Nov 26, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles cornerback Jalon Williams (14) breaks up a pass intended for Syracuse Orange wide receiver Damien Alford (82) during the second quarter at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Shrader, Sean Tucker boost Syracuse over Boston College

Garrett Shrader threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and Sean Tucker ran for two more as Syracuse came back for a 32-23 win over host Boston College on Saturday night.

Devaughn Cooper (8 yards) and Damien Alford (58 yards) caught Shrader’s touchdown passes and Cooper scampered in from 5 and 29 yards out as the Orange (7-5, 4-4 ACC) held a 26-13 scoring edge in the final quarter.

Shrader finished 21-of-27 for 285 yards while Tucker rushed for 125 yards on 21 carries, becoming the third-leading rusher in Syracuse history.

Oronde Gadsden II had six catches for 106 yards for Syracuse.

Anwar Sparrow logged three tackles for loss.

Emmett Morehead was 29-of-38 for 252 passing yards and two touchdowns for BC (3-9, 2-6).

Zay Flowers (110 yards) caught two TD passes, setting BC records with 12 this season and 29 in his career.

Pat Garwo (83 yards) also ran for a score.

With BC driving near midfield, Morehead was strip sacked by Caleb Okechukwu and Syracuse took over with 5:25 left. Tucker broke through to cap a 6-play drive in 2:29.

BC led 10-0 in less than five minutes. Syracuse’s first four possessions resulted in a Bryce Steele fumble recovery, an Edwin Kolenge blocked punt, a missed field goal and a punt.

The special teams highlights resulted in BC starting inside the red zone, though it first settled for a 28-yard Connor Lytton field goal.

After Syracuse went 3-and-out, the Eagles found the end zone in three plays as Morehead hit Flowers for a 7-yard reception.

With 2:18 left in the half, the Orange capped a 12-play, 66-yard drive with a 47-yard Andre Szmyt field goal.

After Sparrow’s recovery inside BC territory on the following possession, the Orange was tackled for loss and a flagrant foul on right tackle Enrique Cruz stalled a late drive.

The first two third-quarter drives lasted 6:17 and 7:03. After BC went scoreless, Syracuse was held to a 29-yard field goal after two penalties and a Donovan Ezeiruaku sack.

A 30-yard toss to Flowers along the sideline set up Garwo’s TD run at the end of a nine-play drive early in the fourth.

Syracuse responded with an 8-play, 81-yard drive, scoring on Cooper’s 8-yard catch-and-run with 9:56 left.

The Orange took an 18-17 lead with 7:05 remaining, as a quick 3-play series ended with Alford catching a 58-yard pass.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) runs around end towards the end zone against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first half at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Ailing Orange look to finish strong vs. up-and-down BC

Two long familiar foes clash in Saturday’s regular-season finale as Boston College hosts Syracuse for the first time since 2018 in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

After fighting through injuries all season, the Big East-turned-Atlantic Coast Conference rivals look to finish strong in their 56th all-time meeting.

The Orange (6-5, 3-4 ACC) have lost five straight since their superb start to the season earned them their first bowl game in five seasons. The Eagles (3-8, 2-5) were shut out last week at Notre Dame, 44-0, a week after they had knocked off then-No. 16 NC State.

Syracuse battled in last Saturday’s 45-35 loss to Wake Forest despite missing 12 players from its season-opening depth chart.

“Our goal right now is Boston College, and that’s where we have to be at because you only get 12 opportunities to play 13, which we have received,” coach Dino Babers said. “To be fair to everyone, we have to stay locked in on that, but … the numbers are concerning.”

Left tackle Matthew Bergeron, who had started 38 consecutive games, was one of three linemen out.

Against Wake, Garrett Shrader threw for a career-best 324 yards, and Sean Tucker scored twice while rushing for 106 yards.

Tucker became the fourth back in ‘Cuse history to surpass 3,000 for his career, joining Joe Morris (4,299), Walter Reyes (3,424), and Delone Carter (3,104).

