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Etta-Tawo A Star for Syracuse

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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With the numbers to prove it, Amba Etta-Tawo has simply been impossible for opposing defenses to contain.

We really think that Amba can beat anyone out there. He is an exceptional player with a lot of god given ability. He has really come in and bought into techniques and fundamentals and he has really taken off.
~Dino Babers

Entering Saturday, Syracuse wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo was already leading the ACC with 28 receptions, 436 yards and three touchdowns. In a 31-24 win over Connecticut over the weekend, Etta-Tawo caught 12 passes for a school-record 270 yards and two scores. Few players in the country, a month through the season, can match his production; no player has more receiving yards. The Maryland-transfer has established himself as one of the top wide receivers in all of college football.

The historic performance is Etta-Tawo's second 200-yard game in four weeks, the first player in program history to reach that milestone twice. He opened the year with a dozen grabs for 210 yards and a touchdown against Colgate. Etta-Tawo then had eight receptions for 103 yards and two scores versus Louisville and eight catches for 123 yards against South Florida. Now one-third of the way through the regular season, Etta-Tawo is on pace for 120 catches, 2,118 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"We really think that Amba can beat anyone out there. He is an exceptional player with a lot of god given ability. He has really come in and bought into techniques and fundamentals and he has really taken off," head coach Dino Babers explained post-game. "I think he has already passed his previous career-high as a collegian in four games with us than his entire time at the other school. I think if you asked him he would say he made a good choice."

Etta-Tawo was at his best when his team needed him the most over the weekend. With the Orange up just 24-17 and facing a 3rd-and-long at their own 4-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, quarterback Eric Dungey connected with Etta-Tawo for a critical 59-yard conversion. Ultimately, with Etta-Tawo playing a leading role, Syracuse moved to 2-2 with the victory ahead of an upcoming showdown with Notre Dame. 

"That's Amba. Ever since he got here, I went out of my way to get to know him and he's a great guy, on and off the field. It's kind of like he's a big brother to me. I'm just happy he chose us. Saw him out there in one-on-one coverage and I trust him," added Dungey.

With the numbers to prove it, Etta-Tawo has simply been impossible for opposing defenses to contain.

"This goes back to chemistry with the quarterback and the coaches," he stated. "They trust that I'm going to make plays and they keep giving me opportunities to do that. I just appreciate that."

Prior to his start with the Orange, Etta-Tawo had just two career 100-yard games; one of them, coming in November of 2013, came versus Syracuse. Etta-Tawo is now the go-to guy for the high-flying Orange, a premier playmaker in the game today.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports