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Wagner Seahawks Scouting Report

An in depth look at Syracuse football's next opponent.

Syracuse football is set to host FCS Wagner on Saturday in the JMA Wireless Dome. Here are five things to know about the Seahawks entering the matchup. 

1. Defensive Issues

In three games to date, Wagner has given up at least 370 yards of total offense and 27 points in each. In fact, the Seahawks defense has allowed over 540 yards and 48 points in two of its three games. The issue has not been one sided either. Rutgers threw for over 250 yards and ran for over 320 in a 66-7 win. Fordham threw for over 380 yards and ran for over 161 in a 48-31 win. In fact, Wagner has only two sacks and three forced turnovers on the season. Linebacker Tre Vallar leads the team in tackles with 20, while defensive lineman Titus Leo leads the team with 5.5 tackles for loss. 

2. Running Problems

Wagner wants to be able to run the ball and has more rushing plays on the season than passing .However, not a single player with at least five carries is averaging over 4.0 yards per carry. The leader in that category is wide receiver Naiem Simmons, who is averaging 4.7 yards on just three attempts. Wagner's leading rusher is sophomore Rickey Spruill, who has racked up 116 yards on the season at just 3.7 yards per carry. The Seahawks have just one rushing touchdown on the season. 

3. Through the Air

Starting quarterback Nick Kargman is completing just 45% of his passes so far this season with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He is also throwing for just 152 yards per game. It has been a struggle passing the ball as well. Wagner's leading receiver is the aforementioned Simmons, who has 235 yards on 13 receptions with two touchdowns. He is averaging a robust 18 yards per reception. Senior Jayvin Little only has five catches on the season, but two have gone for scores. Starting tight end Chase Stafford has just two catches in three games. 

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4. Not so Special Teams

Wagner has utilized two punters this season in Dylan Hach and Joshua Brown. Neither has been particularly good, averaging a combined 32.9 yards per punt. Kicker Austin Hosier is just 1-1 on field goals this season, and it was a short one at 32 yards. Wagner has only one punt return on the season, and it lost four yards. The kick return game has been solid, averaging over 28 yards per return. Jordan Murrell nearly broke one with a long of 63 yards this season. The kick coverage team has allowed a kick return for a touchdown, however. 

5. Coming Off a Bye

While Wagner is 0-3 on the season, losing each game by at least 17 points, the Seahawks had a bye last week to allow for an extra week of preparation. While that will not alter the expected outcome in this game, it does provide Wagner the opportunity to practice some new wrinkles and/or trick plays to try to catch Syracuse by surprise. Do not be surprised if they try at least one trick play against the Orange. 

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