|Posted on September 18, 2021 at 3:20 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
Following opening their new-look Dome for the first time to fans in almost two years with a rough outing offensively, the Syracuse Orange welcomed an I-90 battle with the Albany Great Danes of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), which is in the Football Championship Division (FCS), also known as NCAA Division I-AA, marking their first-ever match-up with the Great Danes.
Syracuse tight ends came into this match-up having barely been targeted in the first two games, with sophomore tight end Luke Benson having one catch in two games.
That changed in this contest, with redshirt-junior quarterback Tommy DeVito sending the ball to Benson on first down of the opening drive of the game, a six-yard gain.
Like the previous game versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Orange would attain a first down just two plays in to their first drive, this time when DeVito found redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Anthony Queeley.
DeVito would go to Benson again, this time in traffic, with Benson holding on for a six-yard gain that brought Syracuse into the Albany redzone, at their 19.
A carry up the middle by freshman running back Sean Tucker would send the Orange rolling back two yards
Tucker has now scored a rushing touchdown in all three of Syracuse's games this season.
The Orange took 5:03 off the first-quarter clock on this drive.
Albany redhsirt-sophomore quarterback Jeff Undercuffler completed on his first pass attempt of the game, going for a nine-yard gain.
The Great Danes would fumble the snap on 3rd-&-1 and end their drive right after with a punt.
DeVito, trying to run from pressure, would take a hard hit as he we down, and would be taken into the tent with 7:41 left in the first quarter.
Backup quarterback and sophomore transfer from Mississippi State (SEC), Garrett Shrader, would come in.
On 3rd-&-14 from his own 15, Shrader got a tight end involved himself, find true freshman Maximilian Mang for a 12-yard gain. The Great Danes' defense would aid the Orange with a face-mask penalty, giving them another 15 yards, and a first down as a result.
Two plays later, Tucker would take his carry out into the open field and take off, staying in front of the entire Albany defense en route to a 56-yard touchdown that would extend the Orange lead to 14-0 with 6:35 to go in the opening quarter.
On the next drive for the Great Danes, true freshman cornerback Duce Chestnut was caught not facing the ball and freshman wide receiver Jackson Parker kept the drive alive with a 30-yard gain on 3rd-&-4.
Undercuffler would go 3-for-5 on the drive, which would conclude with Albany's first score of the game, a 37-yard field goal by redshirt-senior kicker Dylan Burns with 3:21 to play in the first quarter, bringing the score to 14-3 Syracuse.
On 1st-&-25 at their own 20-yard line, the Orange would lose the ball when DeVito's pass attempt went off the hands of his intended receiver and was intercepted by redshirt-sophomore cornerback Christian Lewis who took the ball all the way into the Orange end zone for the first touchdown of the day for the Great Danes, moving the score to 14-10 Orange with 2:48 remaining in the opening quarter.
DeVito would respond to his interception on the next drive when he aired out on the second play of the drive downfield to freshman wide receiver Damien Alford for a 73-yard score where Alford got away from his defender in single-coverage down the left sideline, extending Syracuse out to a 21-10 advantage that they would take to the end of the first quarter.
The Orange would score on four of five of their second-quarter possessions, rolling uphill to a 45-10 advantage by halftime.
A touchdown from DeVito to Queeley and a 43-yard field goal by redshirt-junior kicker Andre Szmyt were nullified on the same drive due to penalties, but Szmyt would connect from 48 yards away to make it 24-10 Orange on this possession, at the 12:30 mark. This field goal was the 59th of Szmyt's career, tying him with Syracuse kicker alum Cole Murphy for the most career field goals made in Orange history.
Shrader would come in for the next drive and the ball would be snapped past him, which he would recover after a 24-yard loss.
On the very next play, Shrader would pass short to Tucker who take a 3rd-&-29 try 72 yards down the field for his third touchdown of the game, and first receiving, bringing the score to 31-10 Syracuse at the 8:50 mark.
