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October 29, 2013Syracuse is coming off of a much needed bye week so where they could go back to the film and learn from their mistakes. This week they take on a Wake Forest team who has been just as up and down as the Orange. Here is a quick glance a both teams.
Syracuse (3-4, 1-2)
Game: The Orange didn't play during the past week.
Takeaway: The Orange needed to recuperate from the pounding inflicted by Georgia Tech in its most-recent game. A week off might have done Syracuse some good, though knowing that Wake Forest nearly upset Miami could hardly have been soothing for the Orange.
Syracuse upended Wake Forest in overtime to start the 2011 season
It was probably difficult to figure out where first-year coach Scott Shafer should start when assessing the ailments after the 56-0 loss at Georgia Tech.
The hope for the Orange is that they defensive problems pertained largely to facing Georgia Tech's triple-option. Wake Forest likes to run the ball, but the Demon Deacons haven't been all that good at that this year.
Syracuse's offense has been more troubling at segments during the season. That has been particularly the case in ACC competition, so maybe some time to tinker with that will give the Orange a boost.
About the only good news for the Orange is that P Riley Dixon has made the next round of cuts for some national awards recognition. Of course, the Orange would like for him to not have too many chances to show what he can do.
Wake Forest (4-4, 2-3)
Game: Miami 24, Wake Forest 21. Wake Forest led most of the game until Miami twice went ahead in the fourth quarter after trailing by 11 points earlier in the game. Wake Forest started strong on offense, but except for a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that dried up.
Takeaway: The Demon Deacons figured they would need a near-perfect game to pull out a road upset at Miami. It nearly happened.
But yielding a couple of late-game touchdowns became the Demon Deacons' downfall. They had been better in late-game situations in their previous two games in knocking off North Carolina State and Maryland.
Coach Jim Grobe said the Demon Deacons got better as a result of the outing against Miami. They've still stalled too often offensively and that leaves the defense carrying the bulk of the pressure too often.
One element that has surfaced is that Grobe seems more apt to break free from his conservative tendencies. The Demon Deacons converted on some fourth downs that would normally be categorized as major gambles under Grobe.
QB Tanner Price threw two touchdown passes, including hitting WR Michael Campanaro on a fourth-down play that led to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter.
Wake Forest had defeated a Top 10 team only once in its history, and it came 67 years to the day of the matchup with No. 7 Miami.
Now the next assignment sends Wake Forest to Syracuse, where a similar theme developed when they met to start the 2011 season. Wake Forest led that game for the most part until Syracuse's late rally forced overtime, and the Demon Deacons lost.