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SU Offense Suffers, Loses to Rutgers 17-7

Syracuse fell 17-7 to Rutgers on Saturday to drop the Orange to 1-1 on the season.
Syracuse fell 17-7 to Rutgers on Saturday to drop the Orange to 1-1 on the season.

Syracuse entered Saturday riding high after Week One, but the offense regressed to the mean in Week Two. WAER’s Ben Spector explains.

Syracuse started the season off with a bang but could not replicate that performance in Week Two. Rutgers took down SU 17-7 in a game that lacked offense. Each team had under 200 passing yards. Syracuse lost two fumbles and threw an interception.

“It’s hard. We were hurting ourselves. Early on in the game we got in the red zone and turned the ball over,” Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito said. “We need to score points on offense, clearly. We were not as balanced as we could have been. The run game did not get going as it should have, and the passing game did not get going as it should have either.”

Tommy DeVito (13) drops back for a pass in a 17-7 loss to Rutgers.

Last week, Syracuse ran for over 200 yards. However, this week the script was flipped. SU only had 67 yards on the ground and averaged just over two yards per carry. Plus, the passing game only averaged six yards per attempt. While that poor effort certainly contributed to the low scoring output, Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers noted that the special teams were not very special against Rutgers.

“I thought there were numerous mistakes in the kicking game,” Babers said. “I think the kicking game maybe cost us as much as the offense not scoring enough points.”

Sean Tucker (34, right) finished the day with 13 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown.

The headman certainly has a point. Kicker Andre Szmyt missed a 43-yard field goal with under ten seconds to go in the first half. Additionally, Colby Barker punted a ball only eight yards, which gave Rutgers great field position to make it a two-possession game late in the fourth quarter.

Even with the offensive and special teams blunders, the Syracuse defense was alive and active. While the unit did not cause any turnovers, the Orange gave up under 200 total yards and combined for four sacks. Linebacker Mikel Jones led the team in tackles with eleven.

It wasn’t the return to the Dome that Orange wanted, but they will have a chance to get their first home win of the season next Saturday against UAlbany. Next week’s matchup will mark the third of four non-conference games for Syracuse. Kickoff is set for noon, and WAER’s coverage begins at 11:30 with Countdown to Kickoff.