SU Defeats Wagner in Home Opener

SU Defeats Wagner in Home Opener

Published on September 14, 2013

SYRACUSE, NY- Coach Scott Shafer earned his first win as head coach of the Syracuse Football team in its 54-0 win over the Wagner Seahawks on Saturday afternoon.

The Orange were first led on offense by quarterback Drew Allen. However, halfway through the first quarter the switch was made to sophomore quarterback Terrel Hunt. The presence of Hunt on the field ignited a spark that had been absent in the starting offensive drives. Syracuse developed a smooth offensive rhythm that led the team to its first win of the season.

“Go in there and play,” is the message Hunt said he delivered to his teammates once he took the field. “I just went in there in the huddle and started joking around. Let them know I’m comfortable about doing this,” Hunt said. “Just go in there and have fun.”

The sophomore quarterback had a completion percentage of .833 against the Seahawks leading the offense to score six touchdowns in the first three quarters of the game.

“It felt great,” Hunt said. “That’s what you wanna do, you don’t wanna go out there and get a three and out. It felt like I was in the flow of the game, everything was connected.”

Ryan Norton’s field goal early in the first quarter gave the Orange its first lead 3-0, after Junior Linebacker, Dyshawn Davis recovered a Wagner fumble on the 18-yard line.

The Syracuse defense continued to apply pressure to the Wagner offense early in the first quarter when Jay Bromley sacked Wagner quarterback, Matt Misley, causing him to fumble the ball on the Seahawks 10-yard line that resulted in a 13-yard loss and forcing the Seahawks to punt.

The energy in the dome rose as Terrel Hunt took the field as quarterback in place of Drew Allen who was 3 of 6 passing in Syracuse’s first 3 drives.

In Hunt’s first drive he moved the offense 68-yards down the field where Jerome Smith rushed into the end-zone from the Wagner 2-yard line with 2:23 left in the 1st quarter, giving the Orange a 9-0 lead. Norton missed the extra point.

At the start of the second quarter the atmosphere in the Carrier Dome transitioned from low-energy to electric when Hunt completed a 42-yard pass to Jarrod West that placed the Orange on the Seahawks 22-yard line. Hunt then completed a sideline pass to Prince-Tyson Gulley for a 13-yard touchdown giving Gulley his second touchdown of the season.

With 9:14 left in the 2nd quarter, the offensive momentum did not wear down. Hunt using his feet to keep the play alive led the offense on a 59-yard move down the field that resulted in a nearly untouched, 8-yard rushing touchdown by Jerome Smith.

The energy in the Carrier Dome exploded in the middle of the second quarter when running back, Devante McFarlane, scored from 3 yards out to bring the Orange up 30-0 against the Seahawks.

The Syracuse defense meanwhile shut down the Wagner offense throughout the entire first half. For six consecutive possessions, Wagner was unable to move the ball and forced to punt each time giving the Syracuse offense more opportunities to make plays happen.

Late in the first half there was a breakdown in the Seahawk coverage. Chris Clark got behind the secondary andHunt launched a deep pass to him for a 41-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 37-0. The Syracuse offense entered the locker room at the end of the first half with a total of 338 offensive yards compared the Seahawks’ 30.

The Syracuse defense ended up with the ball one last time to end the first half. Wagner committed its second turnover of the game when linebacker Cameron Lynch picked off a Matt Misley pas and returned it 47 yards.

Taking the field of the Carrier Dome after half time, the Orange defense returned in full force allowing the Wagner offense to gain only seven yards in its first possession of the half.

The Seahawks managed to hold the Orange to a field goal after a 28-yard drive on the first possession of the second half. Ryan Norton hit from 32 yards to put Syracuse up 40-0.

The Carrier Dome erupted during the offense’s next possession as Hunt sent a deep pass down the center of the field, 65-yards, to Jarrod West who carried it into the end zone, widening the Orange’s lead 47-0.

The Seahawk offense continued to battle the Orange defense, but fell short when Syracuse strong safety, Durell Eskridge, intercepted a pass thrown by Misley returning the ball 11 yards to the Wagner 34-yard line.

Drew Allen then returned to field to lead the Syracuse offense on another scoring drive which was capped off with a 4-yard pass to Chris Clark in the end zone.

The score remained for the entirety of the fourth quarter 54-0 with neither team reaching the end zone giving the Orange its first win of the season.

“It felt good,” Shafer said of the win. “It feels great, let’s get number two as fast as possible.”

Syracuse will host Tulane Saturday, September 21 at 12:30.p.m and the on October 5 will face its first ACC opponent, Clemson, at home in the Carrier Dome.