SU Football: Syracuse vs. Colgate

Fast paced offense leads Syracuse football to first victory of season

Behind impressive performance from Dungey, Orange route Colgate to open 2016.

It didn’t take long for first year Syracuse Orange football coach Dino Babers’ up-tempo offense to be put on full display at the Carrier Dome Friday night.  

After a running into the kicker penalty allowed the Colgate Raiders (0-1) to extend their opening drive and find the back of the end zone, the Orange (1-0) got the ball and drove 79 yards in 1:45 to tie the score at 7. Syracuse then scored on six of its next eight possessions to cruise to a 33-7 victory.

Photo: Jensen Stidham
The Dino Babers era begins with a win as Syracuse defeated Colgate, 33-7.

“I think what you saw tonight was both sides,” Barbers said about his team’s performance. “You saw a little bit of the good and a little bit of the bad. Hopefully, you could see the light at the end of the tunnel of what this could become once you work all the kinks out.”

Sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey picked apart the Raiders—a member of the FCS—defense from the first Syracuse possession.  He completed five straight passes on the Orange’s first drive and opened the scoring for SU by completing a 43-yard touchdown pass.

Dungey never slowed down. He threw for two touchdowns, racked-up 355 passing yards and completed 34 of his 40 pass attempts.  He also rushed for 35 yards.

“Eric did a nice job,” Babers said. “He made some mistakes but I would imagine that if you put his opening performance against other quarterbacks that I’ve had…I’d imagine that it might be the best.”

Despite the strong start to his sophomore season, both Dungey and his coach saw areas where he can improve.

“It’s just kind of the way the offense goes,” Dungey said about his statistical performance against the Raiders. “At the same time, I have to make better reads, better decisions and sharper throws. Tons of room for improvement.”

Two newcomers made an early impact to start their Syracuse careers. Freshman running back Moe Neal scored on his first collegiate carry, breaking away from the Colgate defense for a 49-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to put Syracuse ahead, 17-7.

“It just felt great getting my first touchdown,” Neal said. “Once I broke free, sigh of relief broke. Just glad we got the win. It was a good team win.”

Neal finished the contest averaging 7.6 yards per carry and recorded a game-high 71 rushing yards.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo also had an impressive debut for the Orange. The Maryland transfer hauled in 12 catches for 210 yards and was on the receiving end of Dungey’s 43-yard touchdown pass that opened the scoring for Syracuse.

“From day one, we knew that this type of offense, there’s room for a lot of plays,” Etta-Tawo said.

While Babers’ offense lived up to its up-tempo reputation on Friday, he said that the pace is only going to get quicker as the season, and his tenure at Syracuse, moves forward.

“That’ll be the slowest game you’ll ever see us play,” Babers’ said. “We’ll never be that slow again.”

Syracuse will return to action on September 9 when it opens ACC play against Louisville. Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.



SU junior receiver Ervin Philips caught 14 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in the game. The 14 catches in one game tied the Orange program record. Junior quarterback Zack Mahoney completed all six of his pass attempts for 82 yards after entering the game in the fourth quarter.

Syracuse was 3-3 on fourth down conversions in the contest. 

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