How it Happened
The game started ugly and never improved for Rhode Island, as the Rams dropped the season opener, 47-0, at Syracuse Friday night.
The Rams (0-1) committed three turnovers in the opening five minutes. After escaping the first two miscues without any damage, Rhody was done in by the third turnover. Syracuse defensive back Corey Winfield returned an interception 24 yards to put the Orange (1-0) ahead 7-0 at 10:56 of the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter, Eric Dungey hit Ervin Philips for a 32-yard touchdown pass on a screen play to help put the Orange up, 14-0. The pass was the first of the Dungey's career. He entered the game after starter Terrel Hunt was injured at 7:38 of the first quarter.
The Syracuse defense dominated, holding Rhode Island to zero rushing yards through the first three quarters. While the Rams were unable to get momentum on offense, the Orange scored 31 points before the half, the last of which came on a 74-yard punt return by Brisly Estime as the second quarter expired.
Inside the Box Score
- Freshman Tez Wilson started his collegiate debut and had a game-high eight tackles.
- Junior Adam Parker had six tackles, including three for loss and one sack.
- Rhode Island rushed for -17 yards in the first quarter. For the game, Syracuse had a 312-4 edge on the ground. Senior Dunston Payne also had six stops.
- The Rams were held to three plays or less on 11 of their first 13 possessions. They were 1-for-11 on third down conversions, while the Orange converted 11-of-19 third downs.
- Senior cornerback Myles Holmes had an eventful start to the game. He returned the opening kickoff 40 yards, but fumbled on the play. Two plays later, he atoned for the play by intercepting Terrel Hunt's first pass attempt of the night.
- Holmes averaged 26.8 yards on four kick returns, including a long return of 40 yards.
- Wide receiver Khayri Denny led the offense with three catches for 21 yards.
- Six different Rams made their first career start Friday. They were quarterback Paul Mroz, left guard Michael Gilbert, wide receiver Khayri Denny, defensive tackle Mike Ezirike, cornerback Ahkema Evans and linebacker Tez Wilson
- Freshman long snapper Rex Sunahara made his collegiate debut against the same team that his great grandfather, Walter Rekstis, played for from 1935-37. Sunahara's uncle, Rhody defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis, is the grandson of Walter Rekstis.
- Senior Selwyn Nicholas was chosen as the team's anchor bearer for the opener. Fellow senior Kevin Gallogly was tabbed as a game captain.
- The attendance for the game was 30,112.
Stat of the Game
14 – Syracuse scored 14 points off of four Rhode Island turnovers.
Rhode Island stays on the road for its CAA Football opener at Albany Saturday, Sept. 12 at 3:30 p.m. The game will air on the American Sports Network.