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Syracuse football record book watch for the 2021 season

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In b4 the first “records don’t matter just win” comment

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Despite last season’s struggles, the stats still count for the Syracuse Orange and that puts some players in position to set some records during the 2021 campaign.

Obviously these aren’t the end-all, be-all of the season. Wins are. But players marching up the record books can at least be an interesting subplot to the proceedings; especially if Syracuse starts struggling.

So here are at least a few record book happenings worth watching out for this fall:

Passing

Even considering the fact that Tommy DeVito’s played just one full season at SU, he’s amassed totals that are good enough to contend with the top of several passing statistic lists in SU history.

He’s currently ninth all-time in pass attempts with 520, and another 168 tries vaults him over Don McPherson for sixth. If he matches his 2019 total of 337 pass attempts, he’d still be in sixth, though a lot closer to fifth-place Perry Patterson, who has 862. In terms of completions, DeVito is already in ninth there too with 305, and if he completes 152 this year, that’ll move him past Patterson for fifth.

Yardage-wise, DeVito’s in ninth as well (with 3,478), and hitting just 2,000 yards this season moves him up to sixth, once again passing Patterson. Hitting the 2,400-yard mark would move him past McPherson for fifth, and then it’s a long way up to fourth from there — so much so that getting near Donovan McNabb for that spot would basically require a 2,500-yard season on top of a very good 2021.

For touchdowns, DeVito’s already in seventh place somehow with 27 in his Syracuse career. Another six moves him past Troy Nunes for sixth, but he’d need 20 to pass McPherson for fifth on the list. Also, in records that don’t matter but are fun, Tommy’s just 21 passes without an interception away from the all-time record for the Orange (currently held by RJ Anderson, with 190 in a row).

NCAA Football: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Rushing

Despite the depth and experience here, there isn’t a ton to look out for. One question on this end will be how Sean Tucker’s classified in the record books, though, since that could dictate a few records he can compete for. Last year, he collected the third-highest rushing total ever for a Syracuse freshman at 626 yards. If the record books consider him a freshman again, he’ll need to hit 1,002 yards to own the record, while 714 would put him in second.

If he’s a sophomore in the books, he’d need to reach at least 796 yards on the ground to make the top five.

Also, Syracuse hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Jerome Smith in 2012. That’s the longest stretch without one for the Orange(men) since lacking one for 10 straight years from 1990 through 1999.

Receiving

Taj Harris’s move to the slot could come just in time as he makes his way up the record books as well. Despite lacking that “breakout” season just yet at SU, Taj has put in enough work to already sit tied with Marvin Harrison for the sixth-most receptions in ‘Cuse history with 135. He’d need 89 to pass Ervin Philips for No. 1 on the list. Even if he doesn’t hit that mark, a reasonable 65 catches makes him just the fourth Orange wideout to catch 200 (joining Philips, Steve Ishmael and Alec Lemon).

Harris is also ninth in career receiving yards, at 1,857 and could conceivably get pretty close Ishmael atop the list if he can put together 1,000-yard season. Ish had 2,891, so not insurmountable. Taj could surpass Harrison in second with fewer than 900 yards in 2021. If he manages three 100-yard games this year, he’d tie Amba Etta-Tawo for sixth-most in school history (seven, though AET made that happen in a single season).

Despite all the catches and yards, Harris only has 10 receiving touchdowns to-date, which is not a total currently among SU’s top 10. But five TDs this year would tie him for ninth (with Philips and Quinton Spotwood), while 10 would tie him with Harrison for second — just two behind Rob Moore for the career lead.

Kicking/Scoring

After having so few opportunities to put points on the board last year, Andre Szmyt takes aim at the record books in earnest this fall. He’s just 43 points short of Nate Trout’s career scoring mark of 334, while he currently sits in fourth place there. Szmy’t only three extra points away from surpassing John Biskup for the second-most extra points in school history (125), but is still way behind Trout’s 187.

For field goals, he’s already just a single make shy of Cole Murphy’s record 59 fo his career, and if he hits the next one to do it, he’ll have gotten there on just 64 attempts (versus Murphy’s 83).

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Any other records you’re on the lookout for this year? Share your own below.