Syracuse freshman linebacker Stefon Thompson would force Undercuffler to fumble and redshirt-sophomore defensive end Caleb Okechukwu would recover the ball to set up Syracuse's next drive on Albany's 12-yard line. Tucker would get all 12 on the first play of the subsequent drive, for his fourth touchdown of the contest, and third rushing score, making it 38-10 Syracuse with 7:51 before half.
After punting on their fourth drive of the second quarter, the Orange would rush on eight of nine plays on their next drive, with Shrader getting into the end zone from two yards out on the quarterback keeper to give Syracuse a 45-10 halftime lead.
Redshirt-senior running back Abdul Adams would get some action on this drive, carrying the ball three times for 17 yards (5.7 yards per carry).
Tucker would head into the break with at least 100 yards rushing and receiving, with 106 yards on the ground and 121 in the air attack.
He would waste little time gaining his fifth touchdown of the game when he scored on a run from 26 yards out on the first Orange possession of the second half, elevating the Orange to a 52-10 advantage almost three minutes into the third quarter (12:09 mark).
With a 28-yard attempt at the 1:39 mark of the third quarter, Szmyt connected on a record-setting 60th career field goal, making him the new all-time leader in Orange history in field goals made, passing Cole Murphy. This field goal gave Syracuse a 55-10 lead that they would take to the fourth quarter.
Junior running back Jarveon Howard would move the Orange to the one-yard line of the Great Danes, and Shrader would gain the lone yard needed on the next play, faking the hand-off and keeping it himself to give Syracuse a 62-10 lead with 12:29 to go in the game. This was Shrader's second rushing touchdown of the day, and third touchdown overall, with the other being the aforementioned short pass that Tucker took 72 yards to "glory territory" in the second quarter.
Syracuse freshman linebacker Anwar Sparrow would be disqualified for targeting with 6:47 left in the game, during a drive where Albany would hold onto the ball from the 12:29 mark to 3:50 remaining. The Great Danes would score on this drive when freshman quarterback Joey Carino ran into the Orange end zone from two yards out following a pass interference call on the Orange. This score made it 62-17 Syracuse and was the first offensive touchdown scored in the game by Albany as well as their first points of the second half. Carino would run nine times to three pass attempts on this drive.
Albany special teams would show up on the very next play of the game when they recovered the ball on their kickoff after it touched a Syracuse player, giving the Great Danes an immediate offensive possession at the Orange 21. They would capitalize on their special teams' recovery when Carino found freshman wide receiver Kristen McAdams in the end zone from five yards out, making it 62-24 Orange with 2:23 to play.
After not scoring for 28 minutes and 58 seconds, the Great Danes had back-to-back touchdowns, their only offensive touchdowns of the game, coming inside four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Syracuse second-year freshman quarterback JaCobian Morgan came in to lead the offense on their final drive.
On this possession, Howard took a hand-off 50 yards to the Albany 16.
He would carry the ball 11 yards to the Great Danes' five-yard line to end the game with the Orange rolling 62-24 to improve to 2-1 on the season, all in non-conference play.
Tucker accumulated 132 rushing yards and 121 receiving yards in this contest for a total of 253 yards from scrimmage to go with five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving).
Syracuse living legend Jim Brown holds the record for most rushing touchdowns in a game in Orange history, with six.
The Orange recorded over 200 yards rushing as a team for the second time in their first three games this season, gaining 286 yards in this match-up after amounting 283 in a 29-9 road win over the Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Behind Tucker's 132 rushing yards, Howard had 76, Shrader with 42, DeVito with 28, Adams with 25, and redshirt-sophomore running back Cooper Lutz had seven. Tucker's 132 yards came on 13 carries for 10.2 yards per carry, while Howard took six carries 76 yards for 12.7 yards per carry.
Syracuse's defense had eight sacks in the game: senior defensive end Cody Roscoe led with three, followed by second-year freshman linebacker Marlow Wax, Jr., Thompson, redshirt-junior defensive tackle Curtis Harper, redshirt-senior defensive end Josh Black, and true freshman defensive lineman Terry Lockett, all with one sack apiece.