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Syracuse football opponents recap: Week 1

Not every Syracuse opponent found a win in week one.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Florida State Tallahasse Democrat-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Syracuse Orange won 55-42 on Friday night, earning a 1-0 start for the fifth straight season. But there are still quite a few teams ahead of us — and some pretty difficult ones, at that, on the way toward (hopefully) six wins.

Each week, we’ll be using this space to look at past and future foes on the 2018 schedule, and assess what’s ahead for the Orange. So how’d Syracuse’s opponents fare in week one? And how might that affect SU going forward?

Week 1

Wagner Seahawks (1-0, 0-0)

Result: 40-23 win over Bowie State

Wagner kicked off last Thursday, beating DII Bowie State, 40-23. Quarterback Luke Massei was effective enough, throwing for 134 yards and one touchdown (and one pick). But the Seahawks’ standout was Ryan Fulse, who dominated on the ground to the tune of 271 yards and three scores.

Florida State Seminoles (0-1, 0-1)

Result: 24-3 loss to Virginia Tech

The first game of the Willie Taggart era kicked off with a thud on Monday night. FSU failed to move the ball on the ground (94 yards) and turned it over five times against the Hokies (including three interceptions). The ‘Noles did out-gain Virginia Tech on offense, but overall, looked a bit out of sorts as Tech’s defense thwarted every opportunity.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn Huskies (0-1, 0-1)

Result: 56-17 loss to UCF

UConn never really had a shot in this one, down 14 in the first quarter and then it rolled downhill from there. That said, don’t let the blowout loss distract from a strong game put up by dual-threat Huskies QB David Pindell. He had 266 yards through the air (with one score and one INT), plus another 157 yards and a touchdown on the ground. I know we’re better than Connecticut, but we have not defended running quarterbacks well in the past.

Clemson Tigers (1-0, 0-0)

Result: 48-7 win over Furman

Clemson strolled through a casual beatdown of Furman, and despite starting Kelly Bryant, it wasn’t long before the Tigers brought in five-star passer Trevor Lawrence. He looked good, passing for 137 yards and three TDs in limited action. The Tigers’ defense starred though, forcing two turnovers and holding the Paladins to just 163 total yards.

Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0, 0-0)

Result: 33-7 win over Albany

Kenny Pickett starts the season with a lot of promise for Pitt, and he seemed to deliver in the opener, with an accurate day (16-of-22) throwing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The Great Danes threw on Pitt pretty well — but were also playing catch-up for much of the afternoon, so passed more in general. A win’s a win, though.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1, 0-0)

Result: 24-17 loss to California

UNC turned the ball over four times with backup quarterback Nathan Elliott at the helm, but did wage a furious fourth quarter comeback to bring it within seven before an onside kick failed. Elliott’s a dual-threat, but when the Heels come to the Dome in October, we’ll likely be facing returning starter Chazz Surrat (who can run somewhat, but not like Elliott).

N.C. State Wolfpack (1-0, 0-0)

Result: 24-13 win over James Madison

If I’m scheduling an FCS team, it’s probably not a power like JMU. Yet, NC State invited them to Carter-Finley and the Dukes gave them all they could handle before the Wolfpack scored a touchdown to make it 24-13 with a little over two minutes to go. Without NCSU’s NFL-bound front four, James Madison moved the ball pretty well (365 yards, 23 first downs). Not making assumptions about what’s next, but just worth watching out for going forward.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0, 0-0)

Result: 23-17 win over Tulane (OT)

Without Kendall Hinton, Wake gave the ball to Sam Hartman in game one and the frosh racked up over 440 total yards (and two touchdowns) in the win over Tulane (#rolldamnwave). You wouldn’t guess it from the score (thanks, three turnovers), but the Deacons had 548 total yards. Two different Wake receivers — Sage Surratt and Greg Dortch — also topped 10 catches on the night.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals (0-1, 0-0)

Result: 51-14 loss to Alabama

Rule No. 1: Don’t schedule Alabama if you don’t have to. The Cards had just 16 rushing yards against the Tide on Saturday night, and even though they generated pressure early, were completely shut out in the first half. Jawon Pass threw reasonably well but plenty of those numbers were accumulated with the game already lost. Louisville’s defense also allowed 519 yards.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0, N/A)

Result: 24-17 win over Michigan

Notre Dame started strong against Michigan, then coasted to the finish line as the Wolverines simply forgot how to tell time in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter (before turning it over). The Irish didn’t play all that well on offense, with 302 yards — but you could also attribute that to facing what might be the nation’s top defense. So mostly, strong start for ND.

Boston College Eagles (1-0, 0-0)

Result: 55-21 win over UMass

BC seemed to pick up right where it left off last year, looking very good on both sides of the ball while beating a team they were supposed to. Coming back from injury, Anthony Brown had 279 passing yards and four scores. AJ Dillon had 98 yards on the ground. But the Eagles forced three turnovers and also ran for 272 yards as a team, with six different players tallying at least 18 yards on the ground.

Week one opponent W-L: 7-5

2018 total W-L: 7-5