Quick Hits: Syracuse football shows promise, and flaws, in debut

LeQuint Allen
Sep 3, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back LeQuint Allen (20) tries to hold off Louisville Cardinals defensive back Benjamin Perry (10) after making a catch in the second quarter at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse defeated Louisville, 31-7, in the 2022 season opener. Here are some quick hits from the game:

  • Garrett Shrader was very accurate coming out of the gate, connecting on 7-of-8 passes in the first quarter, then had seven straight attempts in the second period bookended by incompletions. He finished the opening half 14-of-17 through the air for 185 yards and a touchdown. While Shrader finished with a very nice stat line, it could have been better, as both Isaiah Jones and Damien Alford dropped passes that were on target.

  • The Orange set a team record for penalties in a game by committing 18 infractions for 107 yards. That total includes 14 pre-snap flags with nine (!) false starts.
  • The stars showed up on defense for SU, as Marlowe Wax had ten tackles, including three for loss, Mikel Jones had a forced fumble on a sack among his nine stops and Garrett Williams nine tackles and an interception. Steve Linton had three tackles for loss, including a sack, as well as a forced fumble, which he also recovered.
  • After a slow start, the pass rush picked up in the second half with all three Orange sacks of Louisville quarterback Malik Williams coming after halftime. The defense did an excellent job of containing Williams, who finished with 152 passing yards and 34 rushing yards. Williams surpassed those individual statistical totals in 11 of 13 games last season and his 186 combined yards was lower than his total in 12 outings last year.
  • The Syracuse pass attack was fairly diverse with nine different receivers being targeted and seven players catching at least one pass. In addition, it also did a decent amount of work downfield. While the longest pass of the game was a screen that Sean Tucker broke for a 55-yard score, there were five other completions of at least 15 yards, three of them going to DeVaughn Cooper.
  • The offense also looked to set up Sean Tucker in space early, as he caught four of his six receptions in the game’s first ten minutes. It was a simple, yet effective change from offensive coordinator Robert Anae, who did not waste any time getting the ball into the hands of SU’s most dynamic skill position player. Tucker had a dozen touches on the 28 plays that comprised the team’s first three drives, all of which resulted in points.

» Related: Predicting Syracuse football’s 2022 offensive statistics

WHAT’S NEXT

The Orange have their only road trip of the first half of the schedule next Saturday when they travel to Connecticut. The Huskies (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss at Utah State with a 28-3 home victory over FCS opponent Central Connecticut State on Saturday afternoon.

Zion Turner threw for 172 yards and a pair of scores while Nathan Carter had 23 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown against CCSU. Carter has 313 rushing yards in the two UConn games this season.

Kickoff at Rentschler Field is set for 7:00pm Eastern and the game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.

HIGHLIGHTS

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Juice Online (@sujuiceonline)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Juice Online (@sujuiceonline)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Juice Online (@sujuiceonline)

For more Syracuse coverage, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and listen to our podcast.

Avatar photo
About Jim Stechschulte 858 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse.