This game was frustrating as heck, but doesn’t mean there wasn't positives. But they only matter if this actually leads to change.
Syracuse didn’t play their best against LSU. They were in the game until the final whistle. While there’s a legitimate thought that LSU might not be all that good (by their normal standards), the Orange still went into an SEC stadium, on the road, took a punch or three in the mouth and almost won. That’s something we haven’t seen in my lifetime (sorry) and all we’ve really hoped for.
But here’s the thing: this doesn’t matter. Well, not at least in a way that’s meaningful. We had this same discussion in 2015 when the Orange lost by 10. That head coach is no longer the Syracuse head coach. It didn’t change the direction of program. I don’t bring this up to be a debbie downer, I bring this up for perspective.
Just because the Orange ran for over 300 yards over CMU didn’t mean they’d be even remotely successful versus LSU. So just because the Orange played good defense vs. LSU doesn’t mean it’ll show up versus NC State or Wake Forrest, games the Orange need to win to make a bowl.
The point is there’s no margin for error. The Orange showed that they can do SOMETHING. And that something is really solid football with some weaknesses. But not very many. Eric Dungey knows what previous leadership didn’t quite seem to grasp. A bowl game is the only way we will remember this game (aside from the great tailgates if you made it down) long term. And that’s the way it should be.