Syracuse finally punched its bully in the mouth, and next the Orange will encounter a former rival Saturday when it visits Connecticut in nonleague action at East Hartford, Conn.
The Orange (1-0) had lost three straight matchups with Louisville by a combined 127-39 heading into their 2022 season opener. However, last Saturday’s affair featured a very different storyline as Syracuse trounced Louisville 31-7 in a crisp wire-to-wire victory.
“This is a bully that has beaten you up three times in the courtyard and you haven’t eaten for a while,” said Syracuse coach Dino Babers. “He’s taking your money and your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You’re getting skinny and you need something to eat.
“It was great to finally get an opportunity to get a win against them and we’re going to take it.”
The Huskies also are coming off a resounding victory — a 28-3 triumph over Central Connecticut State on Saturday in which they evened their record at 1-1 following a 31-20 setback at Utah State in their season opener.
Freshman quarterback Zion Turner, making his first career start, threw a pair of touchdown passes against Central Connecticut State, an FCS foe. Turner came on in relief of Ta’Quan Roberson in Week 1 after the starting signal-caller suffered a torn ACL.
“In the second half (against Central Connecticut State), I started to play more freely, just let loose and just play a game of football instead of thinking too much,” Turner said. “This was a hard-fought win, but we know there’s a lot of mistakes made that we can correct and become a better team.”
Turner will continue to lean on Nathan Carter, who has rushed for 313 yards, averaging 7.3 yards a carry in the first two games.
Syracuse has a standout running back of its own in Sean Tucker, who led the Orange in both rushing yards (100) and receiving yards (84) against Louisville, scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Quarterback Garrett Shrader also enjoyed a splendid opener for Syracuse, completing 18 of 25 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns – with no interceptions – and gaining 94 yards on the ground with another score.
The teams met 10 times between 2004 and 2018 with the Huskies winning six of the first seven matchups and the Orange prevailing in the final three.
–Field Level Media