3 things we learned from Syracuse football’s 31-24 win over Connecticut

first_img Related Stories Syracuse football snaps 2-game losing streak with 31-24 win over ConnecticutAmba Etta-Tawo sets Syracuse football single-game record with 270 receiving yards in win against ConnecticutWill Amba Etta-Tawo lead the nation in receiving yards entering Week 5? Watch these receivers to find outFast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Syracuse’s 31-24 win over ConnecticutGallery: Syracuse football defeats Connecticut, 31-24 Facebook Twitter Google+ EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut — Syracuse (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) climbed back to .500 by defeating Connecticut (2-2, 0-1 American Athletic), 31-24, on Saturday afternoon at Rentschler Field.Here’s what we learned from the Orange victory.Syracuse still hasn’t figured out its running gameOnce Dontae Strickland ran for over 100 yards in the first half against South Florida last week, it seemed like the Orange had found a consistent way to move the ball on the ground.After all, through the first two games, the team was averaging just 3.2 yards per carry. No running back had more than 40 yards in the Louisville game, and only Neal eclipsed that mark against Colgate thanks to a 49-yard score on his first carry.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut it seems like the first half against USF was more an aberration than a turning point. With a completely new offensive line, the running backs still struggled finding any holes. The team finished with just 62 yards on 26 carries, both season lows, with 35 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter.Tony D. Curtis | Staff PhotographerCole Murphy has Dino Babers’ trust despite rough gameSyracuse’s kicker Cole Murphy had been rock solid through the first three games of the season. He had nailed three kicks from 40 or more yards and his only miss through seven kicks on the season was from 55 yards to end the half against Louisville.He struggled against UConn on Saturday, missing two field goals, including one from 33 yards out that would have put the Orange up 10 late in the game. He also launched two kickoffs out of bounds, giving the Huskies the ball at the 35-yard line. Still, head coach Dino Babers said he supports Murphy.“Kickers are kickers. Flags start blowing and they start looking around,” Babers said. “Could we do better? Yeah. Am I OK with him? I’m OK with him. Do I want to trade him? Heck no, I don’t want to trade him. I like Cole a lot. He’s going to help us.”SU doesn’t need to go for it on fourth down to winLast week, Dino Babers answered questions postgame after the loss to USF about why he went for it so many times on fourth down. At the time he said that he thought SU needed those conversions to win the game.This time around, Syracuse didn’t go for a single fourth down. Its first opportunity was a fourth-and-1 from around midfield, but Sterling Hofrichter came on to punt it away. Hofrichter ended up punting five times in the game while Murphy attempted three field goals.Had Murphy made all his kicks, the Orange would have had bigger leads at different points in the game. Even without those makes, the Orange proved it could win without running a fourth down play. Commentscenter_img Published on September 24, 2016 at 7:40 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langerlast_img

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