0 Comments Published on 9.18.2013 by Brian Harrison
Don't fret Scott. You got your first win as Head Coach.
Syracuse was coming in off one of the worst team performances of the last few seasons. While we knew that Syracuse would perform better against FCS Wagner, they even exceeded even the most cynical fans expectations. Winning 54-0 will make anyone take notice.
Honestly, the offense would have earned an A if it weren't for the first three series from Drew Allen, which were three 3-and-out series. The only reason Syracuse got three points on the board in one of Allen's series is Syracuse recovered a fumble deep in Wagner territory. Allen has clearly made himself the back up. Terrell Hunt (15/18, 265yds, 3 TD, 0 INT) dazzled. Every facet of the offense seemed to improve when he was in the game. Hunt has failed to lead a drive that didn't at least score some points. Syracuse as a team rushed for 236 yards. The receivers all looked good. You really can't complain too much.
Syracuse only allowed five first downs, 2-14 on third downs, 0-1 on fourth downs, and 87 yards total. Those numbers are a nightmare for an offensive coordinator, but music to the ears of Shafer and the other defensive coaches. There were also two interceptions by Syracuse, and a fumble recovery. Syracuse was able to pressure the quarterback consistently, no matter who Wagner had behind center. Additionally, while Wagner had a number of drops, the secondary actually performed well. An impressive day for the defense.
Ross Krautman was out so we had the backup kicker in, who mostly just kicks off. Ryan Norton gave it a good try, but was 2/3 on field goals and missed an extra point. I've never played college football but I guess I could make 5 out of 5. Punt and kick coverage was pretty good, and Syracuse's punt returns were quite good as well.
The only thing I would have changed was I would have started Hunt and not given Allen the first three series. Otherwise, the game plan was perfect. The staff worked Allen back in after Hunt put the game well out of reach, and Charlie Loeb (RGLCL) got a series in. Syracuse mixed passes and runs and looked good all around. There were a few too many penalties, but otherwise a solid afternoon.
While Syracuse only played an FCS team, and there were a few things that need to be fixed, Syracuse played a virtually perfect defensive game, and the offense was vastly improved from the week before. Starting that Hunt kid probably had something to do with it.
Syracuse now prepares to have a slightly better team in Tulane come into the Dome this Saturday. With an odd start time of 12:30, let's hope that's the only odd thing you see in Syracuse from the hometown team. But you have to feel encouraged from what you saw this past weekend. A refreshing change from the weekend before.