Tag Archives: Syracuse Orange

Buffalo Bulls vs. Syracuse Orange, 12-18-18: In-game report

A one-sided rivalry in upstate New York finished with a new twist on Tuesday night.  The 14th-ranked Buffalo Bulls defeated Syracuse, 71-59, to earn their first victory against the Orange since 1963.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

2 Jeremy Harris (6’7 185) Buffalo guard- Senior

Harris was the conductor of the Buffalo offense against the Orange. Against Syracuse’s famed 2-3 zone, Harris manned the middle and made passes from the free throw line to initiate the Bulls offense. The senior guard also showed the ability to drive to the basket using a hesitation dribble and despite a low percentage this season, he has shot the ball well from three in the past (41 percent in 2017-18).  Harris has good length and a strong offensive skill-set but his lateral quickness and strength will be tested at the next level.   the season, Harris is averaging 13 points per game, five rebounds and 2.7 assists.

5 C.J. Massinburg (6’3 194) Buffalo guard-Senior

Massinburg has been the go-to scorer for the Bulls over the last three seasons.  This year, he is averaging 17 points per game on 48- percent shooting. Earlier in the season against West Virginia, he scored 43 points and against Syracuse, he had 25. Despite a slight build, Massingburg isn’t afraid to rebound the ball.  He’s averaging seven rebounds on the season.  His team relies on him for so much of the scoring load that he hasn’t prioritized setting up others at Buffalo, but this will be a needed skill  for Massinburg to make it in the NBA as a guard. 

25 Tyus Battle (6’6 205) Syracuse-Junior 

When it comes to big shot making, Tyus Battle is the equivalent of Buffalo’s C.J Massinburg.

“He makes (big shots),“ Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said, after Battle hit a game winning shot against Georgetown earlier in the season. “He makes a lot of big shots, probably as much as anybody who’s been here or more. He’s right there.”

“He’s a very good player. He hurt us last year and he hurt us this year,” added former Georgetown All-American center and current head coach, Patrick Ewing.

Against Buffalo, Battle scored 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Battle is best when he can get out in transition, and then avoid players with his strong two-handed dribbling abilities.  From his downhill attacking,  Battle can open up his game with his pull-up jumper. 

Here is an example of how Battle’s constant push of the ball in transition forces defenders to backpedal and give him a free release on his jumper:

As is always the question with Syracuse players, can Battle play man to man defense after spending years in the 2-3 zone?

Western Michigan vs. Syracuse, 8-31-18: In-game report

The Western Michigan Broncos and the Syracuse Orange engaged in a high scoring back and forth battle on Friday night.  However, the Orange used an overpowering first half to defeat the Broncos, winning by a final score of 55-42.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

17 Jamal Custis 6’5, 224 Syracuse WR- Senior

Custis’ 168-yard receiving performance exceeded his career total entering 2018 (142 yards).

Former Syracuse wide receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and Steve Ishmael were workhorse-types who could be depended on to carry Syracuse’s offense at times.  Custis’ performance on Friday night indicates that he is capable of similar production.  The senior wide receiver put the team on his back in the first half, making two spectacular over the shoulder grabs, one of which resulted in a touchdown.  He finished the night with six catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns.  His best grab may have come in the second half when after running towards the sideline at full speed, he reached back with his left hand for an impressive one-handed grab.  He then used his size to bull his way into the end zone after making a defender miss in the open field.  What really stood out from Custis was his willingness to use his 6-foot-5-inch frame to block on the outside for running backs.

Syracuse linebackers

The high scoring affair underscored a largely disappointing night defensively for both teams.  But a few Orange linebackers did stand out.  Senior inside linebacker Ryan Guthrie (6’2, 224) flashed sideline-to-sideline speed and finished with four tackles, one of which was for a loss.  The sideline-to-sideline speed did get Guthrie in trouble when he ran himself out of a play that resulted in a Western Michigan 64-yard rushing touchdown.  Senior outside linebacker Kielan Whitner (6’0, 215) showed a willingness to play with discipline.  In the first quarter, on a run play to the opposite side of the field, Whitner stayed even with the right tackle in order to maintain his gap control in the event of a cut back and then chased down Western Michigan’s running back from behind for a tackle for loss.  The former strong safety finished with six tackles, an interception and a pass deflection.

