Since there wasn’t a whole lot of action in the quarter, we are going to do a more abbreviated version. No need to go through each and every play of a bunch of 3 & outs.
Clemson 14 Syracuse 0
Syracuse Ball, 1st & 10 CU 29, 15:00
Syracuse ran the ball 5 consecutive times to start the quarter, picking up 18 yards and driving to the Tiger 11. There they faced a 3rd & 3, and Mario Goodrich, breaks up the pass intended for Taj Harris.
Syracuse would have to settle for a 29-yard FG from Andre Szmyt.
Clemson 14 Syracuse 3
Clemson Ball, 1st & 10 CU 25, 12:11
The Tigers get a pass interference call on the first play of the series giving them a 1st down at the CU 40. Travis Etienne picked up 2 on an IZ on 1st down, but two straight incompletions would follow, and the Tigers punted. Trevor Lawrence tried to hit Frank Ladson on 2nd down and Justyn Ross on 3rd. Both were shots down the field. Will Spiers punt goes for just 32 yards.
Syracuse Ball, 1st & 10 Cuse 26, 11:05
Orange QB Tommy Devito was sacked by Tanner Muse 1st down, loss of 7. Tyler Davis was there too. Venables is bringing the heat from everywhere. On 2nd down, it is James Skalski and KJ Henry combining to sack DeVito, loss of 7. The Orange don’t come close to converting the 3rd & 24, and punt.
The 1st down sack
The 2nd down sack
Clemson Ball, 1st & 10 CU 30, 9:25
Another 3 & out for the Tiger offense. A Gage Cervenka false start backed them up 5 yards, and Lawrence, off a play fake, rolls left and hits Tee Higgins for a gain of 12. Lawrence hits Ross on a WR screen, picks up 2, and on 3rd & less than a yard, Lyn-J Dixon gets stopped short. JC Chalke misses a block that allows the defender to get to Dixon. Spiers punt goes 37 yards.
Syracuse Ball, 1st & 10 Cuse 24, 7:15
It is the Orange’s turn to go 3 & out. Xavier Thomas sacks DeVito on 1st down, loss of 2. Moe Neal picks up 6 on 2nd down, and DeVito is under pressure on 3rd down and throws it away.
The XT sack:
Clemson Ball, 1st & 10 CU 21, 6:00
Tigers go 56 yards in 6 plays, highlighted by a 58 yard pass to Tee Higgins, and add a BT Potter 40-yard FG. This is the play in which Tee was called for the facemask.
Clemson 17 Syracuse 6
Syracuse Ball, 1st & 10 Cuse 25, 4:31
The Orange go on a 7 play 70 yard drive, managing to get it all the way to the Clemson 5, but again have to settle for 3. The big play was a 50-yard reception from Moe Neal. One of the few times Tanner Muse didn’t make the play.
Clemson 17 Syracuse 6
Clemson Ball, 1st & 10 CU 25, 2:00
Another Clemson 3 & Out. Lawrence’s pass to Ross down left sideline goes off Ross’s hands on 1st down. Ross on a quick hitch gets 7 on 2nd down, On 3rd & 3 Lawrence and Ross can’t connect on a short crosser over the middle. Spiers punts, 44 yards.
Syracuse Ball, 1st & 10 Cuse 25, 1:37
Syracuse runs 3 plays and loses a yard. Tyler Davis sacks DeVito on 1st down.
So the Tigers take a 17-6 lead into the half. Odd game so far. After Etienne was banged up, it seemed the staff just went away from the run almost entirely, instead choosing to attack down the field. Nothing odd about throwing downfield, but this staff rarely goes away from the run for an extended period like they did in this one.