Following back-to-back thrilling, comeback wins, Miami has found itself one of just eight unbeaten teams in the nation and ranked inside the top 10. However, some analysts have put the Hurricanes on “upset alert” in Week 8, as Syracuse comes to town fresh off a stunning victory over No. 2 Clemson.
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Miami-Syracuse recap, box score
Final: Miami 27, Syracuse 19
It was another nail-biter, but Miami pulled it out. The Hurricanes move to 6-0 with their third straight win by a single score.
2:48 4Q: Miami 27, Syracuse 19
Travis Homer finally broke though. After Miami’s running game flailed through the entire afternoon, the running back finally picked up the chunks he needed to get the Hurricanes’ lead back up to a touchdown. A 33-yard touchdown run could be enough to win the game.
5:23 4Q: Miami 20, Syracuse 19
Eric Dungey won’t stop making big plays. The quarterback got Syracuse on the board once again with a 33-yard scramble to move the Orange into Miami territory. Miami’s defense wouldn’t quite break, though, and Syracuse had to settle for another field goal, this time a 53-yarder for kicker Cole Murphy.
The Hurricanes keep missing opportunities and the Orange is doing a good job getting points out of nearly every possession at this point. Miami needs to figure out some way to string an extended drive together without any semblance of a run game.
7:15 4Q: Miami 20, Syracuse 16
Miami tried to go to Darrell Langham again in a key spot and this time the nation’s most surprising big-play threat couldn’t convert. Malik Rosier short armed a pass to the wide receiver, who couldn’t quite haul in a clutch 4th-down conversion.
It was a serious gamble by coach Mark Richt, whose Hurricanes were inside kicker Michael Badgley’s range. Syracuse will now have a chance to take the lead with a touchdown.
9:52 4Q: Miami 20, Syracuse 16
Syracuse continues to chip away. After forcing Miami into a 3-and-out to start the fourth quarter, the Orange marched right back down into Hurricane territory to boot through another field goal.
Miami hasn’t done much of anything during the second half aside from a 48-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Thomas. Remove that play and the Hurricanes have only managed 76 yards on 19 second-half plays.
End 3: Miami 20, Syracuse 13
Syracuse has found a solution to beat this Miami defense. The Orange isn’t even trying to throw the ball anymore and it’s paying off.
Syracuse is up to 214 rushing yards on only 38 attempts, an average of 5.6 yards per carry. In the third quarter alone, the Orange ran for 170 yards on 13 carries.
1:08 3Q: Miami 20, Syracuse 13
It didn’t take long for Syracuse to answer. The Orange only needed six plays to go 65 yards into the end zone with all 65 yards coming on the ground.
Moe Neal capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown, but most of the work was done by quarterback Eric Dungey, who flipped the field with a 28-yard run and then broke off another 14-yard scamper.
2:51 3Q: Miami 20, Syracuse 6
Miami’s stagnating offense needed a big play. Jeff Thomas delivered.
The freshman wide receiver hauled in a 48-yard touchdown to end the Hurricanes’ scoring drought and stretch their lead back to two touchdowns. It was the first catch of the game for Thomas and put Malik Rosier right up near 300 passing yards. The quarterback is 21 of 34 with 280 yards and 2 touchdowns.
— Miami DieHards (@MiamiDieHards) October 21, 2017
8:55 3Q: Miami 13, Syracuse 6
Syracuse is back within a touchdown of Miami after a 40-yard field goal by Cole Murphy.
Miami punted away after a couple first downs during its first drive and the Orange responded with one of its best drives of the day. Syracuse raced 70 yards down the field in only 12 plays – complete with a 4th-down conversion – to knock in a field goal and climb within 7 points.
Halftime: Miami 13, Syracuse 3
It feels like Miami should be up more. Syracuse turned the ball over four times, but the Hurricanes have only been able to turn the mistakes into one touchdown despite dramatically outplaying the Orange. Miami is outgaining Syracuse 243-137 and has done it on 10 fewer plays.
1:27 Q2: Miami 13, Syracuse 3
Michael Jackson’s neck is going to be sore tonight. The defensive back is the first player to earn the turnover chain twice in one game after picking off Eric Dungey for a second time.
Dungey briefly found a rhythm earlier this quarter, but Miami’s defense has responded with relentless pressure to shut down the quarterback. Dungey is 7 for 22 with 4 interceptions now. He boasts a measly 19.1 quarterback rating.
6:19 Q2: Miami 13, Syracuse 3
Syracuse is finally on the board. After converting one 4th down in the red zone, the Orange still had to settle for a field goal by Cole Murphy.
This was the first time Syracuse really moved the ball against Miami and it came at a cost. Wide receiver Steve Ishmael appeared to suffer an injury during the final offensive play of the drive.
10:41 Q2: Miami 13, Syracuse 0
Miami is dealing with a team-wide case of the dropsies. Star wide receiver Ahmmon Richards has already dropped three passes himself and the team, unofficially, has committed four. The Hurricanes squander good field position and settle for a 39-yard field goal by kicker Michael Badgley.
