We all thought that this would get ugly fast - and boy is that an understatement. The Syracuse Orange didn’t fool around against the Wagner Seahawks, dominating them in all facets of play and concluding the Dome-coming game in just 50 game-minutes. (Confused? Don’t worry, I’ll explain later.)
Syracuse started their first drive with great field position thanks to a late hit on return-man Trebor Pena. Garrett Shrader led a 55-yard drive capped off by a one-yard TD run, putting SU up 7-0 early. Sean Tucker almost had the game’s first points but was stopped just short on back-to-back runs before Shrader took it in himself.
The defense allowed one Wagner first down but was able to recover and come up with the stop. Then on the second Orange drive, it was Tucker that stole the show. We finally got a glimpse of the explosive back from last year, as he broke away for a 60-yard score. He would add another from four yards out on the following possession, along with a six-yard rush in the 2nd Quarter for his third of the game.
Shrader was active through the air as his receivers completely outmatched the Seahawks’ defense. In the first half, he found both Devaughn Cooper and redshirt freshman Umari Hatcher for TD passes. His connection with Cooper was the veteran’s first touchdown of the season, while Hatcher hauled in his first career score after winning a one-on-one matchup. Shrader finished 17/17 with 238 passing yards and 3 total TDs.
Things got so out of hand that the second half featured 10-minute quarters. Can’t say that I’ve ever seen that happen in a college game before - but then again, this was my first FBS/FCS affair.
For some reason, Tucker stayed in the game along with much of the starting offense. He narrowly avoided another injury scare, going down and taking a painstakingly-long time to get up. LeQuint Allen then took over at RB and had a few moments to remember. Allen scored his first career TD, running the ball in from the 8, then followed that up with a 90-yard mad scramble from one end of the field to the other. He just barely ran out of gas and was stopped at the 6.
The SU defense was suffocating all game long, finishing with 3 sacks, a pick-six by Duce Chestnut, and only 50(!) total yards allowed.