Syracuse vs. Rhode Island By The Numbers

A statistical preview of Syracuse vs. Rhode Island in the 2015 season opener.

This Friday will be the Syracuse Orange’s first test of the season. Hosting FCS-level Rhode Island, the Orange seem to have themselves a matchup they should easily win. However, as many big programs have seen in the past, FCS teams have the ability to come in and pull off a stunning defeat. Oregon State and Kansas State both kicked off the 2013 season losing to FCS teams. With all of this being said, let’s take a look at some key numbers for the Orange as they look to defeat the Rams.


For the Orange, nine offensive starters have made a start at some point in their college careers. Leading the way with 33 starts is center Rob Trudo.


Terrel Hunt, who will enter the last year of collegiate eligibility is just 40 yards shy of ninth place on Syracuse’s all-time passing list.

Here are some other quick facts:

• Since becoming a collegiate football program, the Orange have a 79-42-4 record in season openers.
• Syracuse and Rhode Island have met two times in their history, with the Orange winning both games. The team’s most recent victory was in 2011 when the Orange won to a score of 21-14.
• In that game in 2011, Ryan Nassib threw for 318 yards.
• From 1993-1995, head coach Scott Shafer served as an assistant coach at Rhode Island. He helped coached the team’s secondary for his first full-time coaching position.
• Shafer coached with Rhode Island’s offensive coordinator Bill Bleil at Northern Illinois in 2003.
• If the Orange win this game, it would extend Syracuse’s winning streak against FCS teams to 32 games. They would also be 13-0 against FCS teams in the Carrier Dome.

On Friday night, expect a heavy dose of Hunt and sophomore running back Ervin Philips. With Tim Lester handling the offensive duties, the Orange feature Philips a bunch, as both a pass-catcher and a running back. Despite all of the injuries the Orange suffered across the offensive line last year, Syracuse will have a lot of continuity upfront considering a ton of players received playing time. If the Orange stay turnover-free, get pressure on Rhode Island’s Paul Mroz, and play their game, they should have no problem against a Rams team that went 1-11 in Jim Fleming’s first season just a year ago.

Here is a statistical comparison from the 2014 season.

Category Syracuse Rhode Island
Overall Record 3-9 1-11
Conerence Record 1-7 1-7
Non-Conference Record 2-2 0-4
Home Record 1-5 1-4
Away Record 2-3 0-7
Netural Record 0-1 0-0
Points Per Game 17.1 12.5
Points Allowed Per Game 24.3 34.1
First Downs 202 167
Rushing Offense 145.8 119.0
Rushing Defense 139.2 231.1
Passing Offense 184.1 147.5
Passing Defense 209.8 211.5
Total Offense 329.9 266.5
Total Defense 349.2 442.6
Kick Return Average 18.2 20.0
Punt Return Average 8.4 7.8
Interceptions 8 5
Fumbles-Lost 13-4 27-15
Fumbles Recovered 12 13
Turnover Margin -1 -13
Penalties-Yards 86-717 64-559
Time of Possession 26:41 27:42
3rd Down Conversions 34.1% 27.2%
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. 39.3% 46.3%
4th Down Conversions 50.0% 31.4%
Opp. 4th Down Conv. 70.0% 40.0%
Sacks-Yards 27-181 17-129
Sacks Allowed 24 22
Tackles for Loss 80-311 68-242
FGs-Attempts 17-23 2-5
Red Zone Offense 28-35 (80.0%) 23-23 (52.2%)
Red Zone Touchdowns 14-35 (40.0%) 12-23 (52.2%)
Red Zone Defense 31-40 (77.5%) 39-52 (75.0%)
Red Zone Def. TDs 18-40 (45.0%) 29-52 (55.7%)

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