Previewing Orange football Week 3 against Albany

Previewing Week 3 against the Albany Great Danes

Syracuse looks to get back in the win column this Saturday against the Great Danes at the Dome.
Published: September 17, 2021
ed by Taj Harris (3), the Syracuse football team awaits in the tunnel to hit the field before an NCAA football game against Rutgers, Saturday, at the Carrier Dome.
Led by Mikel Jones (3), the Syracuse football team waits in the tunnel to hit the field before an NCAA football game against Rutgers on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at the Dome.

After a disappointing home-opening loss to Rutgers last weekend, Dino Babers’ Syracuse football team is looking to get their first win in the Dome this season. This Saturday, the Orange will play the Albany Great Danes at noon.

Just as it did last year, the offense struggled most of the game in Week 2. Redshirt junior quarterback Tommy DeVito started the game but was replaced by sophomore Garrett Shrader in the second quarter. DeVito returned and played the entire second half. Expect to see both playing again this weekend.

“We are still looking to see both of those guys,” Babers said. “Until we are totally 100 percent sure on who it is, we need to keep letting them compete.”

Getting freshman running back Sean Tucker going after just 54 yards last week will be a big key with continued uncertainty under center. Tucker and the Orange offensive line will face off against a Great Danes defense that has allowed 5.4 yards per carry this year.

“Looking forward to this game coming off a loss,” Tucker said. “We’re looking back at the film, correcting our mistakes.”

Babers was pleased with his defense and hopes they will continue to limit teams. Albany is only averaging 251 yards of total offense through the first two games this season. Syracuse held Rutgers under 200 yards last week.

“It bothers me that we can play that well on defense and we can’t help them,” Babers said. “It frustrates me.”

Freshman cornerback Duce Chestnut accounted for five tackles against the Scarlet Knights, one week after he earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors for his game against Ohio. Chestnut and the SU defense will face a Great Danes offense that keeps the ball on the ground a lot; almost 30 attempts per game thus far this season.

“They’re a big run team,” Chestnut said. “They got a nice running back, a nice quarterback, so we’re going to have to prepare.”

Redshirt-freshman cornerback Garrett Williams said this is a big game for the Orange. One that could spark some momentum going forward.

“Albany’s a good team,” Williams said. “We have to treat them as if we were playing Rutgers, or Clemson, or anybody else on our schedule because you don’t want to look past anybody.”

While on paper an FCS versus FBS school may look like a mismatch, fellow ACC foe Florida State lost to FCS Jacksonville State on a last-second touchdown in Week 2. Babers said his team will not overlook Albany when they play on ACC Network tomorrow.

“Based off how many points we scored last week, I am not using the word ‘tune up’ with anybody,” Babers said.