SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Eric Dungey scored three touchdowns and threw for another to key a first-half blitz and Syracuse continued its early season success with a 51-21 victory over former Big East rival Connecticut on Saturday.
Syracuse, which has not yet trailed this season, has won its first four games for the first time since 1991 and only the fourth time since the end of World War II.
Connecticut (1-3) entered the game ranked last in points allowed per game (55.7) and yards allowed per game (673.3). UConn's defensive depth chart for Saturday listed nine freshmen and two redshirt freshmen on the two-deep, and that inexperience proved costly again. The Orange, who entered the game averaging 49 points, scored rapidly on their first three possessions and stormed to a 21-0 lead.
Dungey, who sat out the second half of last week's 30-7 win over Florida State because of blurred vision suffered after a tackle, started the rush with a typical Orange drive - 10 plays, 67 yards in 2:51. He completed four passes for 45 yards before scoring from the 1.
After a three-and-out by the Huskies, Syracuse went 75 yards on seven plays in 90 seconds and gained a 14-0 lead on Dungey's 9-yard run up the middle.
Dungey's 7-yard scoring pass to freshman tight end Gabe Horan, the first catch of his college career, boosted the lead to 21.
Dungey was 21 of 27 for 286 yards and two touchdowns passing with no turnovers and rushed for 77 yards on 16 carries before Tommy DeVito replaced him in the fourth. Moe Neal had 116 yards rushing, the first Orange tailback to eclipse the 100-yard mark this season, and Sean Riley chipped in with 290 all-purpose yards.
Syracuse outgained UConn 636-395 for the game as the Huskies struggled on both sides of the ball.
The one-two Connecticut punch of senior quarterback David Pindell and sophomore tailback Kevin Mensah had combined to average 206 yards rushing a game in the first three games - Pindell netting 334 and Mensah 285. But the Syracuse defense limited them to 87 yards on 16 carries in the first half as the Orange built a 31-14 lead. Both finished with 76 yards rushing.
Pindell scored on a 75-yard run up the middle in the first quarter and also hit Zavier Scott with a 2-yard TD pass in the second, but he was harassed repeatedly by the Orange defense, which finished with six sacks and three hurries.
Pindell was 17 of 24 for 151 yards passing and was replaced in the fourth quarter by redshirt freshman Marvin Washington, whose first career pass was a 26-yard scoring strike to Tyler Davis in the left corner of the end zone.
Riley gave the Orange a 24-point cushion with an electrifying 69-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the third. He caught the ball along the right sideline, streaked up the middle and then moved to the left side, outrunning the coverage over the final 25 yards. It was the first punt return for a score by the Orange since Brisly Estime returned a punt 59 yards for a TD at Florida State in October 2015.
Riley added a 49-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
Connecticut: The Huskies have a lot of work ahead, but while the defense continues to struggle the offense showed it can be effective. It just needs some consistency. On UConn's first three offensive possessions, Pindell lost a fumble and the Huskies had two three-and-outs, then scored two straight touchdowns.
Syracuse: The Orange won their previous two games convincingly and put up 55 points in the season opener. Last week's 30-7 win over Florida State provided more confidence, but the Orange will get a gauge of how far they've progressed when they play at third-ranked Clemson next week. Syracuse upset Clemson a year ago in the Carrier Dome, something coach Dino Babers can use to prepare for the next game.
Connecticut: Hosts Cincinnati next Saturday.
Syracuse: Travels to face No. 3 Clemson next Saturday.