Syracuse Football: Could Sean Tucker set Orange’s career rushing mark?

Syracuse football, Sean Tucker (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse football, Sean Tucker (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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If Syracuse football star running back Sean Tucker returned for the 2023 season, his fourth in an Orange uniform, it’s possible he could make a significant run at breaking the team’s career rushing record.

However, how likely it is that Tucker would come back to the Hill in 2023 remains to be seen. He’s already receiving some early 2023 NFL Draft buzz from various experts, and it would be totally logical for him to move on after the current season.

That being said, and I recognize this is a big “if,” but if Sean Tucker does play another campaign for Syracuse football beyond the present one, it’s not entirely out of the question that he could surpass the squad’s career rushing record of 4,299 yards, set by the legendary Joe Morris.

I know, I know, Neil. Let’s focus on 2022. I get that. The Orange is 5-0 for the first time since 1987, the ‘Cuse is nationally ranked in both major top-25 polls, and Syracuse football is just one victory away from reaching bowl eligibility for the inaugural occasion dating back to the team’s 10-3 record in 2018.

But still, it’s fun to think about what Syracuse football RB Sean Tucker could do in 2023.

Okay, let’s get up to speed. In 2020, Tucker rushed for 626 yards and then 1,496 yards in 2021. To date in 2022, he has 546 rushing yards after tallying a stellar 232 yards on the ground last Saturday in the Orange’s demolition of Wagner.

In his Syracuse football career at this juncture, Sean Tucker has amassed 2,668 rushing yards, good for No. 7 all-time within the ‘Cuse program, per SU Athletics.

Per game, Tucker is currently averaging 109.2 rushing yards, which is No. 1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and No. 10 nationwide, according to statistics on ncaa.com.

There are a couple of things in play here. First of all, football is a dangerous sport, and while I hate to even bring this up, injuries happen all of the time.

What’s more, Syracuse football has a bunch of really tough games coming up. If the ‘Cuse is getting dominated by a foe or two, or perhaps the Orange ends up blowing another opponent out, head coach Dino Babers might take Tucker out to give the squad’s reserve running backs some extended minutes.

But let’s suggest for a second that Sean Tucker averages around 109 yards per encounter over the next seven regular-season contests, as well as a bowl game.

If my math is correct, and that’s never a guarantee, then Tucker would need about 760 yards in 2023 to break Morris’ career mark in Central New York.

If Tucker were to average 100 yards per affair over the Orange’s seven remaining regular-season contests, plus a bowl game, he would have to get around 830 yards in 2023 to eclipse Morris.

To reiterate, though, averaging 109 or even 100 yards per game over the final seven games won’t be easy, given the upcoming calendar for the ‘Cuse. Plus, at least for now, Syracuse football hasn’t clinched a bowl-game berth, and it’s not a guarantee that Tucker would play in said bowl game.

Earlier this week, I posed this question via Twitter to the fabulous Syracuse.com reporter Emily Leiker, who is way smarter about the Orange than I am.

Leiker said that should Tucker decide to return, if he could get to at least 3,299 career rushing yards by the end of this season, that would leave him needing around 1,000 rushing yards in 2023 to pass Morris. That sounds totally logical and reasonable to me.

If we use 3,299 rushing yards as the benchmark for Tucker by the culmination of the 2022 stanza, if you average it out over seven games, he would need to produce around 90 yards per game.

If you stretch that to eight contests, Tucker would have to generate roughly 79 yards per meeting. Are these scenarios doable? I believe so.

Is Sean Tucker guaranteed to break Morris’ career rushing record for Syracuse football if he does return in 2023? Absolutely not. But I’d sure love to see him try.

Next. Syracuse football enters crowded field for 4-star, top-10 running back. dark