Forget Bowl Bound: The Syracuse Orange looked like a team that’ll be playing in January.
OK, that’s a little exaggeration, but they did do something remarkable today. The Orange scored 37 unanswered points in the first half and never slowed down en route to a 65-0 slaughter of the Colgate Raiders.
The last time they shut out their CNY comrades? That fateful fall of 1959.
The Orange forced a three-and-out to start the game, but some early penalty issues stopped their own first drive before it ever really began. Colgate nearly went three-and-out again but were gifted a first down thanks to two more SU penalties. Nothing came of it, and Garrett Shrader got the ball back for his second series.
Thanks to great field position from a return by D’Marcus Adams, the Orange only had to march 38 yards for their first TD of the season. RB1 LeQuint Allen carried the drive, first with a 35+ yard dash to set up goal-to-go, followed by a three-yard rush for the score.
Another stellar return by Adams took SU from inside their own 20 to past midfield, and this time, Shrader commanded the air attack with precision. Once in the red zone, he found Damien Alford on a fade to the corner of the endzone, doubling the lead to 14-0.
After that, it was time to get the defense involved. Sophomore corner Jeremiah Wilson played man coverage perfectly on a crossing route, picking the pass from ‘Gate QB Michael Brescia and taking it all the way back for a 66-yard touchdown. A botched snap meant the PAT turned into a pseudo two-point conversion, which failed.
Brady Denaburg added a chip-shot field goal to bump the lead to 23-0 after 15.
In the 2nd quarter, Shrader went back to the air and found Isaiah Jones without a defender anywhere near him. All #6 had to do was lob the ball and wait for it to fall into Jones's wide-open hands for a 44-yard strike.
Next up was the combo we all loved to see weekly in 2022: Shrader to Oronde Gadsden. Their first TD connection came with 7:13 left in the first half and pushed the score to 37-0.
Shrader threw an interception in the closing seconds of the half, but he came out of the locker room and led one final drive. His fourth and final TD pass was to Umari Hatcher, who finished the day with a team-high 105 receiving yards.
Allen also finished with over 100 total yards on the day (107), marking the first time in his young career he exceeded that on the ground alone.
As for Shrader’s final line: 18/24, 257 passing yards, forty rushing yards, four touchdowns, and the one interception.
Then Carlos Del Rio-Wilson entered the fray and led three scoring drives of his own, connecting with Jones, Kendall Long, and Darrell Gill Jr. respectively on each TD. It was the first reception for Long, who played special teams last year, and Gill, who made his college debut today.
On the defensive side Wax, Alijah Clark, Austin Roon and Derek MacDonald all finished with seven tackles. The 3-3-5 didn’t miss a beat in Rocky Long’s first game as they dominated the Raiders offense.
Clark almost had a scary moment on just the second play of the game, as he was briefly down on the field. Thankfully, he got back up and walked off the field under his own power, returning later in the first half.
Freshman Gregory Delaine also picked up an interception in the second half.
The Orange are back in the Dome next Saturday at 3:30 against Western Michigan, who started the season 1-0 with a win over St. Francis on Friday.