Running out the clock: Week 1 Edition

News and notes from Syracuse’s Week 1 victory against Wake Forest.

- My recap of last night’s game, which SU won 36-29 in overtime. “And if you wound up leaving, you missed a great game.” – Doug Marrone

- Paid attendance was 40,833. Quite a few fans headed for the exits after Antwon Bailey fumbled the ball in SU territory to start the fourth quarter, but some late heroics made this a memorable home opener.

- SU had a whopping two-first downs in the first half, but finished with 15, including seven in the fourth quarter. Defensively, SU allowed only three first downs in the second half.    

- The Orange punted only once in the second half after six times in the first. At least we know special teams got enough minutes. The unit only allowed 12 return yards on seven punts.  

- Not a good performance on third-down for the offense. The team converted on only 3 of 11 attempts. A .273 conversion percentage won’t fly with such a veteran offense.

- The defense struggled to stop Michael Campanaro, who had 7 receptions for 79 yards and 1 touchdown. Campanaro plays out of the flanker position, which is a wide receiver lined up off the line of scrimmage. This could be a weakness.  

- Fullback Adam Harris scored his first career touchdown last night on a 2-yard pass from Ryan Nassib. The team voted Harris a team captain before the regular season.   

- Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price went down in the fourth quarter. Defensive end Chandler Jones recapped the play in the postgame:

“There was a story with that. I wrapped around, actually it was a holding call. My coaches always tell me if I think I’m getting held to keep running, if you run the referees will call it. So I was running, I was wrapping around but as he was holding me he had to let me go. As he let me go, all the momentum that I had went right to the quarterback’s legs. So I hope he’s alright, I hope he’ll be back for the season. But when the quarterback went down, that’s when I felt like that was our time to just take it up a notch and start to get the ball moving.”

- Antwon Bailey rushed for 123 yards on 25 carries, including 2 touchdowns. Alec Lemon led the team with 7 receptions. Ryan Nassib threw for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns with a .714 completion percentage.

- Strong safety Shamarko Thomas lead the team with 10 tackles. Linebackers Dyshawn Davis and Marquis Spruill each had 8 tackles.  

- Bailey is the first SU player to rush for over 100 yards in a season opener since Walter Reyes ran for 191 in the 2003 season opener against North Carolina – oddly enough, the ’03 opener was the last time Syracuse defeated a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference before Thursday.  

- Syracuse evened the all-time series with Wake Forest at 1 win each. No future game is currently scheduled between the programs.

- Next week the Orange host the Rhode Island Rams out of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The Rams went 5-6 last season. Quarterback Steve Probst amassed 600 rushing yards last season in addition to his 1,876 yards through the air. The linebackers need to play a large role for the Orange to contain Probst. The game is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start in the Carrier Dome and will air on TWC Sports.     

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