SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Garrett Shrader passed for four touchdowns to four different receivers, LeQuint Allen ran for 107 yards and a score, Syracuse scored on five consecutive possessions in the first half and the Orange went on to defeat Colgate 65-0 in the season opener for both teams.
The 65 points represent the most in coach Dino Babers' eight-year run at Syracuse, passing the previous mark of 62 points against Wagner in 2018 and University at Albany in 2021. It was the program's highest scoring output since a 66-13 win against Miami (FL) in 1998.
Shrader, showing no effects from off-season elbow surgery that had him on a “pitch count” in preseason, connected on scoring strikes of 13 yards to Damien Alford, 44 yards to Isaiah Jones, 14 yards to preseason All-American Oronde Gadsden II and three yards to Umari Hatcher. Jones also scored on a 3-yard pass from backup quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson.
“It was nice to see a lot of different guys get into the end zone. We did some good things,” Shrader said. “We have a lot of things we have to clean up, but especially considering the circumstances — with guys moving around and from injuries in camp — we did well. The scoreboard reflected that well.”
Syracuse dominated after its initial possession. In addition to its five straight scoring drives, cornerback Jeremiah Wilson returned a pass from Colgate quarterback Michael Brescia 66 yards for another score. The Orange led 37-0 at halftime.
Syracuse accumulated 34 first downs and 677 yards to six first downs and 106 yards for Colgate. The Orange sacked Brescia three times. The Raiders totaled 54 yards on the ground and averaged 1.8 yards per play. Brescia was 7-of-14 passing for just 29 yards and two picks.
“I think the main thing is we came out with a win,” Babers said. “These games are spooky. I thought Colgate came out strong. I thought we had some ups and we had some downs. I thought the guys played hard although there were periods they didn’t play as hard as I liked.”
Shrader was 18 of 24 for 257 yards and one interception. Gadsden finished with six receptions for 57 yards.
“I think he (Shrader) ended up at 70% which is really, really good,” Babers added. “I was proud of how he tried to protect himself for the most part."
For Colgate, the game was a valuable learning experience.
“A lot of guys got their first college experience in a great environment,” said Colgate coach Steve Dakosty. "Every first game you’re going to find out things. We have lot of work to do, but I believe in this group. We're excited to learn from this.”
A SPECIAL SET OF SKILLS
Babers said it would be hard for anyone to replace running back Sean Tucker, but said Allen has “very unique skills.”
POINTS WELL TAKEN
Covering their last two games, Syracuse has scored 98 straight points against the Raiders.
THE DEFENSE DOESN'T REST
Even though it gave up 65 points, Dakosty praised his defense. “Syracuse kept their foot on the gas the whole game so our defense was out there and they battled. They kept fighting.”
Colgate: The Raiders had no answer for Syracuse on either side of the ball, which was expected. The offensive line opened little space for Jaedon Henry and Max Hurleman, who finished with two and nine yards, respectively, and couldn’t stop the Orange aerial attack. A better test awaits next week.
Syracuse: Gadsden showed why he’s on several All-American lists and LeQuint Allen showed that he’s ready to lead the Orange running game, replacing Sean Tucker. The offensive line, however, will need to eliminate penalties that could cost them against better competition.
Colgate: Raiders visit Villanova Saturday.
Syracuse: The Orange, who open the season playing four of its first five games at home, host Western Michigan Saturday before traveling to Purdue.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll