The 10 a.m. ET kickoff was obviously a factor for the Syracuse Orange on both the White and Orange squads, with some morning rust showing itself throughout. SU’s Orange Team (the first team) beat the White Team (second team), 14-0 in front of a handful of fans at the Carrier Dome.
Antwan Cordy scored the first half’s lone points on an interception return for a touchdown. In the second half, Eric Dungey hit Devin C. Butler on a deep throw to the end zone (where he beat Devin M. Butler in coverage). For the former two players, it was a nice re-introduction after missing time last year with injuries. For the latter, it was fans’ first glimpse of him in action.
Other than the one long completion, Dungey was under siege a bit during the game, and had to take off and run several times as the defense came after him repeatedly. Both offensive lines looked rough — especially after Aaron Roberts went down with an undisclosed injury in the first half.
On the White Team, Zack Mahoney missed a lot of targets early before hitting tight end Jesse Conners for a nice completion. Rex Culpepper was probably throwing better than any other quarterback on the field, to be honest. He split snaps with Mahoney for the first three quarters. Mo Hasan also got some burn late, largely running around the end (with some surprisingly good speed).
While we were expecting some offensive fireworks before the game, it was the defense that really impressed. Andrew Armstrong was a force throughout on defense, while Cordy, Evan Foster and others showed themselves capable in the secondary.
The run game, Ravian Pierce and Jamal Custis were not necessarily as impactful as we assumed they’d be but it was a 10 a.m. spring game after all.
And that’s really the most you can take from this. Spring games are glorified scrimmages with weird rules and limitations for everyone involved. The defense certainly kept both offenses in check, but I’d rather focus on the fact that the D looked impressive (vs. the offense not). In last year’s spring game, SU scored 13 touchdowns and the defense looked miserable. This is a decided improvement.
Ari will have more from the Carrier Dome later as well, so stick around for post-game discussions.