Syracuse football crushes Connecticut to remain unbeaten
Syracuse football remains unbeaten
Syracuse football attacked Connecticut from the opening kickoff and did not take the foot off the gas until the clock hit zero. When all was said and done, the Orange improved to 4-0 on the season with a 51-21 win over Connecticut Saturday evening.
It is the first 4-0 start for the Orange since 1991.
The Syracuse offense led by quarterback Eric Dungey set the tone for the game by jumping out to a 21-0 lead early in the first quarter. Dungey scored five touchdowns, three of which were on the ground. Dungey accounted for over 350 yards of total offense and completed 78 percent of his passes.
“All he wants to do is win, and he’ll do anything he can do to win,” SU head coach Dino Babers said.
Wide receiver Sean Riley was one of the main weapons for the Orange versus the Huskies. Riley recorded nearly 300 all-purpose yards, including a 69-yard touchdown on a punt return in the third quarter. Riley proved to be a major piece in the passing game as well, tallying six receptions for 120 yards.
The three phrases of the game were firing on all cylinders for SU. Babers has liked what he has seen from the special teams units so far this season and hopes it continues.
“They came up big, and we need them to continue to come up big,” Babers said.
SU’s explosive play in the passing game opened up opportunities for starting running back Moe Neal. Neal contributed 116 yards on the ground, and averaged just shy of nine yards per carry.
As a team, the Orange ran for more than 340 yards against the Huskies, who came into the game with statistically one of the worst rush defenses in the country.
The Syracuse defense dominated the line of scrimmage for all four quarters. The Orange combined for six sacks, three of which came from defensive lineman Alton Robinson. While the outside linemen get a lot of the attention in the box score, the interior guys do some of the heavy lifting, helping players such as Robinson get to the quarterback multiple times.
“The inside tackles of [Chris] Slayton, [Josh] Black, [Kenneth] Ruff, Grizzly Bear [McKinley] Williams … those guys are doggone active inside that they’re making some of those plays for Alton [Robinson] and Kendell [Coleman],” Babers said.
Babers always seems to have a new analogy after every game. While Babers is pleased with the team’s 4-0 start, he wants the team to deposit the 4-0 check they have earned – rather than cash it – and start over on the path to more wins.
“If we keep having that attitude, when it’s all said and done, maybe we’ll have enough saved up in the piggy bank to go buy something at the end of the season,” Dino Babers said.
It was a good day all around for Syracuse football, for both the past and the present. Former Orange and New York Giants running back Joe Morris had his number retired at halftime. Morris played four years at Syracuse and still owns the program records for most rushing yards in a game, season and career.
Morris was drafted by the Giants in 1982, and he was the starting running back for Bill Parcells during the Giants 1986 Super Bowl winning season. The #47 will be immortalized in the rafters of the Carrier Dome forever.
“Joe Morris is a fantastic flagship for this university … it’s an honor to be at a game where he’s going to get his jersey retired,” Babers said.
Next weekend the Orange hit the road for the first time since Week 1 for a colossal matchup with Clemson. The Orange and the Tigers are both 4-0, and they are the only undefeated teams remaining in the ACC.
The game is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th at noon.