Miami has dominated so far, but it’s never smart to let coach Dino Babers hang around. Syracuse can put up points in a hurry if his offense gets rolling.
13:31 Q2: Miami 10, Syracuse 0
For the second straight drive, Miami has busted out the turnover chain. This time a diving interception by Jaquan Johnson gives the Hurricanes a chance to set up a drive at their own 39.
The turnover chain may get a lot of use today. pic.twitter.com/m0Y5onYlDQ
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) October 21, 2017
Eric Dungey has been a mess just more than a week after leading an upset against Clemson. The quarterback is 1 for 10 with 3 interceptions already.
14:22 Q2: Miami 10, Syracuse 0
Miami has finally gotten Christopher Herndon consistently involved and the tight end is into the end zone. Malik Rosier found the senior for a 10-yard touchdown on a slant round to give the Hurricanes a two-score lead early in the second quarter.
Herndon is rolling. The receiver already has 6 catches for 74 yards today.
End 1: Miami 3, Syracuse 0
Miami is back in business after busting out the turnover chain. The Hurricanes have only needed six plays to get from their own 16-yard line all the way to Syracuse’s 21.
Big plays are fueling Miami so far and this drive has had them so far. Travis Homer has one 24-yard catch and Christopher Herndon has a 35-yard grab.
2:04 Q1: Miami 3, Syracuse 0
After it stayed tucked away all game against Georgia Tech, the turnover chain is back. Michael Jackson pulled in an interception off a bad pass by Eric Dungey to halt a Syracuse drive on Miami’s side of the field.
Probably the best turnover chain celebration yet. pic.twitter.com/3FI0zRkduI
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) October 21, 2017
7:25 Q1: Miami 3, Syracuse 0
Miami didn’t have any trouble getting down the field on its opening drive of the game, but for the second straight week the Hurricanes are having red-zone issues. Miami settled for 3 points after failing to punch it in on three consecutive plays from inside the 5-yard line. Michael Badgley knocked through an 18-yard field.
It was still an encouraging opening drive for the Hurricanes. Quarterback Malik Rosier went 5 for 6 with 55 yards and running back Travis Homer ran for 21 yards on 5 carries. The Orange’s defense looks overmatched.
Miami-Syracuse game information, picks
Date: Saturday, October 21
Time: 3:30 p.m.
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPN
Pick: Miami 44.2-19.8 (from the OddsShark computer)
Odds: Miami -17
Miami’s 5-0 start to the season, coupled with the dramatic fashion in which the Hurricanes have pulled out their last two wins, have the Hurricanes ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll. Some analysts are predicting the Hurricanes will make a run to the College Football Playoff.
To keep its playoff hopes alive, however, Miami needs to avoid the fate suffered by Clemson in Week 7: an upset at the hands of Syracuse.
While Miami has shown impressive resilience in finding ways to win games, it has also looked ripe for an upset the past two weeks.
Last week, the Hurricanes came back from down 10 points in the second half to beat Georgia Tech, thanks in large part to a tipped pass that was caught by receiver Darrell Langham on the sidelines in the final seconds. That set up a game-winning field goal from Michael Badgley.
The week before, against Florida State, Langham caught the game-winning touchdown pass with 6 seconds remaining to beat the Seminoles by 4.
Miami coach Mark Richt has voiced his desire for his team to start games better on offense. That offense has been rooted in a strong ground game that produced 184 yards against Georgia Tech despite star tailback Mark Walton being out for the season with an ankle injury. Walton’s replacement, sophomore Travis Homer, contributed 170 of those yards against the Yellow Jackets.
The Syracuse defense been better against the run than against the pass this season, limiting opponents to under 130 yards per game on the ground. Just because Miami has run the ball effectively this year, however, does not mean Syracuse can sell out to stop the ground game.
Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier has shown that he can win games with his arm.
Against Georgia Tech, Rosier threw 37 passes, completing 23 for 297 yards and a touchdown. On the season, he has thrown for 272 yards per game and 12 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions. Most importantly, Rosier has come up clutch, delivering big throws in key moments in each of the last two weeks.
On the other side of the ball, the Hurricane defense will face a challenge in stopping Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey.
Dungey, in his second full year as the team’s starter, has been exceptional all season, and he continued that strong play against Clemson last week. Dungey threw for 276 yards, three touchdowns and — perhaps most importantly — no interceptions against the Tigers. On the season, Dungey ranks 15th nationally in yards per game with just over 297.
Dungey has two imposing targets in receivers Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips. Ishmael leads the nation with 62 receptions on the season and ranks third nationally and first in the ACC with 114.6 yards per game. Phillips has emerged as a red zone threat, scoring three touchdowns on the year.
Miami’s defense has been fairly stout all season, though its secondary has struggled at times. Against the Orange, the Hurricanes will be without starting cornerback Dee Delaney.
As a whole, Miami’s defense ranks No. 20 nationally, allowing an average of 18.6 points per game.
The post Miami-Syracuse: recap, box score for Week 8 (October 21, 2017) game appeared first on Diehards.