Syracuse football can’t contain Louisville running back Radcliff in loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Brandon Radcliff slipped out of the backfield and the Syracuse front immediately knew what was coming. Micah Robinson tried to abandon the pass rush and follow Radcliff, but his wheels spun and he ended up on one knee. Eric Crume made a similar dash for the outside but also stumbled. The secondary followed Louisville quarterback Reggie Bonnafon as he quickly went through his progressions downfield. It all left the Louisville running back alone in the flat, and Bonnafon lofted a screen to Radcliff that he took 29 yards to the Syracuse 22-yard line. Four plays later, a 4-yard touchdown pass bumped the Cardinals’ lead to an even 20 points. “I think their tailback was running extremely hard with something to try and prove against us,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said. Radcliff started the game by returning Cole Murphy’s kickoff 62 yards and finished it with 110 rushing yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. In the Cardinals’ (5-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) 28-6 win over Orange (2-3, 0-1) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday night, Radcliff was the catalyst of the Louisville offense and the one player that consistently broke SU’s defense down.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I felt like they were going low a lot of those times so I was trying to make a one-cut move on them,” Radcliff said after the game, “trying to break those arm tackles.”Syracuse linebackers coach Clark Lea saw the same thing Radcliff did. Instead of going in and looking to wrap Radcliff up, Lea saw the Orange defenders going in low for what he called “kill shots.” More times than not, it allowed Radcliff to bounce off tackles at the line of scrimmage and pinball to the second level. Louisville gained a total 178 yards on the ground and 174 in the air. “We have to tackle better,” Lea said. “We have to do a better job of eliminating runs at first contact.”Radcliff’s first touchdown came in the first quarter and on the backend of four straight rushes, in which he singlehandedly took Louisville from the SU 22-yard line to the end zone. On his second, Radcliff split Dyshawn Davis and Ritchy Desir at the 10-yard line, and defensive tackle Ryan Sloan tripped over middle linebacker Marqez Hodge while Radcliff crossed the plane. The 14-yard scamper was arguably his most impressive of the night. Louisville turned Bonnafon, a true freshman quarterback, into a game manager and ran the ball 26 more times than it threw it. Radcliff himself ran 23 times — one more than Bonnafon’s 22 total passing attempts. And the Syracuse defense didn’t give Louisville a reason to do much else. “I just felt like he was running the ball really well,” SU cornerback Julian Whigham said. “Their line got a good push, and good job by him.” Comments Published on October 4, 2014 at 11:54 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesselast_img

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