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Syracuse Runs All Over Ohio for Season Opening Victory

Sean Tucker led a dominant ground attack that paced a road win for the Orange.

Sean Tucker ran for a career high 181 yards on 25 carries (with one touchdown) and Tommy DeVito took care of the football while adding to the ground game himself as Syracuse won its first road game since 2019 with a 29-9 victory over Ohio. The Orange ran for 280 yards in total. 

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Defensively, Syracuse kept Ohio out of the end zone thanks in large part to the superb debut of true freshman cornerback Duce Chestnut. Chestnut made some fantastic open field tackles throughout, broke up a pass on a fourth down play and came up with an interception in the fourth quarter to announce himself to the Orange fan base. He finished the game with eight total tackles. 

DeVito played most of the way for Syracuse. Transfer Garrett Shrader did not come in until late in the fourth quarter in garbage time. 

The game started out strong for Syracuse. The Orange got a stop on its first defensive possession. It did not take long for the offense to strike after that, as a 47 yard Sean Tucker scamper set up a short Tommy DeVito rushing touchdown. A Caleb Okechukwu safety on the subsequent possession put Syracuse up 9-0 and in firm control. 

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Things slowed a bit after that, however, as Syracuse only managed three points for the rest of the first half on its way to a 12-6 advantage at intermission. 

The start of the third quarter was more of the same, with the Orange defense getting stops and the Syracuse offense stalling after promising drives. However, late in the third quarter, Syracuse cashed in to all but put the game away. Sean Tucker ran it in from six yards out to put the Orange up 22-6 with 40 seconds left in the fourth. 

Syracuse would cruise in the fourth from there. The Orange defense held Ohio, which was a very good running team a year ago, to just 134 yards. That total was more than 80 yards below the Bobcats per game average from last season. Ohio's star running back De'Montre Tuggle, who averaged over 130 yards per game in 2020, finished with just 65. 

It was also a good day on special teams for the Orange. Andre Szmyt was 2-2 on field goals and Trebor Pena had a 32 yard punt return that led to a score. 

Next up for the Orange is the home opener against Rutgers on Saturday, September 11th. That game kicks off at 2:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on the ACC Network. Rutgers beat Temple 61-14 in its opener.