SU Sports Recap: Saturday, November 28th-Thursday, December 3rd

Connecticut running backs Jordan Todman (above) and Andre Dixon were too much to stop for the banged-up Syracuse defense. Connecticut won the game 56-31.

Football

Syracuse: 31    Connecticut: 56

In their last football game of the year, the Orange (4-8, 1-6) put forth a valiant effort, but came up short of beating the Huskies (6-5, 2-4). Syracuse never led in the game and were forced to play catch-up the entire game. The actual game, however, was much closer than the score indicates. The final score would have been 42-31 had a late touchdown pass and fumble return for a touchdown not sealed our fate.

Impressive performances were evident for the Orange, as the offense played extremely well. Greg Paulus finished off his unconventional college career with a career day, throwing for 296 yards and 2 touchdowns on 24 of 32 passing. Fellow senior and hopeful draft pick Delone Carter, finished the day with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown on 20 carries. Carter was arguably the most dominant offensive player for the Orange all year, as he totaled 1,021 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also performing extremely well for Syracuse was freshman wide receiver Alec Lemon, as he caught 9 balls for 140 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Marcus Sales added 89 yards on 7 catches.

Following an impressive performance against Rutgers, the defense struggled mightily against UConn. Quarterback Zach Frazer threw for 2 touchdowns, each to star wide receiver Marcus Easley. The passing game wasn’t what killed Syracuse’s defense, however. Connecticut’s two-headed rushing attack completely dominated. Jordan Todman eclipsed the century mark with 123 yards and a touchdown, while fellow running back Andre Dixon ran for 73 yards and 3 scores. The Syracuse defense was unable to stop the Connecticut offense for the entirety of the game, allowing 49 points off 6 touchdowns (the other 7 came at the hands of the Connecticut defense).

Although we were woefully under .500 this season, there are so many positives to reflect on and improve for next year. Firstly, with the disappointment brought by Mike Williams’ quitting the team, other wide receivers stepped up and played big. Sophomore Marcus Sales and freshman Alec Lemon look to be top targets for Ryan Nassib next year. Although Greg Paulus played admirably at times this season, Ryan Nassib will allow us to stretch the field much more next season. I don’t think it’s any secret that this guy has a cannon for a right arm, plus he can run the option in a “Tim Tebow-esk” way. I mean I walked by Nassib in Graham dining hall the other day, and I thought to myself, “I thought this guy played quarterback, not linebacker!” Not to mention, we have two solid running backs returning in Averin Collier and Antwon Bailey.

On defense, we are losing Arthur Jones on the line because let’s face it; this guy is going to play on Sundays. Let’s hope linebacker Derrell Smith returns, as he has been mentioned for Big East defensive player of the year numerous times this year, and will be an even more essential player on next year’s team. The team also will return the likes of tackle-for-a-loss machine defensive end Chandler Jones, defensive end Torrey Ball, safety Max Suter, linebacker Doug Hogue, safety Michael Holmes, and extremely versatile linebacker Shamarko Thomas. On special teams, we return junior punter Rob Long, and freshman kicker Ryan Lichtenstein.

Clearly, it’s only natural to get excited about our chances next year, especially since the season is only 8 ½ months away.

Men’s Basketball

Colgate: 58    Syracuse: 92

The #7 Syracuse Orange (7-0) cruised by Colgate (0-6) easily this past Monday night. Superstar forward Wesley Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in just 23 minutes of work. Arinze Onuaku joined Johnson as one of only two starters in double figures for the Orange, as the bench scored 37 of the 92 points. Three of those key bench players, with ten points apiece, were James Southerland, Kris Joseph, and Mookie Jones.

Next up for Syracuse is the Maine Black Bears (3-3) in the Carrier Dome at 7 pm Saturday night. Following that, the Orange travel to Tampa to take on the 7-0 Florida Gators on Thursday night at 9 pm (ESPN broadcast).

Women’s Basketball

Wagner College: 55    Syracuse: 93

Mirroring the men’s record, the women also find themselves unbeaten at 7-0. They got to 7 wins this past week in home game versus Wagner College (2-4), defeating them easily 93-55. As usual, leading the way for the women was Nicole Michael, who scored 14 points coupled with 5 rebounds, and Erica Morrow, who added 12 points. Kayla Alexander added 23 points in just 19 minutes of work.

The Syracuse women play at the Ohio Bobcats (3-3) this Sunday at 2 pm.

Women’s Ice Hockey

The Syracuse Ice Hockey team (8-6-1, 3-1-0) won consecutive games over Union college this past week. Syracuse won the first matchup last Saturday 4-1, and Sunday’s game 3 goals to 2. This Friday and Saturday, they put their two-game winning streak on the line against Wayne State at the Tennity Ice Pavilion (Friday: 7 pm, Saturday: 2 pm).

Swimming and Diving

Next up for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams after opening their season at the Syracuse Invitational on October 16-17, is the Bucknell Open in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The event takes place from Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 6.

-Jon Harris

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