Syracuse Edges Boston College

 

 

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (cuse.com) – Cole Murphy's 35-yard field goal as time expired gave Syracuse a dramatic 20-17 victory over Boston College on Senior Day at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon. The Orange (4-8, 2-6 ACC) defense stepped up big in Scott Shafer's final game as head coach, holding the Eagles (3-9, 0-8 ACC) to just one pass completion and going 11-of-12 stopping the visitors on third downs.
 
After the Eagles knotted the game up at 17 on a 43-yard field goal with 2:42 remaining, the Orange took over at its 31. Zack Mahoney used first down passes to Ervin Philips and Alvin Cornelius to move the Orange into BC territory, where 10 and seven-yard rushes by Jordan Fredericks and a one-yard run by Philips set up Murphy's winning kick.
 
Philips was the Orange's top offensive weapon throughout the day, piling up 73 rushing yards on nine carries to go with 21 yards on five receptions and a touchdown.
 
In his fourth start at quarterback, freshman Zack Mahoney was 12-of-26 passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns and added 10 yards rushing.
 
BC's offense virtually all came on the ground where it amassed 230 yards rushing, led by quarterback Jeff Smith's 117 yards on 13 carries and running back Tyler Rouse's 111 yards on 24 carries and two scores. The Eagles did not complete a pass until the 6:41 mark of the fourth quarter as Smith finished 1-of-13 for nine yards.
 
After holding each other scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the game, the Eagles struck first on a one-yard rush up the middle from Rouse to put BC on top with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter. Rouse was responsible for all of the yards gained in that scoring drive, totaling 33 yards on the successful possession.
 
The Orange responded to kick off the second quarter as Mahoney tossed to Philips for two yards  to cap off a seven-play, 65-yard drive that spanned 3:48 to tie the game, 7-7. The score was Philips' eighth touchdown of the season.
 
The Orange defense stepped up in the final minutes of the first half, as cornerback Cordell Hudson picked off a Smith third down pass and returned it to the BC 34-yard line, eventually leading to Cole Murphy's season-long 49-yard field goal to give Syracuse its first lead of the game with 2:25 left in the second quarter, 10-7.
 
The Syracuse defense stayed in attack mode as safety Antwan Cordy picked off Smith to register his third interception of the season, stealing any opportunity for BC to tie or take the lead heading into halftime
 
Syracuse came out firing on all cylinders to start the second half with a successful eight-play drive for 66 yards to put the Orange up 17-7 at the 10:45 mark. With the ball at the BC 43-yard line, Philips took off on a career-high 31-yard rush to take Syracuse down to the 12. Four plays later, Mahoney found sophomore Steve Ishmael in the end zone for a 1-yard scoring strike that gave the Orange a 17-7 lead.
 
The Eagles fired back on of a drive initialized by Smith's 53-yard run to land the Eagles at the SU nine-yard line. A sequential nine-yard rush by Rouse to the end zone marked Rouse's second touchdown of the day, cutting the Syracuse lead down to three, 17-14, with 9:53 left in the third quarter.
 
The defenses then took over, not allowing any point until Lichtenberg's tying field goal at the 2:42 mark of the fourth and Murphy's game-winner on the final play of the game.