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Syracuse football: exactly what coaches want early in the season

An easy win with some glaring mistakes to correct

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange easily dispatched the UConn Huskies 48-14 on Saturday night. It was strong performance by the Orange, especially from Garrett Shrader and the passing game.

Syracuse took care of the ball on offense and scored on their first seven possessions. With UConn focused on containing Sean Tucker, Shrader shredded the Huskies secondary going 20-23 for nearly 300 yards. Despite the numbers, the offense had opportunities for more during this game as two drives stalled in the red zone resulting in field goals.

The good news is that Syracuse remains perfect on the season in the red zone (10-10) but in the view of the coaches, there were drives that left points on the board and those points can be crucial in close games. One of the missed opportunities came when a first-down sack put the Orange in a second and goal from the 15-yard line.

It was also a game that gave the Syracuse defensive coaching staff some film to keep their players grounded. Just like last week, the defense got bullied when the 2nd string defensive line went into the game and UConn finished a 9-play, 79-yard drive with this power run.

While it was one of the only bright spots for the Huskies offense, it will give the defensive coaches something to work on as opposing teams are likely to challenge the Orange in a similar fashion. The second UConn touchdown can on a well-designed screen and came at a time when a stop might have enabled Dino Babers to feel safe to pull his starters. Instead the score meant the offense got two more possessions and while the Orange seemed to avoid injury, it led to unnecessary carries for Tucker.

Syracuse has started the season as well as anyone could have asked for, but we know coaches are never satisfied. It should be encouraging to fans that the Orange are 2-0 and there is still room for improvement in their play. For all the talk about what this team could do in 2022, we have seen some evidence that this is a group to believe in.