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Orange Rise to 2-2, Etta-Tawo Rises to Top in Country

Posted on September 24, 2016 at 4:25 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  The Syracuse Orange have been home through the majority of September, playing their first three games inside the Carrier Dome.

  But a change of scenery proved beneficial for the Orange as they went on the road to East Hartford, Connecticut, to take on old Big East rival, the UConn Huskies.

  Syracuse jumped out to a 14-0 advantage courtesy of the tandem that have been in sync since the moment the team stepped on the field this season, with sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey finding graduate transfer wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo for two scoring plays through the air. Those touchdowns came less than four minutes from one another in the first quarter.

  But the Orange defense would allow two touchdowns in favor of the Huskies in the second quarter to even things out before junior kicker Cole Murphy connected from 47 yards away to give the advantage back to Syracuse heading into the break, 17-14.

  Etta-Tawo had at least 100 yards receiving in each of his three games with the Orange to start the season coming into this match-up, and going into the locker room, he had achieved 100 receiving yards once again, this time in merely a half.

  In the third quarter, UConn would force the second tie of the game since 14-14 when redshirt-senior kicker Bobby Puyol booted it from 27 yards away, making it 17-17 with 5:11 left to go in the third quarter.

  Then, Syracuse had a little bit of history repeated as they found an answer to yet another threat from UConn.

  But, this time, it came from the defense when redshirt-sophomore cornerback Cordell Hudson took an interception 22 yards to glory territory, placing the Orange ahead once again at 24-17.

  Syracuse's defense would command the spotlight once again when they prevented a UConn score from two yards away from the end zone on 4th-&-2, creating a turnover on downs opportunity for Syracuse's offense.

   Then the onslaught of offense from Etta-Tawo continued. With 205 yards receiving on 10 catches, Etta-Tawo caught a pass and turned it into a 59-yard play when Syracuse needed to keep their drive going on 3rd-&-7. That play that changed fields for the Orange aided in creating another scoring drive for the offense, with Dungey scampering in from six yards away.

  The Huskies would respond with a touchdown with 33 seconds to go, but the clock favored the Orange.

  Etta-Tawo ended the game with 270 yards receiving on 12 catches, two of those catches turning into touchdowns.

  At the conclusion of a 31-24 road win for Syracuse, Etta-Tawo had 706 yards receiving through four games, a total good enough to make him the top student-athlete among all FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, or Division I-A) schools in the country in total receiving yards.

  His prowess on the field linked with a 407-passing yard performance by Dungey gave the Orange the surge they needed to overcome a Huskies' offense that was never completely out of the game.

  The result was a victory for Syracuse in their first road game of the season and first road game under head coach Dino Babers in his first season with the school, meaning that the Orange, despite the adversity of the last two weeks, are at .500 at 2-2 moving forward.

  And it is a heck of a lot easier to move forward when they you have a student-athlete like Etta-Tawo in the field, who has the hands, the moves, and the relationship with his quarterback to continue to push the ceiling higher on what this Syracuse offense can be.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Football, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA