Amba Etta-Tawo breaks Syracuse football's single game receiving record in victory over UConn

Red-shirt senior receiver totals 270 yards and two touchdowns as SU tops Huskies, 31-24

Amba Etta-Tawo had three impressive games to start his Syracuse football career. But, his performance against Connecticut on Saturday afternoon may have been the best by a wide receiver in SU’s history.

Etta Tawo hauled in 12 passes against the Huskies for 270 yards and two touchdowns to lead SU (2-2, 0-1 ACC) to a 31-24 victory over UConn at Rentschler Field. The graduate transfer from Maryland now holds Syracuse’s single-game record for receiving yards.

Photo: Robert Schiff
Etta Tawo, hauled in 12 passes against the Huskies for 270 yards and two touchdowns.

“We knew there were going to be opportunities and we knew there were going to be one-on-one [coverages],” Etta-Tawo said. “Eric [Dungey] did a good job of finding me.”

Etta-Tawo entered the season with 938 career receiving yards in three seasons at Maryland. He has totaled 706 yards in just four games at Syracuse.  

“He’s an exceptional player,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said. “He really came in and bought into the techniques and fundamentals. He’s taken off.”

Etta-Tawo racked up 118 receiving yards in the opening five minutes of the first quarter alone. On the fourth play of the game, SU sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey found him streaking down the right sideline for a 57-yard touchdown reception.  On the next possession, Dungey connected with a wide open Etta-Tawo again for a 30-yard score down the same sideline to give the Orange a 14-0 lead.

“It goes back to practice,” Etta-Tawo said. “You can’t gain any type of results without putting the work in.”

But, from there, UConn (2-2, 0-1 AAC) dominated time of possession. Using runs and short passes, the Huskies strung together long drive after long drive, which appeared to wear down the Orange defense. The Huskies got on the scoreboard with a 12-play, 53-yard drive—that ate up nearly five minutes of game time—and then tied the score at 14 on a nine-play, 68-yard drive seven minutes later.

For the game, UConn controlled the ball for 38:29, while Syracuse’s offense was on the field for just 21:31.

With just under a minute to go in the third quarter and the score tied, UConn appeared to have all the momentum. The Huskies had the ball with a chance to take the lead after tying the score at 17 in their previous possession. But, Syracuse defensive back Cordell Hudson came up with a pick-6 to put the Orange back in front by a touchdown after intercepting a tipped pass on the UConn 22 yard-line.

“There was no doubt [that I’d get in the end zone],” Hudson said. “Once I saw all my blockers, I just ran straight.”

On its next possession, holder Tyler Davis completed a 17-yard pass off of a fake field goal to move UConn within eight yards of tying the score. But, the Orange defense stuffed the Huskies on four consecutive runs to give the ball back to SU.

“That’s the kind of stuff that brings teams together,” Babers said about the goal line stand.

Etta-Tawo collected 65 receiving yards on the following drive and Dungey ran an option keeper into the end zone to secure the Orange victory.  

Syracuse will return to action on Oct. 1 in a neutral site game against Notre Dame. Kick-off is scheduled for noon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


Dungey finished the game with 407 passing yards and three total touchdowns.

Sophomore Dontae Strickland led SU in rushing with 51 yards on 14 carries. 

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