The Syracuse Orange football team began their 2019 season with a 24-0 victory over a bed-ridden Hugh Freeze and his Liberty Flames. Not as big of a victory as one might’ve foreseen, but a win nonetheless.
With week 1 almost in the books (we’re still waiting on Louisville’s Monday nighter vs. Notre Dame), it’s time to see how future ‘Cuse opponents fared in their own season debuts.
Maryland Terrapins (1-0, 0-0)
Result: 79-0 shellacking over Howard
On the year anniversary of the passing of No. 79 Jordan McNair, the Terrapins put up 79 points in his honor en route to a huge season-opening victory. Redshirt junior quarterback and Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson put up four touchdown passes to go along with 245 passing yards, while sophomore wide receiver Dontay Demus hauled in three receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
The Maryland offense put up 28 points in each of its first two quarters in the Maryland head-coaching debut for Michael Locksley — a program record.
Clemson Tigers (1-0, 1-0)
Result: 52-14 win over Georgia Tech
The No. 1 team in the nation picked up right where they left off at the end of the 2018 season, easily putting away Georgia Tech for the Tigers’ 16th-straight victory.
Junior running back Travis Etienne exploded for a career-high 205 rushing yards — including a 90-yard touchdown run — while sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 168 yards with one touchdown. On the defensive end the Tigers forced four turnovers, their most since 2015. Redshirt junior Isaiah Simmons led the way with 10 tackles.
Western Michigan Broncos (1-0, 0-0)
Result: 48-13 victory over Monmouth
Senior quarterback Jon Wassink shredded the Hawks defense for 368 yards and five total touchdowns on Saturday, lifting his team to an easy victory in their home stadium. Fellow senior Giovanni Ricci tallied a career-high 97 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions, while redshirt freshman DaShon Bussell became the second WVU freshman every to tally 100+ yards in his debut with 116. On the opposite end, D’Wayne Eskridge led the Broncos with eight total tackles in his first career game as a defensive back.
Holy Cross Crusaders (0-1, 0-0)
Result: 45-7 loss at Navy
The Crusaders were the first future ‘Cuse opponent to drop their season-opener, after being pummeled on the road by a overbearing Navy program. Holy Cross gave up 528 total yards of offense, including 428 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Connor Degenhardt connected on 16 of his 29 passes for 167 yards, but the Navy defense held the Crusader offense to only 231 yards and one score on a 16-yard rushing touchdown by senior Miles Alexander.
NC State Wolfpack (1-0, 0-0)
Result: 34-6 win over East Carolina
The Wolfpack began their 2019 season against head coach Mike Houston for the second straight season — the former head coach at James Madison — and this time walked away with a much easier victory. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Matthew McKay tallied 308 passing yards and three total touchdowns, while junior cornerback Chris Ingram led the NC State defense with nine tackles and one interception.
Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1, 0-1)
Result: 30-14 loss to Virginia
Despite overcoming an early 10-0 deficit, the defending Coastal Division champions dropped the first game of the 2019 season behind two interceptions from junior quarterback Kenny Pickett. Two second-quarter touchdowns gave Pitt a narrow 14-13 lead at the break, but two quick scores by Virginia in the early portion of the third quarter put the game out of reach for head coach Pat Narduzzi.
Florida State Seminoles (0-1, 0-0)
Result: 36-31 loss vs. Boise State
Things looked anything but pretty for the Seminoles in what is hoping to be a bounce-back season in Tallahassee, as the Broncos scored 23 straight points to erase an 18-point deficit to send Florida State off with its first loss of the season. The Seminole offense looked great in the opening half, rolling to 31 points with touchdowns of 38, 58 and 75 yards behind sophomore quarterback James Blackman. But defensive miscues and turnovers on offense resulted in a lopsided second half, paving way for a gut-punch loss to begin 2019.
Boston College Eagles (1-0, 1-0)
Result: 35-28 victory over Virginia Tech
A 21-point second quarter was too much for the Hokies to overcome, as Boston College took the lead and never looked back in its season-opening victory. Redshirt junior quarterback Anthony Brown completed 15 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, while true freshman Zay Flowers racked up 116 total yards on offense. On the defensive end, redshirt junior linebacker Max Richardson and redshirt sophomore defensive back Tate Haynes combined for 19 tackles and one strip sack.
Duke Blue Devils (0-1, 0-0)
Result: 42-3 loss vs. Alabama
There isn’t a harder way to begin one’s season than taking on the powerhouse that is Alabama, but the Blue Devils did their best early on before falling late. Duke’s defense held Tua Tagovailoa and the Alabama offense scoreless through the first 15 minutes, and only trailed 14-3 at the break. Twenty-one third-quarter points shut down any upset potential, with the Duke offense failing to muster anything against a gritty SEC defense. The Blue Devils were led by senior safety Dylan Singleton’s 13 tackles and senior linebacker Koby Quansah’s 11.
Louisville Cardinals (0-0, 0-0)
Result: TBD vs. Notre Dame (on Monday night)
Just as the Blue Devils started their season against a dominant program, the Cardinals will commence their 2019 season later tonight against the ninth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Redshirt junior Jawon Pass was named the starting quarterback last week, as the Cardinals hope to improve upon a 2-10 finish a season ago.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0, 0-0)
Result: 38-35 win over Utah State
It was a Friday night lights shootout in BB&T Field the other day as the Demon Deacons and the Aggies combined for 73 points, 53 first downs and 1,175 total yards of offense. Wake Forest’s starting quarterback, redshirt junior Jamie Newman, complete 34 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns, while redshirt senior linebacker Justin Strnad led the Deacons defense with 12 tackles and a game-sealing interception.
Week One opponent W-L: 6-4
2019 total W-L: 6-4