Anderson solid again in win

Walter Reyes' career day obscured a solid performance by RJ Anderson.

The senior quarterback didn't throw an interception while completing 13-of-20 passes for 133 yards as the Orangemen defeated Central Florida 38-14.

Before Anderson fielded questions from reporters, he smiled and with a relaxed face said, "nice and easy today, huh?"

It's been a stark contrast from last year, when Anderson threw eight interceptions and took the blame for the failures on offense. This year, with Johnnie Morant and Walter Reyes becoming offensive stars, Anderson's had much less pressure to perform.

"It's a lot better coming here after a victory," Anderson said. "My confidence has been high for a while."

Anderson also helped set up Reyes many times, effectively running the option. Anderson carried the ball seven times for 35 yards, including a gain of 11 where he faked a pitch to Reyes.

"It's a 2-on-1 play," Anderson said. "It's how (the defender) plays it."

Anderson was also quick to praise the defense, which allowed just 14 points against Central Florida.

"(The defense) is more relaxed," Anderson said. "They were playing well and having fun.


Backup quarterback Perry Patterson finally made his return to the Orangemen lineup after missing all of spring fall and much of fall with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

He was expected to be out until mid-October, but a near-miraculous recovery allowed Patterson to take over for Anderson with 4:03 left and the Orangemen leading 38-14. Patterson did not throw a pass in a three-and-out.

Xzavier Gaines took over on the following series.


Johnnie Morant suffered a twisted ankle while catching a pass in the third quarter. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni said that Morant, who caught four passes for 40 yards, would be ready for Monday's practice. … Damien Rhodes (high ankle sprain) did not play in today's game. "If we needed him to come in, he could've come in," said Pasqualoni, who opted to rest Rhodes this week.


Walter Reyes four touchdowns is the first time a Syracuse back has done that since SU running backs coach David Walker had four against Pittsburgh in 1991. … Thomas Whitfield started at cornerback for the first time in his career. He split time with Terrell Lemon. … Kelvin Smith's interception in the second quarter was the first of his career. … Syracuse's 2-1 start marks the first time the Orangemen have started like that since 1999.

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