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October 15, 2013

Syracuse team report

This weekend Syracuse travels to Georgia Tech to take on the Yellow Jackets. Here is a quick look at both teams heading into the weekends game.

Syracuse (3-3, 1-1)

Game: Syracuse 24, N.C. State 10. The Orange broke a fourth-quarter tie with two touchdowns in the final 6 1/2 minutes, winning its first-ever ACC road game. Syracuse churned out 362 yards on the ground, led by RB Jerome Smith's 140 and Prince-Tyson Gulley's 132.

Takeaway: The Orange has decided that a smash-mouth approach is going to work best and that worked out well against N.C. State's depleted defensive front. Syracuse gained 9.1 yards per rush.

That's one way to disguise a struggling passing attack. The gained only 74 yards in the air, refusing to panic and sticking to the ground attack.

Three players scored touchdowns for the Orange, so it was able to spread it around.

The Orange was better on defense than a week earlier against Clemson, which has a much more potent attack than N.C. State. Syracuse showed particular effectiveness in red-zone defense, saving points in multiple situations.

Syracuse might meet its match in the rushing department with its next game at Georgia Tech, which has made a living running the ball in recent seasons. Georgia Tech, though, has lost its last three games.

Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2)

Game: Brigham Young 38, Georgia Tech 20. The Yellow Jackets fell behind early and didn't have the spark to keep up with Brigham Young. Georgia Tech scored only seven second-half points, and those came in the game's final minute.

Takeaway: Now it might be back to the drawing board for the Yellow Jackets, who've lost three games in a row. Granted, the opponents have been no slouches, but this still is reason for concern.

The successes from early in the season have gone by the wayside and the Yellow Jackets have becoming more predictable in terms of scouting.

They want to get the passing game going to offset all the rushing elements to the offense. But that doesn't seem to be happening and coach Paul Johnson has been frustrated by the production level.

QB Vad Lee's 7-for-20 accuracy in the loss at Brigham Young isn't likely to cause much of a stir in terms of needing to pay extra attention to the passing attack.

The defense hasn't exactly been strong either during the losing streak. The Yellow Jackets have faced various types of offensive attacks and they haven't really solved any of those the past few weeks.

At least when Syracuse comes in for the next game, the most pressing assignment will be to lock down the rushing attack. That might be what Georgia Tech is most capable of doing.



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