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Sunday, Sep 10, 2023 at 12:45 pm

Syracuse Footballs Reigns in Another Win, Handles Western Michigan 48-7

By Caleb Nice | @CalebNice_

On Western Michigan’s second play of the opening drive, Jalen Buckley took the handoff and ran 75 yards for a quick six points just 30 seconds into the contest. Those would be the final points the Syracuse defense would allow for the remainder of the day.

The Orange (2-0, 0-0 ACC) put up 48 unanswered points in the team’s 48-7 win over the Broncos (1-1, 0-0 MAC) Saturday afternoon at the JMA Wireless Dome.

After allowing such a momentum-shifting play to start the game, SU head coach Dino Babers said it’s how you respond that matters.

“We just had a back go 75 yards on us, we haven’t had any back do that,” Babers said postgame. “Not only did he go 75 yards, but we didn’t run him down. The atmosphere kind of flattened out a bit in our house. There’s only two things that are going to happen – Either this is going to happen a lot or we’re never going to see this happen again in the game. And it was good that it was the ladder.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader completed 19 of his 30 passes for 286 yards and a passing touchdown to go along with 31 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the first half, not rattled after the WMU touchdown or losing his top receiver.

“It’s definitely not fun to see them run down your sideline the second play of the game, then OG went down,” said Shrader. “You just have to operate, it’s just next man up. We did that and went out and executed.

It helps when your defense can keep the opponent off the board, but when your offense puts up points the way the ‘Cuse did, that can certainly help.

Shrader had three receivers (Isaiah Jones, Umari Hatcher, Donovan Brown) who all went over 80 yards receiving, all stepping up with Oronde Gadsden II in the mix. He left the game early on in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury. Babers said they’ll have to wait and see until they can get him in with a trainer shortly.

It could be those same receivers and others that need to step up next week. The road only gets harder from here, the ‘Cuse travels to West Lafayette, IN to take on Purdue next Saturday.