Can’t take too much from an FCS game, but this one still looked good.
After the first four drives, there wasn’t much that the Syracuse Orange couldn’t do against the Albany Great Danes. With a 14-3 lead, the Orange gave up a tipped pass pick-six, to bring Albany within four. They would never end up coming near the end zone until the fourth quarter, and the Orange would ultimately be up 45-10 and the half and win by a score of 62-24.
Sean Tucker is extremely good at running the football.
Or catching it for that matter. Tucker finished this game with 134 yards rushing and four touchdowns on only 13 carries. He also caught three passes for 121 yards and a score. All of this was without more than one series in the second half. A game of 255 all purpose yards and five touchdowns shows that you’re doing something right. It’s also tied for the second most TDs in a game by a player, putting Tucker in some elite conversations. If the Orange can keep riding Tucker, no matter what happens with the line in front of him that was playing musical chairs this game, they’ll see more wins on the year.
Jarveon Howard had a quite respectable day with 6 rushes for 76 yards on the day. Basically you could say that the run game was working this afternoon.
Sean Tucker’s 5 TDs is tied for the 2nd most in a single game by a ‘Cuse player with Floyd Little (9/26/64 vs. Kansas), Walter Reyes (12/6/03 vs. Notre Dame) & Amba Etta-Tawo (11/26/16 at Pitt). pic.twitter.com/Kv3Jn5RQW1
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) September 18, 2021
Tommy DeVito is likely your starting QB,
But Garrett Shrader could be very useful in short yardage situations and goal line. Tommy only got run on the first few series of the game, opening things up and then allowing Shrader to get a good bit of run. It was good to see a number of series with him under center and his numbers looked fine, but we were able to see a bit of distance between the two quarterbacks though the game. DeVito finished the day six of nine for 147 yards, a TD and an interception. His touchdown throw was a dime to Damien Alford, hitting him in stride, as well as having a few other nice long completions called back for the penalties we’ll get to later.
While Shrader looked capable in his time under center, he finished 11 of 15 with one TD and one interception. While he had a few moments buying time with his legs and he looked solid in the goal line sets, rushing for two touchdowns, his passes were all on short quick passes and he was having trouble hitting any of his receivers downfield or in stride. His TD throw was a screen play to Sean Tucker, with most everything being YAC. Both quarterbacks looked passable, but if Babers is true to his word and is choosing the starter after this game, it seems DeVito will have risen to the top of that list.
This defense is still going to keep us in any game.
The Albany offense only amassed seventeen points, and a total of eleven first downs, eight of which were late in the fourth quarter. Cody Roscoe stood out with three sacks, and Josh Black and Bear Williams kept the Albany offense on their heels all game. The Orange totaled eight sacks on the day, and held the Danes to seven rushing yards. That seems to be an excessive statistic, but it’s accurate, averaging 0.2 yards per carry.
For as much as you’re going to be able to glean from a game like this, the Orange showed that what we thought were strengths didn’t take a day off and now have to get ready for the challenge of Malik Willis next week.
Penalties and discipline need to be cleaned up before conference play.
The Orange amassed 16 penalties for 164 yards. This is a record. This is not a record you want to break. Fortunately they broke it in a game they could afford to. There were a few times that penalties completely killed drives, including pulling back another Sean Tucker touchdown in the second quarter.
The penalties really put a stop on the Orange momentum, and would have been very costly against a FBS opponent. Moving forward they need to button it up, be it the false starts, facemasks or holding calls. The team can’t afford to give up points via penalties.