Orange crush Seahawks in 2018 home opener

SU dominates Wagner in home opener

Syracuse scores more than 50 points in two straight games.
Published: September 8, 2018

Syracuse forced three interceptions and recorded 456 yards of total offense en route to destroying Wagner, 62-10, in front of a raucous crowd inside the Carrier Dome for the 2018 home opener.

Syracuse’s defense played a big part in the win, especially safety Andre Cisco. The freshman recorded two interceptions during the game, which came on Wagner’s first two possessions of the first quarter. The Orange scored on both of their ensuing possessions.

The SU defense limited the Seahawks to just five third down conversions across 13 chances. One defensive stand that stood out particularly came about halfway through the first quarter. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey threw an interception right after Wagner had just scored a touchdown, which made it a 14-7 game. The defense proceeded to stop the Seahawks offense and that drive ended in a punt.

“Our defense played extremely well tonight,” Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers said. “This was probably our most complete game that we played on offense, defense, and special teams.”

Cisco and the defense were not the only factors that helped the Orange win. The offense also played a big part as well. Dungey had a big game spreading the ball around to multiple receivers, and the gunslinger finished with five touchdowns passes. Dungey completed 25 of 32 pass attempts for 218 yards. The five passing touchdowns ties a program record for most in a game.

Unlike the season opener versus Western Michigan when Jamal Custis was the only wide receiver to catch a pass, Dungey made sure his receivers were well fed on Saturday. Four different wideouts caught a touchdown pass: Sean Riley, Nykiem Johnson, Taj Harris, and Custis. Tight end Ravian Pierce also found the end zone.

Custis continued his impressive start to the campaign. The senior now has three total touchdowns in the young season and has emerged as a primary receiving threat in Syracuse’s offense.

“I feel good,” Custis said. “It feels good to get a win at home, and be 2-0 in front of our fans at home. Looking forward to next weekend and getting another one.”

In addition to Dungey and his receivers, senior running back Dontae Strickland gained 40 yards n the ground and scored two touchdowns. His second touchdown came during Syracuse’s first possession of the second half, and the 20-yard scamper really put the Orange ahead on the scoreboard.

“It’s always great to get in the end zone,” Strickland said. “To be congratulated by my teammates, all credit goes to the offensive line, doing their best blocking job and me picking a hole.”

Already with the best start through two games in the Dino Babers era, the Orange look to carry the momentum from this complete performance into next week for a matchup with Florida State. Kickoff between the Orange and the Seminoles next weekend is at noon inside the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse University running back Dontae Strickland is lifted by offensive lineman Airon Servais after Strickland scored a touchdown during the Sept. 8 game against Wagner College.