Syracuse ended their two game losing streak and beat UConn in the state of Connecticut for the first time in program history with a 31-24 win on Saturday. Here is the best and worst from that performance.
- Syracuse won. Regardless of anything else, after the last two weeks, a win of any kind in any fashion was needed. For the team, the coaching staff and the fan base.
- Amba Etta-Tawo had another huge game and set a single game Syracuse record in the process. He finished with 12 catches for 270 yards and two touchdowns as he torched the Huskies. His 270 yards set an Orange single game mark, passing Scott Schwedes 1985 record.
- Eric Dungey threw for a career high 407 yards. He threw a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another while not turning the ball over.
- Syracuse jumped out early for the second consecutive week with two touchdown drives to start the game. They opened up a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
- In contrast to the South Florida game, after squandering a double digit lead in the second quarter, Syracuse went into the locker room with some momentum. Cole Murphy drilled a 47 yard field goal as the first half ended, giving the Orange a 17-14 lead.
- The Syracuse offensive line was missing three starters (Cody Conway, Omari Palmer, Jason Emerich), but still only gave up one sack. They had their share of issues opening up holes in the run game, but it was a solid performance considering those injuries.
- Joshua Black saw significant action in this one, partially due to injuries. He made the most of his opportunity. He only finished with two tackles, but he got into the backfield on multiple occasions and showed the ability to play tackle or end.
- Both Parris Bennett and Zaire Franklin had huge games. Each tied for the team lead with 14 tackles, and they combined for three tackles for loss with three pass breakups. Both had excellent all around games.
- Speaking of the Syracuse defense, for all of their issues, they made some huge plays in the second half to spark the Orange to victory. First, a pick six by Cordell Hudson off of a Franklin deflection gave SU a lead they would never squander. Second, a goal line stand after a poor call gave the Orange the ball back in the fourth quarter. The call was on a fake field goal by UConn and whether or not the ball was caught to convert the first down. On replay, the ball clearly fell through the receivers arms and hit the turf, but the officials let the play stand and gave the Huskies a first and goal. Syracuse responded with a stop, including a fantastic Zaire Franklin tackle on fourth down.
- The defense also helped Syracuse win the turnover battle
- One unit that does not get enough attention is the kickoff coverage unit. They continue to be stellar and held the Huskes to under 20 yards per return.
- Chris Slayton continued his strong season with a sack in this one.
- Despite the win, Syracuse did give up over 400 yards in the game. At times, UConn moved the ball well against the Orange defense. There are still consistency issues here. A lot can be tied to youth, a new system and injuries.
- UConn's starting running back Arkeel Newsome averaged over five yards per carry.
- The Syracuse rushing attack struggled once again, averaging only 2.4 yards per attempt.
- Sterling Hofrichter was inconsistent. He had a couple of nice punts, but also had a couple shank off of the side of his foot.
- Cole Murphy missed two field goals, including a short 33 yarder. He has been very good this season, so this appears to be an anomaly.
- Syracuse was dominated in terms of time of possession. UConn enjoyed a 38:29 to 21:31 edge in that category.
- The officiating was subpar in this game. Not only did they miss the fake field goal "catch" call that they reviewed, but there were several holds missed on both teams. Defensive pass interference calls were also missed.