SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — LeQuint Allen ran for three touchdowns in the first half, Syracuse scored on six consecutive possessions and the Orange routed Western Michigan 48-7 on Saturday.
Jalen Buckley ran 75 yards for a score on Western Michigan’s second play from scrimmage to give the Broncos (1-1) a 7-0 lead but then Syracuse’s offense took over, scoring 38 unanswered points. Free safety Jason Simmons returned a pick-six 84 yards with time running out in the first half to give the Orange (2-0) a 45-7 lead.
Oronde Gadsden, Syracuse’s leading receiver and pre-season All-American, rolled his ankle on the Orange’s second play from scrimmage and did not return. He was on the sidelines with crutches and a boot. His status will be evaluated over the next several days.
Syracuse, which amassed 677 yards in its 65-0 win over Colgate, accumulated 496 against the Broncos.
“It's always good to be 2-0," Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “We're excited about where we are right now. We have a lot of things to work on but we're looking forward to our next game and that's at Ross-Ade Stadium (Purdue).”
Western Michigan committed nine penalties, including three that kept a Syracuse drive alive, leading to an 18-yard touchdown run by quarterback Garrett Shrader and a 24-7 lead.
Shrader was 19 of 30 for 286 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson took over after intermission.
“Shrader's balling out by the way he's extending plays and making some bad things look good,” Babers said. “There's no doubt he's playing at a high level.”
Shrader said he has confidence in his receivers stepping up in the event Gadsden is out for an extended time.
“OG is the most dependable guy we've got in terms of chemistry but we have a long list of guys wo can go out and play,” he said.
Broncos quarterback Jack Salopek was sacked three times and finished 15 of 22 for 110 yards and an interception. Buckley was held to 12 yards after his 75-yard touchdown run.
“It was a tough game and a tough loss,” Western Michigan coach Lance Taylor said. "We started out well. We challenged our team to start fast and play aggressively for 60 minutes. We started fast but then we got sloppy. We have to prepare our guys better and be more disciplined.
“We were undisciplined in all phases. We played too aggressive at times, but that's no excuse," he continued. “When you allow a good football team to have extra chances they make you pay.”
Allen scored on two runs from one yard out and from the two but was held to just 20 yards. Ten different receivers caught passes for the Orange. Donovan Brown scored on an 86-yard pass from Shrader.
“Yardage doesn't matter to me,” Allen said. “As long as we win the game.”
THE DEFENSE DIDN'T REST:
The Orange held Western Michigan to 318 total yards and has limited its first two opponents to seven points. Asked to evaluate his defense, Babers said: “It starts with a G, ends with a D and has two Os.”
Western Michigan: The Broncos must clean up their penalties. Five of their nine penalties were majors and can’t continue if Western Michigan is going to have a successful season.
Syracuse: The big question is the status of Gadsden. Syracuse’s receivers stepped up against the Broncos but his loss would be huge as the Orange step up in class. Syracuse had nine penalties and still needs to clean that up. The Orange was the nation’s most-penalized team last year.
THAT’S MY POOCH:
Salopek’s pooch punt backed up Syracuse to inside its 1-yard line.
Syracuse held the Broncos to 97 yards on the ground. Western Michigan had 339 yards rushing in its opener.
Western Michigan: Broncos travel to Iowa Saturday for second in three-game road swing.
Syracuse: Orange head on the road for the first time with a Saturday night matchup against Purdue.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll