Hungrier Than The Wolf: No. 18 Syracuse Upends No. 15 NC State 24-9
In his weekly press conference, Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers told reporters to “expect a 15-round heavyweight fight” in anticipation of his team’s showdown with NC State that weekend. And a fight it was. The Orange and Wolfpack exchanged blows, whether it was a Garrett Shrader touchdown pass or a Shrader interception. But in the end, the final blow was delivered by Sean Tucker in the form of a 25-yard touchdown with 2:20 to go. The final 140 seconds felt like a formality as SU finished off a 24-9 victory. Students stormed the field to celebrate. Syracuse is 6-0 and bowl-eligible for the first time since 2018.
“This is the third team that I’ve been a part of that’s been 6-0,” Babers said. “This is special. Sometimes you need to just stop and smell the roses. If you go back and find how many teams have gone 6-0, regardless of opponents, it’s not normal.”
Last season, SU did not have a player top 400 receiving yards. Six games into the season, Oronde Gadsden has already eclipsed 500. The Fort Lauderdale, FL native had his third 100-yard receiving game of the season and also scored multiple touchdowns for the second time.
“I was like ‘get the ball to this kid’,” Babers said. “His hand-eye coordination is not average, it’s way above average.”
Chambers Didn’t Have Secrets
In the hours leading up to the game, QB Devin Leary, who was named the preseason ACC player of the year, was ruled out for the contest and later, the season. In stepped 25-year-old Jack Chambers, who was making his first start at the FBS level. The former Charleston Southern signal-caller was solid on the ground, picking up 81 yards. But through the air? Chambers completed 60% of his passes, only compiling 160 yards. He also took three sacks, including a pair well into SU territory. That proved costly, as NC State never found paydirt.
LISTEN: From inside the NC State 18-yard line, redshirt freshman Leon Lowery got his second sack of the season. WAER's @JacobMorrisTV was on the call.— WAER Sports (@WAERSports) October 15, 2022
🎙️@waer883, https://t.co/BG0Q3sY0Vn pic.twitter.com/JFx8aNSxpE
More Injury Woes
Babers said in his press conference that he was pleased with the timing of the bye, in large part because his team had sustained so many injuries early in the season. But, despite the week off, the injury bug struck SU once again. All-ACC Defensive Back Garrett Williams left the game with an apparent lower-body injury in the second quarter and did not return. Defensive Lineman Kevon Darton went down in the third, and linebackers Leon Lowery and All-American Mikel Jones were injured in the fourth. Darton and Jones both returned. We’ll provide updates on the status of all four of these players on Twitter (@WAERSports) as we get them.
Syracuse takes the field again on Saturday, October 22 when it visits Clemson. The Orange haven’t won in any of their four previous trips to Memorial Stadium. WAER’s coverage begins with “Countdown to Kickoff” at 11:30 AM, and game time is set for noon.