Syracuse Falls to USF

 

 

 

TAMPA, Fla. (cuse.com) - The Syracuse University football team (3-2) lost its first road game of the season against USF (2-3) at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Orange put together a second-half comeback, but it was not enough as the Bulls recorded a 45-24 victory.
 
Syracuse held USF to 10 points in the first half and trailed by seven points at the break, but the Bulls put up 35 points in the second half to prevail. Every time the Orange had a chance to respond and make it a game, the Bulls found an answer.
 
USF running back Marlon Mack made it difficult for Syracuse to mount the comeback, rushing for 179 yards and two touchdowns on the day. The Bulls' offense found a way to get the job done whenever it appeared like Syracuse had them stopped.
 
With Syracuse only down by seven points in the third quarter, USF faced a third-and-long that eventually turned into a first down after an SU personal foul penalty. The penalty was followed by a USF touchdown, putting the Bulls back up by 14  points, which was the turning point of the contest.
 
Freshman quarterback Eric Dungey was back under center for the Orange after sitting out last game. Dungey was 21-of-34 passing for two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran a touchdown in for a score in the third quarter.
 
Starting at the 4-minute mark in the first quarter, the Bulls went 79 yards on 11 plays to score the game's first points. Darius Rice capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, guiding USF to a 7-0 lead 45 seconds into the second quarter.
 
Sophomore kicker Cole Murphy finished Syracuse's 16-play drive on the following offensive series with a 30-yard field goal to pull the Orange within four points. USF got those three points back with a 21-yard field goal from Bulls' kicker Emili Nadelman, as the Orange trailed 10-3 at the half.
 
The Bulls went to work quickly in the third quarter, going up 17-3 after a 25-yard touchdown rush from Marlon Mack. A 42-yard flee-flicker touchdown completion from USF quarterback Quinton Flowers to Ryshen Bronson then put the Bulls up 24-3. Despite trailing by three scores, the Orange finally found some life on its next offensive drive.
 
Sophomore running back Jordan Fredericks scored the first touchdown for Syracuse on its next possession. Dungey surveyed the field inside the pocket, finding Fredericks who used some elusiveness and a spin move to break past USF defenders, scoring from 30 yards out. Like the quick feet of Fredericks, the Orange offense was fast to get back to work after a short USF drive.
 
With junior linebacker Marqez Hodge scooping up a fumble, Dungey and the Orange offense was back on the field. The freshman led Syracuse a short ways down the field, crossing the goal line on a quarterback keeper to pull the Orange within a score. It took only 1:53 for Syracuse to cut its deficit down to seven points.
 
Mack broke out for a 45-yard touchdown on the next drive to put the Bulls back up by two possessions. For the early part of the second half, Syracuse had an answer, coming right back at USF with a score of its own.
 
Senior punter Riley Dixon eluded defenders for the second consecutive game on a fake field goal, which led to a touchdown reception from sophomore wide receiver Steve Ishmael. Down by seven points, the Orange had USF with its backs against the wall with a chance for a possession to tie it up.
 
The third-and-long on the next USF drive was overthrown by Flowers and should have led to a Bulls' punt. Instead, Syracuse was called for a decisive personal foul to give the Bulls a first down. USF made due with a touchdown to go back up by 14 points. Turnovers for the Orange then became the difference as USF went up by 21 points.
 
Syracuse resumes Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 17 when it plays at Virginia for the first time since 2004. Kickoff between the Orange and Cavaliers is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Scott Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Regional Sports Network.