Teams: Syracuse Orange (1-0, 0-0) vs. Wagner Seahawks (1-0, 0-0)
Day & Time: Saturday, September 8, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Rivalry: Syracuse, 1-0
Current Streak: 1 for the Orange
First Meeting: Starting his third game of the year for Syracuse, Drew Allen fails to energize the Orange much early. That leads to Terrel Hunt taking the field for his SU debut: a 54-0 win with 287 total yards and three touchdowns. We all get very excited about Hunt’s potentially long career as the Orange starter. He does get us a Texas Bowl win, at least.
Last Meeting: See above. SU was up 37-0 at halftime, and then coasted along from there. Four different SU players threw passes in that one, including the Ridiculously Good-Looking Charley Loeb. Syracuse also had nearly 600 yards of total offense. It was a fun game.
Head Coaches: SU: Dino Babers (3rd year, 9-16); Wagner: Jason Houghtaling (4nd year, 11-22)
Coach Bio: Houghtaling has one winning season in his three years at Wagner (a 6-5 campaign in 2016), but overall has elevated the level of play for the Seahawks following a rough 1-10 year one. Prior to being named head coach in late 2014, he spent seven years as an assistant at Wagner, interrupted by a quick trip to Cornell to serve as OC in 2013. Houghtaling originally played college ball at Lafayette, before transferring to Binghamton where he received his undergrad degree. He also earned a masters at Wagner in 2009.
Last Year: The Seahawks were your run-of-the-mill Northeast Conference team, going 4-7 overall and 2-4 in league play. Wagner pushed eventual conference champ Central Connecticut to four overtime (a 51-45 loss for Wagner), and had wins over Sacred Heart and Robert Morris. Last year’s FBS game was a 49-14 loss to Western Michigan.
Last Game: Wagner kicked off the 2018 season on Thursday night, hosting DII Bowie State, who they beat 40-23. The Seahawks were up 31-3 at one point, though Bowie State battled back within eight points by the start of the fourth quarter. Wagner never let them get any closer, led by running back Ryan Fulse, who had 271 yards and three touchdowns on just 20 carries.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: If the answer wasn’t obvious already, it’s Fulse. The senior captain had over 1,300 rushing yards plus 12 scores last year and is the heartbeat of this entire offense. His big day against Bowie State was powered by two different 77-yard touchdown runs. Fulse had seven games with over 100 yards last season, and picked up a gain of 20 or more yards in all but one contest last year.
If Syracuse Wins: We’re supposed to. The Orange scored seemingly at will for much of last week’s contest against Western Michigan. One would hope SU hits 40 before halftime in this one and then goes on cruise control with Tommy DeVito under center.
If Syracuse Loses: Man, if you thought people were losing it after Friday night’s game (a win, no less), just you wait...
Fun Fact No. 1: Two different players from Syracuse (the city) play on Wagner’s roster — senior defensive back Sterling Lowry and sophomore tight end Lincoln McGarrity.
Fun Fact No. 2: Back in 2013, Sean wrote this fictional account of the “long-standing” SU-Wagner rivalry. Well worth a read for some vintage TNIAAM.