Stock watch: Devin C. Butler up, just about everything else down down
Published on November 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm Contact: [email protected] | @jtbloss SafetiesSU had just two breakups, one sack and two quarterback hurries. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that Lamar Jackson is among the best players in the country. Most of it, though, can be credited to an SU defense that played poorly on all levels. The safety play, in particular, could have been better.Sophomore Evan Foster missed out on several tackles, the most glaring of which came on a Lamar Jackson 43-yard touchdown run. Foster had a chance one-on-one to bring Jackson down in the flat and whiffed. Later, redshirt junior safety Rodney Williams had a perfect pass from Jackson sail right past him on a 72-yard touchdown.Zack MahoneyAfter struggling heavily in the second half of SU’s loss to Wake Forest, Mahoney continued on the same track against Louisville. He continued the trend of throwing an interception on the opening drive of a road game, and added a second interception later. The senior completed just five of his 15 pass attempts. Redshirt freshman Rex Culpepper replaced him in the second quarter.Mahoney fell to 1-8 as a starter since coming to Syracuse as a walk-on and earning the backup role. The latest loss couldn’t have come at a more inopportune moment. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Bowl aspirations are as good as dead for Syracuse (4-7, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) after a 56-10 demolition at the hands of Louisville (7-4, 4-4) at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Saturday evening. Without quarterback Eric Dungey, Syracuse’s offense crumbled while Louisville’s star quarterback, Lamar Jackson, led the way with nearly 400 yards of total offense — seeming to do so with relative ease.Here’s a look at some of the notable performances from the game.Stock upDevin C. ButlerSyracuse’s offense was atrocious; two quarterbacks combined for 13 completions and not until the fourth quarter did the unit score a touchdown. If there was one bright spot, it had to be Butler, the only receiver to haul in more than two catches on the day. The sophomore finished with five receptions for 63 yards. A few times, he was able to stretch out short passes for a few extra yards.All season long, Butler was one of a few vying to permanently fill SU’s second outside receiver position opposite Steve Ishmael. As a quarterback for most of his life, he’s yet to master the ins and outs of the position. But he will have to play a larger role in the offense next year, and any sort of flashes late in the year are good building blocks to take into the offseason.Cole MurphyIn his only field goal attempt, Murphy nailed a 51-yarder with relative ease. Yes, he had the wind at his back, but it would have likely gone in for 60 yards out, too. And given the senior kicker’s intermittent struggles on the road, the hit was a bright spot on a miserable day for SU. It brought SU within four points of Louisville at the time.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStock downSteve IshmaelThe senior wide receiver needed three catches on Saturday to break SU’s single-season receptions record set by Amba Etta-Tawo last year. With 54 yards, he would have passed Marvin Harrison as the school’s all-time leading receiver in yards.Ishmael didn’t claim any of those records. He finished with just two catches for 29 yards despite having at least four catches in every game so far this year.After the game, Ishmael told Syracuse.com that his lack of production had nothing to with the fact that Louisville’s top corner Jaire Alexander covered him for most of the game, instead suggesting that the weather made it tough for the quarterbacks to get him the ball. On Twitter, Alexander begged to differ, painting a not-so-pretty picture of how Ishmael responded to the struggles.