A predictable 62-24 rebound against an FCS opponent was just the tonic for Dino Babers and his struggling offense. Syracuse racked up a lot of noteworthy figures against the Great Danes, so let’s dive right in to how the Orange performed yesterday.
It’s hard to score 62 points if your offense isn’t humming, and that’s exactly what was going on for SU yesterday. 9.44 yards-per-play is the official figure for the Orange O, which rushed for 286 yards on 42 carries and threw for 337 yards on 17 of 24 passing.
The offensive numbers are certainly inflated when you consider the talent deficit between the two teams, but it’s been a while since Syracuse showed that well on offense against any team, FCS or otherwise. Syracuse’s 623 offensive yards were the most since September 22nd, 2018 against UConn when ‘Cuse racked up 636 against the Huskies. You have to go back even further to find the last time Syracuse averaged more than 9.0 yards per play in any game: September 25th, 2010 against Colgate. Ryan Nassib went 8-15 for 169 yards and a score in that game, while Delone Carter carried 14 times for 172 yards and four touchdowns.
With a 62-spot yesterday, five is the number of times Syracuse has scored 60 or more points since 2000. It’s the ninth time since 1971 that’s happened for the program. Last year, Syracuse broke 30 or more points just once – 37 in its lone win of the year over Georgia Tech.
The last time SU put up 60 or more points in a game was in a non-conference matchup remarkably similar to this weekend. In 2018, Syracuse crushed Wagner 62-10 in Week 2. The record for 60 point games in a season (3) still belongs to the 1998 squad that featured future NFL talents in Donovan McNabb, WR Kevin Johnson, and FB Rob Konrad.
However, not all was well for SU yesterday. The 163 penalty yards racked up on 16 (!) flags represented a program record for the Orange. Since 2000, it’s the only game Syracuse has had with more than 135 penalty yards and is just the second time the team has been flagged 15 or more times in a game.
The huge total represents the latest spasm of a team that routinely finds itself on the wrong end of flags. It’s the sign of a lack of discipline and should be the main takeaway for Dino Babers and his staff from this game. You can get away with this against UAlbany, but not against many other teams in the nation.
To end this on a positive note, we need to mention the game that freshman running back Sean Tucker had yesterday. 15.8 yards per touch on 16 plays is a mighty achievement. Tucker racked up 253 total yards and five touchdowns in a career day, became the only player in school history to tally 100 yards both receiving and rushing in a game, and tied for the second-most touchdowns ever scored in a game by a Syracuse player. The only man in SU history to score six TDs in a game is Jim Brown back in 1956. Pretty good company to keep.