- Andrea Adelson, College Football
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Toledo has given Syracuse all it can handle, as the teams are tied headed into halftime. Here are a few first-half observations, and a few keys for Syracuse in the second half:
Syracuse has hurt itself in this game. The biggest mistake was on a failed snap in the first quarter. Ryan Nassib was moving up to the line to make a call, but the ball was snapped and Toledo recovered. That led to a 21-yard touchdown run from Morgan Williams to put the Rockets up 10-0.
The Orange have had several red-zone opportunities that they failed to cash in. On a third-and-7 from the Toledo 16, Nassib threw incomplete. Ross Krautman came on and made a 33-yard field goal to tie the game. Later in the second quarter, Nassib threw incomplete from the Toledo 14. Krautman made a 31-yard field goal instead.
Syracuse is playing without a few of its top players on defense. Starting safety Shamarko Thomas is out, while Chandler Jones and Olando Fisher are out again. Keon Lyn appeared to aggravate a shoulder injury late in the first half, and Ri'Shard Anderson hobbled off as well.
Prince-Tyson Gulley has provided a nice spark at running back, with 47 yards on five carries.
Keys for the second half:
Get Toledo off the field. The Rockets have held the ball for 7 more minutes and done a nice job converting on third down. The Rockets have had 12 third-down attempts already in one half, and have made eight.
Keep an eye on Eric Page. He already has 55 yards receiving in the first half and had a kickoff return called back because of a penalty. Page has been wide-open on several occasions, so he has to be contained.
Take advantage of red-zone opportunities. Syracuse has been able to move the ball but then stalls close to the goal line. Can't settle for field goals, even against Toledo.
Toledo has given Syracuse all it can handle, as the teams are tied headed into halftime. Here are a few first-half observations, and a few keys for Syracuse in the second half: Syracuse has hurt itself in this game.