Robert Anae has Syracuse running wild: What’s different from his pass-heavy days at UVA?
Sixty percent of Syracuse’s offensive snaps this season have been runs, which is shocking when you consider who’s calling the plays.
That would be one Robert Anae, who at Virginia erred on the side of, just throw it.
Anae’s play calls at UVA last year were closer to 70/30 pass/run, not accounting for Brennan Armstrong scrambles on plays that were called as passes in the huddle.
His leading rushers two of the past four years were his QBs, Armstrong and Bryce Perkins, and the other years, last year and 2018, the QBs were a not-distant second.
You could say that he didn’t have anybody like Sean Tucker, who ran for 1,496 yards and 12 TDs last year, at UVA, but then, Anae was at Virginia for six years, and ostensibly would have had ample opportunity to recruit to his system.
Translation: if he didn’t have the guys in the backfield to put together even the semblance of a running game, that would be on him.
Anyway, Anae is using Tucker now, though it must be pointed out, through three games, Tucker has 254 rushing yards, 84.7 per game, and Anae’s QB, Garrett Shrader, has 201 rushing yards, 67.0 per game.
The run/pass ratio might be flipped, but the scheme is still largely the same, maybe more like 2018 Virginia, which had Perkins (923 yards on the ground) and tailback Jordan Ellis (1,026 yards) giving opposing defenses fits, but still, familiar.
Insight into Shrader
Shrader transferred from Mississippi State last year, after a two-year stint there that had him in Starkville for a year with UVA wideout Keytaon Thompson.
Shrader played in 10 games as a QB at Mississippi State in 2019 before switching to wideout in 2020, so think, athletic, like KT.
Shrader took over as the QB1 at Syracuse four games into the 2021 season, and put up good numbers – 1,445 passing yards, nine TDs, four INTs, a 113.7 passer rating, and another 781 yards and 14 TDs on the ground.
And now he gets to run the offense that Perkins and Armstrong ran at UVA under Anae.
No doubt Armstrong is jealous that Shrader is running the scheme that he learned from Anae and QB coach Jason Beck, who followed Anae to Syracuse, while BA is stuck trying to learn whatever Tony Elliott and Des Kitchings are trying to do at UVA.