If there’s one positive that you can take away from the 2020 Syracuse Orange season, it’s that there were a lot of freshmen that not only saw playing time, but impressed fans throughout the year. So many first-year contributors have made an impact on the field and give some stability for the future. One of those players came to SU’s need when all seemed lost in that position. He’s now got a chance to have one of the better Syracuse careers in recent memory.
Tucker was the first running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards against Notre Dame’s defense this season. Let that sink in for a second. A rushing attack that looked woeful through the first two games of the season suddenly was not a liability anymore. That was largely in part to Tucker’s performances over the year, and that wasn’t any different against the Fighting Irish.
113 yards on 24 carries also gave Tucker his highest total in the season, which included a great 40-yard touchdown. After NC State did everything in its power to nullify Tucker’s effect on the game, the freshman running back returned to the form that made so many Orange fans excited about his future. He continues to show incredible ability to gain extra yards after contact, which is what Dino Babers said made him so special earlier this season. Tucker gained 103 of his rushing yards after contact.
His performance almost makes you forget that Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard opted out of the season. It also almost makes you forget that we haven’t seen Jawhar Jordan since the Georgia Tech game where he was injured for the season. All three running backs were expected to be crucial elements to Syracuse’s success in 2020, and Tucker practically showed that he could carry the brunt of the Orange rushing attack.
I don’t think I need to tell you to be excited about Tucker’s future in an Orange uniform. The only thing that we can hope for is that the promise that we saw in him and other first-year starters can be backed up by a better record in 2021.
Honorable Mentions: Ja’Had Carter, Nolan Cooney
Now it’s your turn. Who was Syracuse’s player of the game against Notre Dame? Sound off in the comments below.