Syracuse running backs shine in blowout win; Morris impresses

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 For the first time in 2013, the Syracuse offense’s bread and butter performed the way it was supposed to.The Orange gashed Wagner for a season-high 236 rushing yards to complement improved quarterback play in SU’s 54-0 blowout win over the Seahawks. On Saturday alone, Syracuse bested the total rushing yardage it amassed in the first two games combined.In the first two games, the offensive line struggled to get much of a push in the running game and to close gaps in the passing game. Against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent, those deficiencies were remedied to open up the Orange’s best running day since last season’s Pinstripe Bowl.“I just feel that our O-line gave us a better chance to go out there and produce,” running back George Morris II said.And Saturday, as SU turned away from its starters earlier than they have all season, Morris reaped the benefits. No Syracuse player finished with more than 61 yards on the ground — Jerome Smith still led the team — but Morris averaged 6.2 yards per carry on his way to a 56-yard performance.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe and fellow reserve Devante McFarlane, who scored his first career touchdown, were factors in SU’s running game in the first two weeks, but found a more even share of the rotation Saturday. Morris’ nine carries were the second most on the team and McFarlane’s seven were as many as Prince-Tyson Gulley had.“We did a really good job at the beginning of the year by giving them carries early in the game,” Smith said. “When we got home they were used to being in front of the crowd and taking carries.”As Syracuse enters the meat of its schedule, Morris and McFarlane will inevitably lose out on some carries, but Saturday was a sign of what the running game can provide and what it was suspected to provide all along.“We have good backs,” Shafer said, “we just need to keep getting better up front.” Commentslast_img