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JMA Wireless Dome Opens with Orange Romp of Cardinals

Posted on September 3, 2022 at 11:25 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  The Syracuse Orange opened up their first game of the season on an historic night, with this being the first-ever game to be played in the now JMA Wireless Dome.

  Receiving the ball first, Syracuse's opening play of the game was a four-yard run by sophomore running back Sean Tucker, who enters the season as the all-time single-season leading rusher for the Orange.

  Syracuse would have four first downs on this initial drive of the 2022 season, with junior quarterback Garrett Shrader going 2-for-2 to start and transfer quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, a redshirt-freshman, getting his first opportunity in Orange on the team's first drive, throwing one pass, a five-yard completion over the middle to Tucker, which helped set up a 31-yard field goal by redshirt-senior kicker Andre Szmyt to give Syracuse a 3-0 from their initial drive (9:46 mark of the first quarter).

  Former Orange running back Jawhar Jordan, Jr., would have the first play for the Louisville Cardinals when he returned the following kick for 19 yards in a Dome he knows all too well.

  Syracuse's defense would force Louisville to punt on their fisrt drive of 2022.

  The Orange would begin their second drive with two false starts just one play apart, but Shrader would connect with redshirt-senior wide receiver Devaughn Cooper 23 yards on 2nd-&-14 to give the Orange a new set of downs.

  Shortly after, redshirt-senior fullback Chris Elmore would need help on both sides as he came off the field, nursing his left leg at the 5:22 mark of the opening quarter.

  On the next play, Shrader would pass out right to Tucker who took off downfield and had too much speed for anyone coming after him in the open field from any angle, giving Syracuse their first touchdown of the 2022 campaign, in their first quarter of play and on their second overall drive, placing Tucker in the end zone within the first 10 minutes of play, at the 5:01 mark. With the score, the Orange moved ahead 10-0.

  Louisville would respond, scoring their first touchdown of the season also on their second drive, on their seventh play of the possession when junior running back Tiyon Evans went through a hole on the right side of the line and into the end zone from 36 yards out, bringing the game to 10-7 Syracuse with 1:10 remaining in the quarter.

  After one quarter, Tucker had four carries for 25 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and four receptions for 67 yards (16.8 yards per reception), with a receiving touchdown.

  Shrader kept Syracuse's drive alive early in the second quarter, their third possession of the game, with a 24-yard run on 3rd-&-14 that got the Orange to the Cardinals' 29-yard line with a new set of downs.

  Shrader would run for another first down and throw through the middle to Cooper for a first down to follow, getting Syracuse to the Louisville four. Tucker would pick up the four yards on the next play for his first rushing touchdown of the 2022 campaign, and second score overall, elevating the Orange out to a 17-7 lead with 10:25 left in the second quarter. 

  Syracuse took this drive from 1:10 remaining in the first quarter to the 10:25 mark of the second, a span of five minutes and 45 seconds, leading them to their third score on three drives. The Orange had five first downs on 12 plays within this possession,

  A trick play on Louisville's next drive would see redshirt-senior quarter Malik Cunningham throw to the right side to senior wide receiver Braden Smith who would air it out to senior wide receiver Tyler Hudson for a 45-yard gain; Syracuse redshirt-sophomore cornerback Garrett Williams would catch up to Hudson to prevent the touchdown, leaving Louisville at the Syracuse four-yard line.

  The Cardinals elected to go for it on 4th-&-2, but the Orange would protect their pavement, moving Cunningham back two yards on his quarterback keeper and taking the ball back with 5:10 remaining in the first half.

  With 3:19 remaining, Tucker stayed down on the field after his carry. He would eventually come off walking slowly on his own accord. At this time, Tucker had eight carries for 33 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and five catches for 80 yards (16 yards per catch), with one touchdown rushing and one receiving.

  True freshman running back LeQuint Allen would come in with Tucker going out, catching a pass from Shrader on his first play of his collegiate career for a four-yard gain.

  Following back-to-back false-start penalties, Shrader would go back to Allen, but the catch ended in a two-yard loss, resulting in the first punt of the game for the Orange, marking their first time in four drives where they failed to score a point. True freshman punter Max von Marburg out of Australia would send his first collegiate punt 44 yards and sophomore linebacker Marlowe Wax would tackle Braden Smith for a one-yard loss on the attempted return, placing the Cardinals on their own 14-yard line.

  After review, Louisville starting right tackle, redshirt-sophomore Renato Brown, was disqualified for targeting, moving the Cardinals have the distance to the goal, which put them on their own seven-yard line.

  Syracuse would force Louisville to punt for the second time in the first half thanks to Garrett Williams and junior linebacker Mikel Jones taking down Evans on a run that ended four yards short of the first down.

  Allen would run the clock out on his first carry in his collegiate career, a six-yard gain that would take the Orange into the locker rooms ahead by 10, 17-7, at home.

  Worth noting, neither team had a turnover in the first half.

  Redshirt-junior defensive end Caleb Okechukwu would sack Cunningham on third down for a two-yard loss, forcing the Cardinals to punt away their first possession of the second half.

  On their first possession of the second half, the Orange had their bell cow on the field, with Tucker returning after leaving the game late in the first half. He took a carry out of his own end zone for an 11-yard gain, giving the Orange a first down on their first play of the half.

  Syracuse would, however, punt away their first possession of the second half. Right before this punt, the Orange picked up their 13th penalty for a total loss of 82 yards, this coming inside eight minutes left in the third quarter.

  Cunningham would send the ball to the end zone on the Cardinals' next drive, where junior wide receiver Dee Wiggins was waiting, but redshirt-sophomore cornerback Garrett Williams would step in front of Wiggins and intercept the ball, taking away a score from the Cardinals that would have gotten them within three and giving the Orange a stolen possession at the 4:54 mark of the third quarter.

  Syracuse would go back-to-back on punting the ball away, getting nothing on their second possession of the third quarter.

  But the defense would intercept Cunningham for the second-straight drive when redshirt-freshman linebacker Derek McDonald caught the ball in the middle of the field and ran back toward the Cardinals, getting to their 13-yard line right before the close of the third quarter.

  The Orange would not let a third possession in a row get away, with Shrader finding sophomore tight end Oronde Gadsden II in the end zone for an eight-yard reception that gave Syracuse a 24-7 lead with 13:02 left in the contest; this catch was Gadsden's first career touchdown and third catch of the game after having two catches all of last season.

  Syracuse would make Louisville turn the ball over for their third-straight drive when redshirt-sophomore defensive lineman Steve Linton sacked Cunningham, forced the fumble, and recovered the ball. This marks Linton's second-ever sack and first fumble forced as well as first fumble recovery in his collegiate career, giving the Orange the ball back on the Cardinals' 25-yard line after Linton moved Cunningham back three yards.

  The Orange would once again capitalize on their defense forcing a turnover, when Shrader matched his jersey number, running six yards on a quarterback keeper, for his first rushing touchdown of 2022 and third overall score of the game, stretching the Syracuse lead out to 31-7 with 8:40 to play.

  Inside five minutes to play, it was three-on-three, as #3 for the Orange, junior linebacker Mikel Jones, spun off a block attempt and sacked #3 for the Cardinals, Cunningham, forcing a fumble that the Cardinals recovered after a seven-yard loss.

  Syracuse would gain possession back after a turnover on downs by Louisville and Allen would end the second half as he did in the first, by running the game clock out on a carry.

  With the victory, the Orange improve to 1-0 overall, 1-0 at home, and 1-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), with the Cardinals 0-1 overall, 0-1 on the road, and 0-1 in the ACC.

  In this the 21st game between the two, Syracuse gains their eighth victory, with the series at 13-8 in favor of Louisville,

  Shrader went 18-for-25 (72%), 237 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and no interceptions to go with 18 carries for 95 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and one rushing touchdown.

  Cunningham finished 16-for-22 (72.7%) for 152 passing yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. He carried the ball 13 times for 34 yards (2.6 yards per carry) with no rushing touchdowns.

  Tucker led the entire Orange with 98 yards on 21 carries (4.7 yards per carry) with one rushing touchdown and in receiving with 85 yards on six catches (14.2 yards per catch) and one receiving touchdown, accumulating 183 yards from scrimmage. 

Categories: Syracuse Orange Football, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA