The Syracuse Orange found their niche on Friday night as they picked up their second Friday win in the past three weeks with a 40-10 drubbing of UConn. The Orange edged out Pitt earlier on a Friday in October in a defensive battle, but they had no problem pouring it on the Huskies in the second half to improve to 2-1 in the Big East.
Statistically, Syracuse had one of the top passing attacks in the country coming into the game. Senior quarterback Ryan Nassib delivered another big night, even with the Orange salting away the fourth quarter on the ground. Nassib led a quick seven-play drive as the first half wound down, connecting with Beckett Wales for a three-yard touchdown to push the lead to 20-10 at the end of the half.
It was a critical score as the Orange received the second-half kickoff and added to their lead with a prompt touchdown drive that lasted less than two minutes. Nassib found Alec Lemon down the middle of the field for a huge 68-yard gain that put the Orange inside the UConn five-yard line. Prince-Tyson Gulley took it in on the very next play and the rout was on early in the second half.
Those back-to-back drives at the end of the first half and start of the second half were part of an unanswered 27-point string. The Syracuse offense averaged 22.6 points a game before Friday, near the bottom of the FBS, but all phases were humming in this contest. Jerome Smith and Ashton Broyld supported Nassib and gashed the Huskies on the ground. Smith finished with 135 yards on 19 carries, good enough for a 7.1 average. When the Orange couldn't find the end zone, kicker Ross Krautman was there to split the uprights. Krautman was a perfect four for four, including two kicks over 40 yards.
The Huskies traveled to the Carrier Dome searching for their first conference win in a homecoming of sorts for Paul Pasqualoni. But the UConn offense struggled all evening, finding the end zone just once and going a woeful 3-for-13 on third down. The Huskies ended with minus seven yards on the ground. Chandler Whitmer hit Ryan Griffin on a throwback down the left sideline for the Huskies only score of the game. It cut the deficit to three late in the first half, but from there, it was all 'Cuse.
Box Score Hero: Nassib was sharp yet again leading to a big night for receiver Alec Lemon. The senior wideout finished with eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown.
But Did They Cover? The Orange easily covered the five-point spread.
For More On This Game: For more on Orange football, visit Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, plus SB Nation New York. For more on Huskies football, visit UConn blog The UConn Blog, plus Big East blog Big East Coast Bias.
Next Week's Schedule: Syracuse will go on the road to face a South Florida team still looking for its first Big East win. UConn will have a bye before making their own trip to Tampa on the first weekend in November.