A Career Day for Kowalewski

Syracuse scraped together 69 total offensive yards in the first half of Saturday's 27-24 loss to Virginia. It was a poor display of football by the Orange as the Cavaliers accumulated 234 yards in that same half. The difference in possession time? A mere minute and forty seconds.

Defense did the grunt work for the Orange, picking up three interceptions for a 37-yard net gain and one sack for two more yards. Unfortunately, the offense couldn't capitalize. But despite its struggles, there was one diamond in the rough for the offense, tight end Joe Kowalewski.

Kowalewski helped sway the game's momentum in Syracuse's favor heading into the second half. With 7:51 remaining in the third quarter, the senior was on the receiving end of a 31-yard TD from junior quarterback Perry Patterson. He tallied seven receptions for a total of 96 yards on the game. The contest made for a career day for Kowalewski as he set a personal best of seven catches and surpassed 300-yards receiving. He also set a career high for receiving yards in a single game.

"He fumbled that one ball," head coach Greg Robinson whose team fell to 1-2 said. "He catches that one ball. You know, it's not even an issue over there on the sidelines. He could have gotten discouraged. No. He just kept clawing and scratching and fighting and he was another guy that just stood up big, went beyond the design."

Kowalewksi injured his arm in the game and wasn't available for postgame interviews. He should be ready for the Orange's contest against Florida State on October 1.

With guys like Kowalewski on the receiving end of passes, the Syracuse passing game improved from last week's game against Buffalo. The Orange completed 17 of their 26 attempted passes against Virginia compared to their 10-of -22 completions versus the Bulls. There was far less a reliance on the running game this week, and a more solid passing game may be in the cards for the upcoming Syracuse matchups.

"I'm just trying to do my job and get the ball in the open areas so they can make the plays," said junior quarterback Perry Patterson. "(Kowalewski) is probably one of the most fired up people on our team. I was happy to see him get the ball, make some plays. We're just going to try to get them the ball as much as we can, open some more things up for the receivers."

Kowalewski only had one reception against Buffalo last week. His performance against Virginia may have surpassed his effort last Saturday, but the upcoming games should show whether this was simply a stand-out game or whether the tight end will have an overall stand-out season. Regardless, the Syracuse offense was the Kowalewski show on Saturday.

"I thought he was absolutely amazing," said wide receiver Tim Lane. "It's his best performance I've ever seen. He kind of picked the whole team up. Blocking, making catches, scoring a touchdown. He did everything today. He laid his body out there, and he did it all for us. He really helped us in a lot of areas."

Cuse Nation Top Stories