Hunt shines again, Syracuse wins 52-17
Updated: Sunday, September 22 2013, 01:32 AM EDT
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—The Orange sailed past the Green Wave, defeating Tulane (2-2), 52-17, in the Carrier Dome in front of 36,128 fans on Saturday. Syracuse (2-2) earned its 700th all-time win, becoming the 16th team in FBS history to accomplish the feat.
The Orange took control of the game from the outset, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and finishing the first half with a 42-17 lead. The Orange's 42 first half points are the most it has scored since posting the same number against Rhode Island on the way to a 63-17 win in 2002.
In his first start, quarterback Terrel Hunt was responsible for five touchdowns, four in the air and one on the ground. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 175 yards and was the second-leading Orange rusher with 39 yards.
Prince-Tyson Gulley led the attack on the ground with 11 carries for 57 yards and one touchdown.
Clay Cleveland, who recorded his first career catches against Tulane, grabbed two passes, both for touchdowns. Jerome Smith had a touchdown reception and touchdown run on the day while amassing 73 total yards. Christopher Clark led the Orange receivers with four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
The SU special teams unit blocked two punts and a field goal in the first half. The two blocked punts put the Orange in the red zone and led to two touchdowns.
Cameron Lynch led the defense with nine tackles (six solo) including 2.5 tackles for a loss of 14 yards. Eric Crume had 1.5 tackles for loss which included a sack. Julian Whigham snagged an interception in the third quarter and returned it for 17 yards.
Tulane quarterback Nick Montana hit 22 of his 38 targets for 213 yards and one touchdown. The Green Wave put together 121 yards of offense on the ground and 209 yards in the air.
On the opening drive, Hunt found Smith, who ran 15 yards into the end zone, giving SU an early 7-0 lead. The SU defense held Tulane to a field goal on the next drive and Cairo Santos's 21-yard kick cut the lead to four with 7:31 left in the first quarter.
The Orange scored on its next two drives and took a 21-3 lead with 3:21 left in the first quarter. SU used a 19-yard catch by Clark and Cleveland's first career reception to tally the points.
Tulane answered at the end of the first with a 45-yard rush up the middle, cutting the lead to 21-10, but Hunt found his way into the end zone on a 16-yard run with 13:39 to go in the first half to regain the 18-point advantage.
After the second blocked punt of the game put the Orange in the red zone, Gulley went on a nine-yard run to get SU to the one yard line and was given the ball again on the next play to finish the job. The Orange went ahead 35-10 with 10:43 remaining in the second quarter.
Santos's second field goal attempt of the game was blocked with 5:33 remaining in the half, which was Tulane's last appearance in the red zone for the rest of the contest.
Cleveland's second catch of his career was also a touchdown and gave Syracuse a 49-17 lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
Norton kicked his first field goal of the day late in the fourth quarter, closing the scoring as Drew Allen came in to engineer the 18-play, 71-yard drive that ate up 8:05 on the clock.