FB : Bailey, Gulley break out to lead SU rushing attack in victory over Toledo

first_imgPrince-Tyson Gulley’s energy manifested itself again in his first carry. The anxiousness Gulley displayed running out of the tunnel, jumping and swinging his arms as much as anyone on Syracuse, was visible when he finally got his hands on the ball.Bouncing to his left when there wasn’t much wiggle room up the middle, SU’s second running back turned the corner around Toledo safety Jermaine Robinson and scampered down the sideline. And his 21-yard gain came when the Orange desperately needed a momentum-shifter.As Gulley ran over to the sidelines and used fellow running back Adonis Ameen-Moore as a springboard to leap and let out his emotions, it was clear he shook things up.‘Tyson made some incredible runs, Antwon (Bailey) made some great runs, it was a great one-two punch, which we needed something like that to happen,’ SU offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said. ‘We needed two guys to be able to come out there, help each other, spell each other, get a great running game going and that’s what we did.’Starting running back Antwon Bailey burst out with 114 yards and a score, and Gulley contributed 66 yards on 10 carries as the Orange running game put forth its best performance of the season in a 33-30 overtime win over Toledo. The SU running backs ran for 180 yards on 38 carries, demoralizing and tiring the Rockets defense as the game continued. The Orange got back to an offensive game plan that stressed ground-and-pound, handing the ball to Bailey and Gulley 38 times combined while throwing just 25 passes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd it was just what SU needed following back-to-back games in which Syracuse couldn’t rush for 100 yards as a team.‘All week, the emphasis was we’re going to the run the ball on this team,’ Bailey said. ‘No matter what look they give us, no matter how many is in the box, we’re going to run it.’Bailey had yet to show he was acclimated to his starting running back role before Saturday. Taking out a 53-yard touchdown run in SU’s season opener against Wake Forest, the senior had averaged 3.1 yards per carry on his other runs prior to Toledo.But against a Toledo defense that ran a similar 4-4 scheme to the Rhode Island defense that shut him down two weeks ago, he found holes. None bigger than the gap he used to break through the right side of the Rockets defense and into the end zone from 20 yards out in the third quarter to tie the game at 20-20.It was also the first time Bailey reached the end zone since the season opener.‘It’s just so great when as a coach you can get in front of the team, you can challenge them, you can get them fired up for it, and they come out and we run the ball,’ Hackett said. ‘There was nothing more that you could have asked of those guys.’Unlike the first three games, in which Bailey received 84 percent of the carries given to tailbacks, the Orange used a heavier dose of Gulley on Saturday.Bailey still reached a career-high with 28 carries as an execution of the game plan, but Gulley’s 10 carriers were more than his season total (eight) entering the game.Gulley’s second touch came on the drive after his first, and the results were prosperous for SU once again. He went up the middle this time, dodging a tackler and gaining 11 yards.He stampeded for 47 yards on five carries in the second quarter alone.‘I’m real hungry,’ Gulley said. ‘I want to play, so every chance I get I just got to make something happen, and that’s exactly what I was trying to do.’Hackett said there was screaming and yelling of ‘Let’s run the ball!’ in the halftime locker room as the entire offense absorbed Gulley’s ravenous approach in private.Bailey busted out after halftime, running for 83 yards in the second half and overtime. SU utilized Bailey’s quickness on a toss play on one third down, scooting for eight yards as the offensive line contained the Rockets’ interior.Though the Orange struggled on third down the past couple of weeks, Bailey and Gulley converted a combined four times on third downs on Saturday.For the first time all season, Syracuse had two running backs it could depend on. And for Bailey, that’s back to the SU way of life.‘We put a big emphasis this week on running the football,’ Bailey said. ‘Because at the end of the day, that’s who we are as a program. We’re a smashmouth team.’[email protected] Published on September 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img


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