FB : Last time they played: Syracuse 34, Toledo 7

first_img Published on September 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments Walter Reyes had a wide smile on his face when he struck the Heisman pose after Syracuse’s win over Central Florida. And a week later, when the Orangemen played Toledo, Reyes further bolstered his case for the Heisman Trophy.The SU running back followed up a 241-yard, four-touchdown UCF game with 162 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Rockets.Reyes gave credit to his offensive line for opening up gaping holes to run through following the game.‘The (offensive line) makes holes about this big,’ Reyes said in an article published by The Daily Orange on Sept. 29, 2003.  ‘At first, I’m expecting to get hit and then it’s like, ‘Oh, here we go.”With the help of his offensive line, Reyes led Syracuse to a 34-7 throttling of Toledo. Reyes couldn’t be contained, busting out for two touchdown runs of 61 yards and 43 yards in length. The Orangemen combined its fierce running attack that went for 303 yards on 47 carries with a stingy pass defense to easily beat the Rockets.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter the win over Toledo, Reyes led the nation in rushing with 170.3 yards per game and scoring with 15.5 points per game. He finished the year with 1,347 yards rushing, 975 receiving and 20 touchdowns rushing on the season.The Orangemen improved to 3-1 after stifling the Rockets. The Syracuse defense was prepared for Toledo’s short passing scheme. The Rockets were only able to gain 57 yards on 13 screen plays.Syracuse defensive coordinator Chris Rippon recognized Bruce Gradkowski’s tendency to throw the short pass. Gradkowski threw the ball 50 times, but the Orangemen held the Toledo quarterback to just 5.1 yards per pass.‘Their passing game is really more like a running game,’ Rippon said to The Daily Orange after the game. ‘It’s a lot of short passes, a lot of screen passes.’The Orangemen controlled the clock, running 39 plays before halftime. Reyes’ ability to break free for big plays even astounded his teammates. The nearly 36,000 fans in the Carrier Dome took notice, too, giving him a standing ovation.‘He just bursts through that hole, and it opens like the Red Sea,’ tight end Lenny Cusumano said to The Daily Orange after the game. ‘Walter gets up in there, the hole opens up and he takes it to the house. It’s just unbelievable the way he hits that hole.’Toledo only mustered one touchdown in the third quarter, and by that time the Orangemen were already out in front 27-0.‘I can’t say that we anticipated that they would only score seven points,’ SU head coach Paul Pasqualoni said to The Daily Orange after the game. ‘But one of the objectives on defense was to bend, slow it down and try not to break.’Reyes was able to outrun the whole Rockets’ defense on his two touchdowns. Despite overextending his quad on one play, the Orangemen continued to feed Reyes the ball rather than turn to backup Damien Rhodes. The Rockets were unable to find a remedy for the Orangemen running attack.‘We tried to run blitz on those short-yardage plays and make a big play,’ Toledo head coach Tom Amstutz said to The Daily Orange after the game. ‘He made some moves, found a hole and just took off.’— Compiled by Andrew Tredinnick, asst. copy editor, [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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