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Tuesday, Oct 10, 2023 at 11:16 am

Syracuse Unable to Contain Drake Maye in 40-7 Loss to North Carolina

By Braden Reed | @BradenReed6

They say perfect offense beats perfect defense.

While the defense for Syracuse was far from it, the North Carolina offense was pretty darn close. The Tar Heels put up close to 650 yards of total offense en route to a 50-7 win over the Orange in Chapel Hill on Saturday.

UNC was led by quarterback Drake Maye: the potential Heisman candidate and projected 1st round NFL draft pick threw for close to 450 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

“Sheesh,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said of Maye. “I mean pick something. He used his legs, he got down and kept himself protected, he took off. When we played zone, he was on the money, and then on his deep balls he didn’t overthrow anybody. He gave everybody a chance. That’s a high-draftable quarterback. We said it coming in, I still feel that way.”

Now this game, of course, wasn’t without its drama. In the first quarter, Syracuse blocked a North Carolina punt, Tar Heel punter Ben Kiernan picked the ball up, tried to run for the first down, and got knocked out of bounds very close to the line to gain.

The officials ruled that he picked up the first down, and Babers vehemently disagreed, even coming out on the field to talk to them. Babers challenged the play, even after it had already been reviewed, but the call on the field stood and North Carolina kept the ball.

“I said I want to challenge it anyway,” Babers explained. “I want it in the record that I challenged that he didn’t make [the line to gain].”

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Syracuse, the Orange go from one ranked opponent to another in Tallahassee next weekend. They’ll take on #4 Florida State, kickoff is set for noon.