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Saturday, Sep 02, 2017 at 1:04 am

Football Downs Central Connecticut State 50-7 in Season Opener

By Adam Unger

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CitrusTV) — The Orange came out swinging against Central Connecticut State. It opened up with three straight touchdowns and cruised to a 50-7 victory on Friday night.

But the win didn’t come without a cost. Fourth-year safety Antwan Cordy was helped off the field in the first quarter. He later returned to the sidelines on crutches with his leg in a boot.

“We don’t have a final say on Antwan yet… Obviously we expect him back and we’re hoping for the best,” Babers said on his veteran safety.

Cordy only played in two games last season before suffering a forearm injury. As the veteran presence and leader of the secondary, he will be missed by his position group until his return.

“Antwan means a lot,” said senior defensive back Jordan Martin. “When he comes in, he sets the tone for us… and his play speaks for itself.”

The Miami native’s apparent lower body injury may shorten yet another season. Cordy’s absence throws another wrench into Syracuse’s safety rotation, but Babers’ faith in the defensive backfield hasn’t been shaken.

“I do think that’s one of the groups where we’re extremely deep,” Babers said. “And we got a lot of help there in the offseason… Hopefully that depth will be able to carry us through.”

Offensively, the Orange got going early and struck often. It scored twice within a three-minute span; both came from the running game.

Through the air, junior quarterback Eric Dungey didn’t miss a beat. He completed his first 13 passes and scored with his legs and his arm.

In the second quarter, the Orange started to slow down. The offense’s output in yards and points was about cut in half compared to the first quarter.

“Guys kind of just started trying to do too much… I’ll include myself in that too,” Dungey said, “So you just [have to] be bored.”

However, Dungey connected with eight different receivers and threw for over 250 yards in the first half. Syracuse led 31-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Central Connecticut State finally found the junior-to-junior connection. Quarterback Jacob Dolegala found wide receiver Jose Garcia from 24 yards out.

Syracuse’s field general tacked on another touchdown pass and another touchdown run before calling it a night. Dungey accounted for over 300 passing yards, 51 rushing yards, and five total touchdowns.

Dungey threw his seventh career 300-yard game. The only other Syracuse quarterback that has done that is former Giants and Saints quarterback Ryan Nassib (2009-12). Despite the impressive stat line, Dungey still sees room for improvement.

“None of us were satisfied,” he said. “We just felt we left way too much on the plate… The receivers see it as well, so that’s what I’m excited for.”

As the third quarter came to a close, Rex Culpepper took Dungey’s place as the second team offense came into the game. The second team defense wasn’t far behind: Syracuse added two field goals to reach the 50-7 final.

Next Saturday, Syracuse welcomes Middle Tennessee State to the Carrier Dome. Scott Shafer returns to the Dome for the first time since his four-win 2015 campaign. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.