Grading the Orange

Grading the Orange

Syracuse pulled within one game of bowl eligibility on Saturday with a 20-3 win over Maryland. CuseNation.com hands out their grades from the Orange's performance inside.

Syracuse got a big win on Saturday as they defeated Maryland in an ACC road battle. CuseNation.com handed out their grades from the Orange's performance.

Quarterback: C+ Terrel Hunt had a decent game, but hurt the Terrapins with his legs more than his arm. He had a bad interception where he telegraphed a pass and made a poor throw on a slant to Ashton Broyld. His down the field accuracy is also an issue at times.

Running Backs: B+ Jerome Smith and George Morris were strong contributors to the Orange win. Syracuse ran with power and purpose as they racked up over 200-yards on the ground. But Smith did lose a fumble which knocks the grade down a bit.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C While this group did make some plays, like Jarrod West's one handed grab along the sideline or Ashton Broyld's catch over the middle for a big gain, they failed to gain separation down the field on a regular basis.

Offensive Line: A The Syracuse offensive line have Terrel Hunt time and opened up holes for the Orange running backs. They were especially strong on fourth down, where they created space even when Maryland appeared to know how Syracuse was going to attack them. It was a very strong performance from a group that is really coming together.

Defensive Line: B+ This group is becoming a strength for the Orange defense. They were solid against the run and helped pressure Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown. Still, there were times when the pass rush just wasn't there without a blitz, which bumps the grade trade a bit.

Linebackers: A+ The Syracuse linebacking group put on a clinic in Byrd Stadium on Saturday. They blitzed with extreme success, stuffed the run over and over again, and helped lead the Orange to victory. Dyshawn Davis and Marquis Spruill were nearly unblockable as they played in Maryland's backfield all game long.

Secondary: A- They did give up a few plays in the passing game, but were responsible for two interceptions and a forces fumble. There were no communication break downs, and down the field coverage appeared much improved. Julian Whigham has the potential to be a star, and Darius Kelly has stepped up in recent weeks.

Special Teams: B Riley Dixon struggled early, but made solid punts as the game went on. The return game was not spectacular, but the coverage units performed well. Ryan Norton returned and made two field goals. A solid effort from the Syracuse special teams.

Overall Grade: B+ The defense has been nearly perfect the last two weeks and the ground game has been solid. There are still questions about the passing attack. Overall, a big win for the Orange as they inch closer to bowl eligibility.

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