Syracuse beat Wagner 59-0 on Saturday to improve to 5-0 on the season. What does the win mean for the Orange? Here are five takeaways from the victory.
1. Sean Tucker
This was the game Syracuse needed Sean Tucker to get back on track. To put up huge numbers for his own confidence as well as the offense. He did just that. Tucker ran for a career high 232 yards, just 20 yards shy of the school's single game record, and three touchdowns. Now, I disagree with having him and the other starters go back out there for the first drive of the third quarter. It is lucky he did not get seriously hurt. That said, Tucker's performance was exactly what the doctor ordered.
The defense was dominant and pitched a shutout. Not only that, but Wagner was held to just 50 yards of total offense. That is the ninth best defensive performance in school history and the fewest total yards allowed since 1964 when UCLA managed just 41 yards of total offense. Syracuse sacked Wagner three times, two of which were picked up by Steven Linton, and forced a turnover (Duce Chestnut's pick six). Wagner only had four first downs, averaged just 1.3 yards per play and had only 19 passing yards. It was as dominant as dominant gets.
3. Garrett Shrader
Shrader was sharp in this one. He was 17-17 passing for 238 yards and two scores. He also ran for another score. Shrader did not run much but he did not need to. Tucker took care of that. Shrader was accurate, showed zip on the ball and did what you'd expect the Orange to do against an inferior opponent. It was good to see him get back on track after some inconsistent play the previous two weeks.
4. LeQuint Allen
We knew the true freshman was good and is viewed as the heir apparent to Sean Tucker, but how about his first 100 yard game and first career touchdown? Oh, and a bit of history. Allen's 90 yard run at the end of the third quarter was the longest run by a Syracuse player since George Davis scampered 95 yards against Fordham in 1949. That's right, the true freshman had the longest run by an Orange player in 73 years.
5. What Does This Win Mean?
Yes it is a blowout win, but it is a bad FCS team. Wagner has not won a game in more than two seasons. So what does this win actually mean for Syracuse? The main thing is that Syracuse is 5-0 for the first time in 35 years. I do not care who you beat to accomplish that, that is a big deal. And remember, Syracuse has beaten three power five teams to get here. Yes, they deserve to be ranked. Yes it is better than even the most optimistic of fans expected entering the bye. Syracuse is a good football team. They have some areas of concern, such as committing penalties, the running game against strong defensive fronts, and depth along the defensive line. They also have strengths, however, such as NFL caliber players along the offensive line, running back, linebackers and defensive backs. This is one of the best defenses in the ACC and Shrader has taken clear strides this season. We will see how the rest of the season plays out, but it has been a really strong start to the season for the Orange.
SUPPORT ALL SYRACUSE