|Posted on September 4, 2021 at 10:35 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange entered into the 2021-22 season coming off of a 1-10 season, but were one of the few teams in all of college football to play all of their games, not having to postpone or cancel any of their match-ups.
On the other end of this contest, the Ohio Bobcats went 2-1 last season, starting late and only amounting three games.
Ohio would begin the game with a missed attempt from the foot of redshirt-senior kicker Stephen Johnson from 50 yards out, giving the ball to Syracuse on their own 35-yard line.
The Orange would respond by scoring on their opening drive, with redshirt-junior quarterback Tommy DeVito carrying the ball over the threshold from six yards away, giving the Orange a 7-0 lead.
Then, Syracuse would gain a safety, stopping redshirt-graduate running back De'Montre Tuggle, who barely got out of his own end zone on his kick return attempt, in his own end zone, going ahead 9-0, the score that would remain after the first quarter.
On the next Orange drive, happening in the second quarter, Devito would go 4-for-5 and freshman running back Sean Tucker and redshirt-sophomore running back Cooper Lutz would combine to run the ball eight times (Tucker with five carries and Lutz with three).
Lutz saved this drive when he chased the ball through the air on a hand-off attempt that could have gone horribly wrong. He was able to get his hand on the ball, bobble it, and eventually speed to it as he went through traffic, and then gain positive yardage on his rush attempt.
DeVito would look to wide receiver Taj Harris in the end zone, leading him left, but Harris did not get to the ball in time.
The Orange would settle shortly after for a field goal, giving them a 12-3 lead.
With under 40 seconds before the half, freshman linebacker Stefon Thompson came around the edge and missed the sack attempt, and cornerback Garrett Williams would leap but have the interception attempt go through his hands.
After that play, Ohio would end their drive with a field goal to bring their deficit to six, 12-6, with 19 seconds to go before the break, on Johnson's second make of the night.
DeVito would go for Harris early in the third quarter down the sideline on 2nd-&-7 but missed him and the Orange would punt on a three-&-out drive.
The Syracuse defense would force a three-&-out by Ohio on the Bobcats' first drive of the second half, with Trebor Pena returning the punt 35 yards to the Ohio 30-yard line.
Sophomore running back Sean Tucker would keep the drive afloat gaining the yard needed on 3rd-&-1.
However, the Orange offense would fail to score from within the Bobcats' six-yard line, and Szmyt would connect from 20 yards out to move the Orange lead to 15-6.
True freshman cornerback Duce Chestnut broke up a fourth-down try for Ohio, getting the ball back for Syracuse on downs, and with 40 seconds to go in the third quarter, Tucker would get the six needed to get six on the board, rolling the Orange ahead 22-6. Tucker had broken a substantial run to begin this drive.
Syracuse's defense would prevent a score in their own redzone, and redshirt-senior kicker Stephen Johnson would send the ball through the uprights from 25 yards away to bring the score to 22-9 Orange early in the fourth quarter.
With a little over seven minutes to go in the game, DeVito had seven total carries in the game, amounting 49 yards (7 yards per carry).
The Orange would run the ball nine straight times, not attempting a single pass, going from their own 35 to the promised land, with redshirt-sophomore running back Cooper Lutz rushing into the end zone untouched from 11 yards out, elevating the Orange out to a 29-9 lead with 5:15 to play.
On the next possession for the Bobcats, Chestnut would reach out and grab his first collegiate interception by the Orange end zone.
Sophomore transfer quarterback Garrett Shrader would get in on Syracuse's last drive, along with redshirt-senior running back Abdul Adams who had sat out the COVID season, bringing the game to a close at 29-9 Orange.
Syracuse's starting offensive line of left tackle Matthew Bergeron, left guard Chris Bleich, center Carlos Vettorello, right guard Darius Tisdale, and right tackle Airon Servais allowed only one sack on DeVito in the entire game.
DeVito would end the game 11-for-17 for 92 yards with no interceptions, and his aforementioned rushing touchdown.
Tucker gained his most yards on the ground of his career in a single game, with 181 yards. He achieved this on 25 carries for 7.2 yards per carry, to go with his rushing score.
The 1-0 Orange will head home for a match-up with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, a former Big East foe, on Saturday. September 11th, at 2pmET, while the 0-1 Bobcats will also be home and also kick off at 2pmET on Saturday, September 11th, with their adversary being the Duquesne Dukes.