The Syracuse defense was supposed to be the most solid of the three teams this year. With a revamped offensive line, and several holes to plug in the special teams, the defense was returning superstar Clifton Smith and several key starters.
Still, this wasn't enough as BYU defeated Syracuse 42-21 as BYU marched all over Syracuse for 615 total yards.
The Courgars put the nails in the coffin from the end of the third quarter on as they tacked on 21 points to put the game away largely in thanks for quarterback Bret Engermann who completed 35 of 54 passes (with only one turnover).
Engermann had last seen the Syracuse defense when the Orange pummeled the Courgars 42-14 and knocked the QB out with a shoulder injury.
He and Marcus Whalen both made sure that it wouldn't happen again as Engermann threw for three touchdowns and 386 overall yards. Whalen ran all over the Orange defensive line collecting 140 yards.
Using a young but quick offensive line, Engermann had plenty of time to roam around in the pocket and look for open receivers. The QB was only sacked once in the process for an offensive line that featured four new starters.
But it wasn't like Syracuse didn't have their own offense.
BYU turned the ball over three times in the early going, which the Orangemen capitalized on for three touchdowns. The first was off a special teams turnover that turned into a Jamel Riddle 17-yard score. Then freshman Damien Rhodes finished off the Orange's final two scoring drives with a 5 and a 4 yard score, respectively.
The four yard score tied the game at 21 but Engermann again took over the game running the ball in from three yards out for a score and then throwing it to Toby Christensen who ran 50-yards to the end zone.
R.J. Anderson then threw an interception, which led to a 31-yard field goal and the Orange never got themselves back in it.
They will travel home next week to play North Carolina at the Carrier Dome.
This and That
Maybe it was just too perfect and too straight.
Whatever the reason, with 8 minutes left in the game, tight end Lenny Cusumano dropped a sure fire touchdown that could have tied the game at 14.
With the Orange knocking on the door at the one-yard line, QB R.J. Anderson threw a strike to a wide-open Cusumano but somehow, the ball popped out of Cusumano's hands and he dropped to the ground in frustration.
To make things worse, on the ensuing series for BYU, they marched 99 yards to take a 14-point lead.
Cusumano didn't make any excuses at the end of the game. It was just a plain drop.
Cusumano also doubled as a long snapper in training camp. He was beat out by walk-on Dave DeAmato who had a solid outing last night.
DeAmato snapped two strikes to punter Mike Shafer to start off the game. His third snap to the punter was a bit high but Shafer still was able to place the ball deep in BYU territory.
The biggest concern for DeAmato was not whether he could snap the ball, but at 5-11, 210, blocking was the biggest concern.
Those questions were put to rest last night as Shafer was not significantly hurried.
BYU Rolls Over Orange
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