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SYRACUSE, NY (cuse.com) -- Who out there believed it when the man said "Orange is the new fast?"
It took one possession to prove what first-year Syracuse coach Dino Babers had promised when he took over the program. The Orange, starting the first possession of the Babers' Era from the 21-yard line, moved 79 yards in six plays while taking just 1:45 off the clock. Quarterback Eric Dungey connected with wide receiver Amba Ett-Tawo on a 43-yard bomb and with Cole Murphy's extra point, the Orange had seven on the board.
Orange IS the new fast.
Colgate had taken advantage of a drive-extending Syracuse penalty on the game's first series and moved in front, 7-0, on a 19-yard toss from Raider quarterback Jake Melville to wide receiver Owen Rockett. Jonah Bowman nailed the extra point, but the lead was short lived.
This speed thing wasn't a one-drive wonder. The second time Syracuse got the ball, it churned up 72 yards on 18 plays and finished with a 32-yard field goal from Murphy to take the lead, 10-7. At this stage, Dungey had connected on his first 13 throws before finally misfiring.
Series three was the fastest of the fast. In one play lasting 11 seconds, freshman running back Moe Neal covered 49 yards on his first collegiate carry for a touchdown. Murphy's kick upped the advantage to 17-7. He added a 41-yard field goal with 2:47 left in the second quarter and the Orange went into the break ahead, 20-7.
Murphy stayed busy in the third period, adding on 3-pointers from 32 and 33 yards to push the margin to 26-7. At the same time, the SU defense stepped up and limited Colgate to 12 yards on 10 plays in the quarter. Colgate didn't earn its initial first down of the second half until there was 7:32 left in the contest.
Having already established career-high passing totals by the end of the third quarter, Dungey added to them early in the fourth. He found Ervin Phillips on a four-yard scoring toss. With the reception, Phillips tied Art Monk's record for single-game catches at Syracuse (14). Murphy's point after increased the advantage to 33-7.
Dungey finished his evening with career high totals -- he completed 34-of-40 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns. Personal-best efforts also came from his top two receivers: Erv Phillips caught 14 throws for 87 yards and a score and Amba Etta-Tawo pulled in 10 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown.
Kielan Whitner led the defensive effort with six total tackles. The Orange unit got quarterback sacks from Jake Pickard, Chris Slayton and Jonathan Thomas.
When it was all said and done, Syracuse had outgained Colgate, 554-143.
Syracuse is back in action next Friday when it hosts ACC foe and #19/23 Louisville at 8:00 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. The game will be televised by ESPN2.
Orange Notes: The Colgate game marked the 127th season starter for Syracuse ... Coach Dino Babers opted for game captains in the season opener ... Jason Emerich (offense), Zaire Franklin (defense) and Matt Keller (special teams) earned the honors ... In the first coin toss of Coach Dino Babers' tenure, Colgate won and elected to receive ... Colgate is Syracuse's second most-familiar foe ... Friday night was the 67th meeting between the Central New York rivals ... Syracuse knotted the series at 31-31-5 with the victory .. It was the Orange's 16th straight triumph against the Raiders ... Erv Phillips became the first SU player with 10 receptions in a game since Alec Lemon had turned the trick at Missouri in 2012 ... Amba Etta-Tawo joined the double-digit catch parade in the second half ... It is the first time two SU players have had 10-or-more catches in a game in program history ... Cole Murphy extended his consecutive extra-point streak to 50 ... He took over sole possesion of ninth on the SU career field goal (33) and field goal attempt (rw) list ... Murphy became the first Syracuse player to convert four field goals in a game since Ross Krautman made four versus Connecticut in 2012 ... Syracuse improved to 81-42-4 in season openers and 70-18-4 in campaign starters at home.