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Syracuse freshman running back Sean Tucker evades UAlbany's Devonte Ford (22) and other defending Danes in the second quarter to complete a 56-yard touchdown run in a victory over UAlbany at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Media: Thomas Palmer / Albany Student Television)

By: Edwards Kemedjio | September 20, 2021

The University at Albany Great Danes traveled to the Carrier Dome to take on the Syracuse Orange and were dominated from start to finish, losing 62-24. The Great Danes fell to 0-3 on the season and Syracuse improved to 2-1.

UAlbany was simply unable to contain the Syracuse offense during the game. In a first half that featured 45 points from the Orange, the Great Danes were outgained 400 yards to 67. The Orange didn’t even get to the end of the half before they pulled starting quarterback Tommy DeVito and put in the backup quarterback Garrett Sharder.

Syracuse running back Sean Tucker had a career day. He had 253 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on the day. He recorded his fifth career game with over 100 yards on the ground, with 132 yards on 14 carries. His 56-yard touchdown run and 72-yard touchdown reception were both career longs.

“You just can’t give up those big plays. We base our defense on not giving up big plays,” said Head Coach Greg Gattuso. “He’s a good back...He sees it right and he does a lot of good things.”

Outside of a drive at the end of the first quarter that led to a Dylan Burns field goal, the Great Danes were simply unable to get anything going offensively. They found themselves with less than ideal field position throughout the game, and were seldom able to get over midfield.

“Syracuse, their front four, they’re big and strong and fast, and we knew that coming into the game,” said quarterback Jeff Undercuffler. “At the end of the day we just gotta worry about us. It’s not one group in particular...offensively we just gotta play better football.”

The Syracuse defensive line lived in the UAlbany backfield. The Orange line that came into the game, leading the FBS in tackles for loss, recorded eight sacks on the day and 14 tackles for loss, putting the Great Danes behind the chains early and often. Leading the way defensively was Mikel Jones, who recorded his third consecutive game with double digit tackles.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader dives into the end zone to score in the last 32 seconds of the first half. He later scored another rushing TD in the second half against UAlbany on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at the Carrier Dome. (Media: Thomas Palmer / Albany Student Television)

“There’s not much to say,” said Gattuso. “We knew their defensive line was going to be a massive challenge for us...we just couldn’t keep up there and it affected us having any chance to put up a fight. They have a legitimately big time defensive line”

There were some bright spots for the Great Danes on Saturday. The defense recorded their second and third interceptions of the year. Redshirt freshman Christian Lewis scored the only touchdown of the day for UAlbany on a 20-yard interception return.

“We felt like we could play with these guys,” said Lewis when asked about the feeling on the sideline after the pick six. “It was motivating and we felt like we could play with them.”

Free safety Larry Walker Jr. added another with a pick in the third quarter.

UAlbany heads into the bye week winless after three games, already on the brink of being out of the running for the FCS playoffs. They look to get into the win column two weeks from now when they travel to the University of Delaware to take on the Fightin’ Blue Hens.

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