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Syracuse Faces Uconn in First Road Game of Season

Syracuse University Athletics

The Syracuse Orange (1-2, 0-1 ACC) will have their first road game of the season against the Uconn Huskies (2-1, 0-1 AAC). Syracuse is coming off a disheartening loss against South Florida where they lead 17-0 after the first quarter, and then got outscored 45-3 the rest of the way. This will be head coach Dino Babers first road game with the Orange.

Who’s Hot- Amba Etta-Tawo

If it seems like Etta-Tawo has been the only player mentioned in this space, it’s because he has been. Etta-Tawo has been phenomenal in his first three games with the Orange, hauling in 28 catches for 436 yards and two touchdowns. He has been averaging 15.57 yards per catch, best on the team for receivers with five or more catches. The redshirt senior was added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list this week. The award is given to the best receiver in the country at the end of the season.

“Nothing really impresses me, he’s been doing that ever since he’s gotten here,” quarterback Eric Dungey said. “That’s kind of how he’s been, he’s an incredible player, an incredible guy. He’s smart, that’s what I think the best thing about him, he’s smart, he’s very smart, experienced. So, I got all the love for Amba.” 

Who’s Not- Eric Dungey

To be clear, Dungey is far from the biggest problem with the Orange. It’d be easy to blame the defense every week, but they’ve already suffered a ton of injuries in the secondary, and have played some excellent offensive teams thus far. Dungey has been great at times this year, but last week wasn’t his best game. While he still threw for 350 yards, he threw two interceptions, and wasn’t sharp with his decision making. Like I said, he’s far from the problem, but if the Orange want to stay in games, they need Dungey to be at the top of his game every week.

Credit Syracuse University Athletics /
Dontae Strickland and the offensive line will need to carry over their season best performance against USF when they travel to Uconn.

Uconn Experienced on Defense

Dino Babers was quick to praise some of the veterans on Uconn’s defense, including redshirt junior defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi,  redshirt senior cornerback Jhavon Williams, junior cornerback Jamar Summers and redshirt senior safety Obi Melifonwu, whom Babers called an NFL prospect. Uconn’s defense has yet to allow more than 30 points in a game, and just held Virginia to 10 points.

Key Matchup- Syracuse’s Running Game vs. Uconn’s Front Seven

The Orange finally got the running game going against South Florida. Sophomore running back Dontae Strickland gained 127 yards on 30 carries, and sophomore Jordan Fredericks had 42 yards on seven carries. Uconn has allowed 138.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 56th in the country. If the offensive line can continue to create holes for their backs, it will help Dungey and the passing game as well.

SU vs. Uconn Saturday @ 1 PM. Countdown to kickoff @ 12:30 PM on WAER 88.3

Syracuse will win if: The running game carries over its success from last week, Dungey rebounds from a so-so performance and the defense can keep Uconn under 40 points.