Sean Tucker’s big night powered Syracuse to a solid 29-9 road win at Ohio in the 2021 season opener for both sides.
The Orange had three different players rush for a touchdown, including Tucker, who rolled up a personal-best 181 yards on the ground, while their defensive mates kept the Bobcats out of the end zone.
Tucker’s effort was the most prolific performance by a Syracuse running back under head coach Dino Babers, surpassing Moe Neal, who rolled up 163 yards against Louisville in 2019.
Tucker started things early for SU, busting off a 47-yard burst on their second play from scrimmage. Three plays later, Tommy DeVito scampered around the left side from six yards out for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead on Andre Szmyt’s extra point shortly after the midpoint of the first quarter.
Caleb Okechukwu and Marlowe Wax combined for a safety on the next play from scrimmage, stuffing an Ohio rushing attempt from the Bobcat one-yard line to make it a quick 9-0 lead for the Orange.
The second quarter scoring was comprised of three field goals as the Bobcats notched a pair of short ones around a 29-yarder from Szmyt. The latter Ohio trey came with 19 seconds remaining in the opening half and cut the SU lead to 12-6 at intermission.
After Szmyt tacked on a 20-yard field goal midway through the third, Tucker scored the second Syracuse touchdown of the game.
The freshman running back opened the third SU drive of the quarter with a 28-yard dash, then closed the possession by scampering into the end zone untouched for a six-yard score. Andre Szmyt tacked on the extra point to extend the Orange lead to 22-6 with :40 left in the quarter.
The Bobcats added their third short field goal of the night less than four minutes into the final quarter, but Syracuse responded with their second straight touchdown drive.
The Orange ate up six minutes off the clock by marching 65 yards in ten plays, all on the ground, with Cooper Lutz closing the drive by bouncing out to the right side for an 11-yard touchdown with 5:15 on the clock. Szmyt’s conversion capped the scoring at 29-9.