While watching it in real time, we knew Sean Tucker’s performance vs. the Ohio Bobcats was an impressive on its own. But it stacks up against the Syracuse Orange’s own illustrious rushing history pretty well, too.
Tucker’s 181 yards on the ground were among the top 30 totals in school history, and it was only the 27th time an Orange(men) player has topped 180 rushing yards in a single game. He’s also just the 16th different player to pull off the feat. As you might have guessed, several of SU’s elite backs over the years have topped the mark a few times (though perhaps surprisingly, Jim Brown only did it once, with 197 vs. Colgate in 1956).
Tucker’s on an impressive overall pace, too, when you consider how quickly he’s been piling up yards. On 162 career carries, he already has 807 yards, and he’s already tallied four 100-yard games in his career. That ties him with a handful of names on the Orange leaderboard: Bob Avery, George Davis, Prince Tyson-Gulley, Bob Leberman, Kyle McIntosh and Jim Nance. Even just two more 100-yard efforts this year would already put him on a short list and with Eric Dungey, among others.
While it hasn’t been that long since someone at Syracuse rushed for this many yards in a season opener — Dungey had an even 200 against Western Michigan back in 2018 — it’s the most rushing yards by a running back in a season-opening game since Walter Reyes had 191 in a three-overtime victory over North Carolina in 2003.
Is this a harbinger of what’s to come? We can certainly hope so. While there are still questions about what the SU passing game can round into, the run game appears to be something we can count on for the first time since 2018 (or maybe longer if you want to caveat that production given how important Dungey was there).