Syracuse offensive production

Senior quarterback Eric Dungey (6’4, 226) is the commander of the offense and sort of a Swiss Army knife, when it comes to his ability to run and pass.  Dungey ran for 200 yards (13.3 yards per carry) and passed for 184 yards while accounting for three total touchdowns. The senior will have to work on his accuracy, as he completed just seven of his 17 pass attempts and routinely missed receivers in stride.  Head coach Dino Babers did a great job of mixing up the team’s play calls and formations.  Look for Syracuse to continue to run a heavy dose of read option, shotgun and traditional multiple tight end and fullback sets going forward.  In total, the offense scored 55 points and racked up 560 yards.

7 D’Wayne Eskridge (5’9, 190) Western Michigan WR- Junior

Eskridge, a former state champion 100-meter and 200-meter state champion at Bluffton HS (Ind.), went over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career versus the Orange.

Eskridge plays an aggressive game at wide receiver. The junior wide receiver makes all of his routes look the same because of his explosiveness off the line.  In the first quarter, Eskridge attacked the backpedaling cornerback before stopping on a dime for a 15-yard gain. Eskridge is skilled at using minimal steps to get in and out of his breaks.  He finished with eight catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns. The wide receiver could improve his route running a bit.  In the first half near the goal line, Eskridge rounded his slant route and allowed Syracuse junior cornerback Scoop Bradshaw (6’0, 176) to come underneath him, deflect and nearly intercept a pass.

 

2018 Season Preview: North Carolina Tar Heels

 Season outlook

Larry Fedora will have to make do without 13 suspended players to begin the season. Nine of the 13 players including sophomore quarterback Chazz Surratt will miss four games. Since multiple players share the same positions, Fedora will have the option of staggering the suspensions. However, even with a fully equipped roster, it will be an uphill climb for the Tar Heels, who finished 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the ACC. The Tar Heels will be able to hang their hat offensively on their skilled positions. The trio of sophomore running back Michael Carter (5’9, 195), junior tight end Carl Tucker (6’2, 255) and junior wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams (6’1, 205) will be the core of the offense. Defensively, the position most hurt by the suspensions will be defensive end. Sophomore Tomon Fox (6’3, 250) and senior Malik Carney (6’3, 245) will both miss four games apiece. Junior defensive back Myles Dorn (6’2, 210) is one player Fedora will be able to count on. Dorn finished last season with two interceptions and 71 tackles. Dorn has the skill to join fellow former defensive back M.J. Stewart in the NFL one day.

Troy’s player to watch

17 Anthony Ratliff-Williams 6’1 205 WR-Junior

“Do it all” is the best way to describe junior wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams. Ratliff-Williams, a former quarterback, has made the transition to wide receiver and kick returner over the past two seasons.  In 2017, Ratliff-Williams averaged 26 yards per kick return and returned two kicks for scores.  He added 35 receptions for 630 yards and six touchdowns.  Look for Ratliff-Williams to once again be featured early and often on special teams and as a receiver in 2018.

Game of the season 

October 20th at Syracuse

The Tar Heels won just one game last season in the ACC. Games against Virginia Tech and Miami could be tough, but North Carolina has to be able to win games against teams that finished with similar records as them last year. Syracuse finished with two wins in the conference a year ago. Both teams will need every victory to become bowl-eligible. Their midseason matchup could decide the postseason fate of both teams.

DraftNasty’s Prospect Watch

36 Cole Holcomb 6’1 215 LB-Senior

Holcomb, pictured, posted a career-high 115 tackles in 2016.

Holcomb has always impressed in the weight room and he can notably squat nearly 600 pounds.  He has decent foot speed and has even been used off the edge to rush the quarterback.  In 2017, he turned in his second-best season and that produced 93 tackles and 2.5 tackles for losses.  Equally adept in coverage, he has gotten his hands on a number of balls.  While only adequate taking on lead blockers, he still needs to add slightly more mass.  He injured his right shoulder in 2017.

 Prediction: 5-7

DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson is predicting a slim improvement over last season. Fedora’s team will win five games and narrowly miss out on bowl eligibility. The Tar Heels will fall to Miami, California, UCF, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Duke.