Dungey ties record with 5 TDs; Syracuse drubs Wagner, 62-10
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is a hungry man, and for the second game in a row Saturday he helped his team gorge itself on points.
Dungey tied a school record by tossing five touchdown passes to pace Syracuse to a 62-10 rout of Wagner in its home opener.
The Orange improved to 2-0 while FCS Wagner dropped to 1-1.
Dungey’s effort comes a week after he rushed for 200 yards and threw for two touchdowns in a 55-42 win over Western Michigan.
“You’ve just got to annihilate (opponents). It’s just kind of a mindset you’ve got to have,” Dungey said. “I feel like we should have won by more. Just from my standpoint, I feel like we could have done a lot better. We could have scored more and more. It’s going to be good film to watch. It’s going to be good film to watch and learn from.”
Playing into the third quarter, Dungey completed 23 of 32 passes for 218 yards and threw one interception. He hit five different receivers for scores: Sean Riley, Nykeim Johnson, Jamal Custis, Taj Harris and Ravian Pierce.
Two previous SU quarterbacks have thrown five touchdown passes in a game: Ryan Nassib (2010 vs. Maine) and Zack Mahoney (2016 vs. Pittsburgh).
“The only thing I really care about is we got a win,” Dungey said. “I’m just happy that guys like Nykeim, and other guys, Taj, got their first touchdown. That means a lot more to me. I could throw five picks, as long as we get the (win), say what you want about me, but we’re winning. That’s all I care about.”
Dontae Strickland rushed for a pair of scores for the Orange, which blew the game open with a 45-point first half to tie a school mark. Syracuse scored 45 against Miami in 1998 and Colgate in 1959.
“This is probably our most complete game that we’ve played here, from an offense, defense and special teams point of view,” said third-year Orange coach Dino Babers. “They just caught us at the wrong time.”
Dungey was generous in spreading the fun. By the first intermission, he had already distributed the ball to eight different receivers and four of the eight had touchdown receptions.
“I think the whole country knows about Dungey. I think he’s going to be one of the best in the game this fall,” said Wagner coach Jason Houghtaling. “He’s a dual threat guy, very athletic, tough, charismatic, good leader. Impressive young man.”
Week one starter Luke Massei opened the game at quarterback for the Seahawks but was yanked after tossing an interception on his team’s first series. He was replaced by T.J. Linta, a graduate student who transferred from Brown. Linta suffered a minor injury late in the preseason and was not available for the opener against Bowie State.
Linta completed seven of 15 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. He was shaken up in the third quarter, and Graham Lindman finished the game.
Orange defensive back Andre Cisco took advantage of the Seahawks’ uneven play at quarterback, grabbing a pair of first-quarter picks that led to a 14-0 SU lead.
“I think we probably tried to do too much at certain positions, and it hurt us,” Houghtaling said. “You can’t give a team like that the ball that many extra times. We didn’t execute it put us in a hole. Credit to them. They took advantage of those mistakes. I think they’re an explosive team.”
Syracuse: Dungey has orchestrated an offense that’s looked unstoppable in wins over Western Michigan (55 points) and Wagner. The last time SU opened a season with a pair of 50-plus point displays was 1929.
Wagner: The Seahawks returned 17 of 22 starters from last year but the program remains little more than fodder when it jumps up to play FBS foes and is now 0-9 since 2012, including a 54-0 loss to SU in 2013.
Syracuse: The Orange hosts Florida State in its ACC opener Sept. 15.
Wagner: The Seahawks travel to Montana State Sept. 15 for the first-ever meeting between the schools.