SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) – Freshman running back Sean Tucker stole the show in Saturday’s 62-24 win over UAlbany, as the ‘Cuse offense gained 623 total yards (seventh most in program history) and averaged 9.44 yards per play (second most in program history.
Tucker did the most damage, as the second-year freshman back amassed the second-most touchdowns by any player in program history (5), trailing just the great Jim Brown (6; 1956) and is the first player in program history to have 100+ rushing (132) and receiving yards (121) in a single game.
The Orange got production from all over, as quarterbacks Garrett Shrader (190 yards) and Tommy DeVito (147 yards) combined to complete 17-of-24 passing attempts for 337 yards through the air.
Behind Tucker’s 121 yards through the air, Courtney Jackson also caught three passes for 47 yards, but it was Damien Alford who hit on the big play of the day, hauling in a 73-yard strike down the sideline from DeVito in the first quarter.
Syracuse took control right off the first drive, marching 62 yards in 10 plays and finishing things with an eight-yard touchdown run by Tucker. The possession was extended on a fourth-and-three from the UAlbany 21, when quarterback Tommy DeVito ran for nine yards.
Tucker picked up where he left off on the second ‘Cuse possession, adding to his touchdown total with a 56-yard sprint to paydirt that provided the Orange with a 14-0 advantage.
UAlbany put together its first scoring drive late in the first quarter. Dylan Burns converted a 37-yard field goal to narrow the Dane deficit to 14-3.
Less than 30 seconds later, UAlbany was at it again. Christian Lewis intercepted a DeVito pass that was deflected off an Orange wideout and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Burns pulled the Danes closer at 14-10.
Alford provided an answer for the Orange on the following possession, hauling in a 73-yard touchdown strike from DeVito that started the Orange roll.
Redshirt junior Andre Szmyt connected on a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 28-yarder in the third period. The second three-pointer was the 60th of his Syracuse tenure and surpassed by one the ‘Cuse record held by Cole Murphy (2014-17).
After Szmyt’s record-tying field goal, Shrader, who transferred to Syracuse from Mississippi State last winter, was responsible for two second-quarter touchdowns. He teamed up with Tucker on a pass play that resulted in a 72-yard score and capped off the first half with a two-yard plunge that gave the Orange a 45-10 lead at the intermission.
Shrader added a score in the fourth quarter, keeping on an option play from the two-yard line.
Albany’s three touchdowns came on a pick-six and two in the final-four minutes of the fourth quarter. Otherwise the defense was spectacular. Cody Roscoe added another 3.0 sacks for a career high, and Mikel Jones led the team with seven tackles once again. In total, ‘Cuse had nine sacks, one each from Josh Black, Marlowe Wax, Terry Lockett (the first of his career), Curtis Harper, and Stefon Thompson.
Syracuse hosts Liberty on Friday, September 24, at 8:00 p.m.