Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee (2) tries to cut back against Syracuse linebacker Cameron Lynch (38), a Brookwood graduate, during Saturday’s game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)
ATLANTA — When Cameron Lynch left Gwinnett County to play football at Syracuse, he never expected to get a chance to play a game in his home state again — at least, in his college career.
But with the Orange entering the Atlantic Coast Conference and immediately being put on the schedule to come to Georgia Tech this season, that opportunity suddenly arose.
“When I found out we were going (to the ACC), we’d get a chance to come here and see my family and everything like that,” Lynch said. “Just playing in my home state, I felt good about it. … I was looking forward to it a lot. I (looked up) in the stands, I was happy to see everybody — my old (Brookwood) teammates, like Nicky Moore and Reeves Blankenship, and everybody like that. It was good to see all my friends and family that came though.”
However, what the Brookwood grad and Syracuse starting linebacker hoped would be a dream homecoming game turned into a nightmare in the Orange’s 56-0 loss the host Yellow Jackets before 45,704 fans Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The game got off to a good enough start for Lynch, who came into Saturday’s game as the Orange’s second-leading tackler with 59 stops, including a sack, along with an interception and four pass break-ups and a quarterback hurry.
He made the tackle on the opening snap of Saturday’s game, but things quickly went downhill for both him and his Syracuse teammates.
Lynch wouldn’t record another tackle the entire day, and Tech’s option offense made it an long afternoon for him and the Orange by piling up 482 yards of total offense, 394 of which came on the ground.
“They executed well,” Lynch said of the Jackets. “They’ve been running that offense for awhile. … (Frustation) bubbles up. You get frustrated, but we kept fighting.”
Lynch has particularly been fighting to get better ever since he came to Syracuse two seasons ago.
And he has progressively done so, moving from 35 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2011 to 42 tackles and four sacks last year to standing just two tackles away from his career best number just over halfway through this season.
Included in that total are career highs of 11 solo tackles and 14 total stops Lynch posted in Syracuse’s win last week at N.C. State, the Orange’s first ACC win since entering the conference this fall.
The progression only reinforces the fit he felt with the Syracuse program ever since he signed with them following his senior season at Brookwood in 2010.
“I’m making plays and working within the scheme of the defense,” Lynch said. “So, I’m happy. … This is a defense I envisioned myself to be in. A blitzing defense. Once we play Wake Forest (next week), hopefully we can put it to them.”
If the rest of the Orange are like Lynch, who repeated often how much he was looking forward getting back on the field next week, they should have no trouble in putting Saturday’s loss behind them and looking forward to taking on Wake Forest next Saturday.
“Nothing beyond that,” Lynch said. “Just one game at a time. … We came up short this game. So next game, we’ll try to get a W.”
Time will tell whether the Orange get another Gwinnett grad back in the lineup for Wake Forest.
Central Gwinnett grad George Morris, who has handled kickoff returns most of the season, averaging 19 yards per return, and has added 114 yards on 26 carries, missed his second straight game with an unspecified upper body injury Saturday.