Cuse blanks Wagner in Dome opener


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Syracuse used its home opener at the Carrier Dome to provide Scott Shafer his first victory as head coach in a 54-0 shutout of Wagner on Saturday. The Orange (1-2) piled up 595 total yards against the Seahawks (1-2), while recording the largest margin of victory for SU since 2000.

Quarterback Terrel Hunt came off the bench and hit 15-of-18 targets for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Starter Drew Allen was 8-of-11 for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Jerome Smith led the SU ground game, rushing for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Jarrod West had a breakout performance, recording the first 100-yard game of his career. He finished with five catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.

Wide receiver Christopher Clark added a career-high two touchdown receptions in the contest and tallied 53 yards on four receptions. H-back Ashton Broyld had a career-high seven catches for 37 yards.

Jay Bromley took down the quarterback twice for a loss of 23 yards and Durell Eskridge and Cam Lynch each had an interception.

The Orange defense held Wagner to five first downs and 87 total yards. The Seahawk offense converted on third down only 2-of-14 times (14%) and punted 11 times. Defensive tackle Jay Bromley led the effort with two quarterback sacks while safety Durell Eskridge and linebacker Cameron Lynch each had interceptions.

Three Wagner quarterbacks were limited to 6-of-21 for 34 yards and two interceptions.

After a career-long 66-yard punt by Riley Dixon and a fumble recovery by linebacker Dyshawn Davis, the Orange was set up in the red zone on its second drive of the game. Ryan Norton hit a 34-yard field goal, the first of his career, to put Syracuse ahead of Wagner 3-0 with 12:17 left in the first period.

Hunt came in as the quarterback with 7:07 to go in the first quarter and marched the Orange 68 in 12 plays, a drive capped by Smith's two-yard touchdown run. Norton missed the PAT attempt and Syracuse ended the quarter with a 9-0 lead.

Just 59 seconds into the second quarter, the Orange scored another touchdown when Hunt connected with running back Prince-Tyson Gulley for 30 yards, giving Hunt his first career scoring pass. Norton's PAT gave Syracuse a 16-0 lead.

On the next Orange possession, Hunt moved the Orange 59 yards in eight plays with Smith finishing it off on an 8-yard scamper to paydirt. Norton hit the PAT to give SU a 23-0 lead with 9:14 remaining in the second quarter.

Running back Devante McFarlane scored his first career touchdown on a three-yard run into the end zone, giving the Orange a 30-0 lead with 5:34 left in the first half.

Syracuse made it five straight possessions with touchdowns when Christopher Clark recorded his first touchdown of the season, catching a 41-yard bomb from Hunt. It sent the Orange into the locker room with a 37-0 lead.

Norton converted a 32-yard field goal, Hunt teamed with West on a 65-yard touchdown pass and then Allen re-entered and found Clark on a four-yard scoring pass to push the SU lead to 54-0.

Syracuse is back in action next Saturday, Sept. 21 to take on Tulane in the Carrier Dome at 12:30 p.m.

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