Tucker shines, Syracuse beats FCS foe Wagner 59-0

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Sean Tucker ran for three touchdowns and a career-high 232 yards, Garrett Shrader threw for one score and ran for another, and Syracuse defeated Wagner 59-0 on Saturday to remain unbeaten.

With the win, the Orange moved to 5-0, the program’s first 5-0 start since 1987 when Syracuse went 11-0 in the regular season. The shutout was SU’s first since 2019 against Liberty.

“I’m excited for the young men to be 5-0. I’ve got to recall whether I’ve been (5-0) or not. For the young men, it’s exciting. They haven’t played perfect football, but their record is still perfect and now they get an opportunity to do some exciting stuff,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “It doesn’t mean they will, but it does mean we have a chance.”

“It’s a great feeling, especially with where we’re at in the season,” Shrader said. “I’m proud of the team and where we’re at. We can’t get complacent. We have an exciting part of the schedule coming up.”

Wagner (0-4), a Championship Subdivision team, has now lost 24 straight games and is winless under third-year head coach Tom Masella. The Seahawks have not won a game since beating Long Island University on Sept. 28, 2019 and have been outscored 152-14 over their past three games.

Shrader ran it in from the 1-yard line just over three minutes in to begin the rout, and Tucker broke off a 60-yard run six minutes later. Tucker also scored on runs of four and six yards, all coming in the first half. Tucker now has 2,668 yards in his SU career, good for seventh in program history, just behind the late Floyd Little.

“The thing is, Sean is so humble. I just love him to death,” Babers said. “Whenever he runs I get excited. I like it that when he gets out in the open no one catches him. That’s really comforting and reassuring. I think more than that he’s just one of those guys everyone roots for. I’m excited for everything he acquires. And hopefully he can acquire some more.”

“This means a lot to me,” Tucker added. “It represents the hard work I’ve put in. Just being up there and passing those guys, being mentioned with the greats at Syracuse, is special.”

The Orange led 49-0 at halftime. Both teams agreed to then play two, 10-minute quarters after halftime due to the lopsided score.

“We played a Top 25 team, maybe even better,” Wagner coach Tom Masella said. “They have a Heisman Trophy candidate. A quarterback, an SEC transfer who’s playing in the ACC and is a hell of a player. They were a lot better than us, that’s what I can tell you.”

The Orange amassed 631 yards of total offense and its defense limited the Seahawks to 50 yards on 38 plays, four first downs, and sacked quarterback Ryan Kraft three times. Cornerback Duce Chestnut intercepted Kraft and returned it 28 yards for a score.

Shrader completed all 17 of his passes for 238 yards and spread the ball to eight different receivers before being removed after three quarters. Freshman LeQuint Allen rushed for 112 yards, including a 90-yard run, and scored from eight yards out.

Kraft was 2-of-6 passing for just 19 yards.

RED ZONE PERFECTION:

Syracuse is 25-for-25 in the red zone this season.

OH, THOSE PENALTIES:

The Orange still are plagued by penalties. Syracuse was called for seven against Wagner after getting called for 12 against Virginia the previous game.

THE TAKEAWAY:

Wagner: After playing Syracuse and Rutgers in its first four games, Wagner faces more reasonable competition the rest of the way.

Syracuse: It’s hard to take much away from a mismatch, but Syracuse can take a breather and enjoy its status as one of the nation’s unbeatens. The Orange’s remaining schedule, however, is daunting. Syracuse faces five Top 25 teams in its final seven games, with only three in the friendly confines of the JMA Wireless Dome.

UP NEXT:

Wagner visits Columbia University on Saturday.

Syracuse has a bye week and then closes out a four-game homestand against No. 10 North Carolina State on Oct. 15.

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