“Eleven explosive plays, seven guys caught the ball,” Babers said. “That just shows you guys are getting better and coaches are doing a good job bringing the underbelly along.”

BC has a conference-high 34 underclassmen on its two-deep but using nine different starters across the offensive line has been particularly challenging.

Also, quarterback Phil Jurkovec has missed three games due to a concussion and broken rib.

“It’s probably not looking good like he’ll play in this last game,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said.

Emmett Morehead has thrown for seven touchdowns since Jurkovec was injured at UConn. He is one of only two freshman quarterbacks in the country this season have multiple 325-yard, three-touchdown games — and the other is North Carolina’s highly touted Drake Maye.

Zay Flowers has become the Eagles’ all-time leader in receiving yards (2,946) and receptions (192). He needs two touchdowns to match Kelvin Martin’s school record of 29.

“When he’s going out there practicing 100 miles an hour … and giving everything, it says a lot more than someone yelling and screaming,” Hafley said. “There’s a lot of guys like that. …

“It hasn’t been perfect, but there’s no quit.”

BC has been held to a field goal or less three times this season but had not been blanked since 2016 before last week’s 44-0 loss.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver A.T. Perry (9) makes a catch against Syracuse Orange defensive back Darian Chestnut (0) to score during the first half at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest passing duo shines to hand Syracuse fifth straight loss

Sam Hartman and A.T. Perry hooked up for three touchdowns Saturday as Wake Forest posted a 45-35 win over visiting Syracuse in Atlantic Coast Conference action from Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Demon Deacons (7-4, 3-4 ACC) snapped a three-game losing streak, due to their dynamic passing duo. Hartman finished 30 of 43 for 331 yards with four touchdowns, while Perry hauled in 10 catches for 119 yards.

Garrett Shrader went 17 of 31 for 324 yards with a passing touchdown and a rushing score for the Orange (6-5, 3-4), who have lost five straight games. Sean Tucker ran for 106 yards and two TDs on 16 carries, while LeQuint Allen caught one touchdown and passed for another.

Syracuse led 7-3 after one quarter before the teams combined for five touchdowns in the ensuing period.

Hartman got the second-quarter party started with a 12-yard pass to Perry in the right side of the end zone. Syracuse answered with a 2-yard touchdown by Tucker two minutes later and then stopped Hartman on fourth-and-1 from the 5 to regain possession.

Facing a long field, the Orange needed four plays to cover 94 yards. The punctuation mark was a 33-yard halfback pass from Allen to Devaughn Cooper for a 14-7 lead.

The Demon Deacons came right back, drawing even on Hartman’s 29-yard TD strike to Perry, who toasted his defender with a double-move. Following a missed 42-yard field goal by Syracuse, Hartman and Perry hooked up again, this time from 10 yards out with 12 seconds left in the half.

The teams exchanged punts to open the third quarter before the Wake Forest offense started heating up again. The Demon Deacons converted three third downs as part of a 12-play, 70-yard drive that Hartman capped with a 17-yard TD pass to Ke’Shawn Williams.

Wake Forest expanded its lead to 45-21 early in the fourth quarter on Quinton Cooley’s 4-yard TD plunge and Brendon Harris’ 36-yard interception return for a score 44 seconds later.

Syracuse fought back with two late touchdowns — Shrader’s 41-yard pass to Allen with 10:01 left and Shrader’s 8-yard TD scamper with 5:13 remaining — but the visitors never got any closer.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) throws the football during the second quarter against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Florida State aims to continue momentum vs. Syracuse

Two teams trending in opposite directions will square off Saturday night when No. 23 Florida State visits Syracuse in Atlantic Coast Conference action.

The Seminoles (6-3, 4-3) are coming off two lopsided victories — 41-16 against Georgia Tech on Oct. 29 and a 45-3 dismantling of Miami last Saturday — but the Orange (6-3, 3-2) have lost three straight games.

Florida State had lost three in a row — all close contests in the final minutes — before putting up 1,096 total yards over the past two contests.

Jordan Travis had more touchdown passes (three) than incompletions (one) against Miami, while Trey Benson (15 carries, 128 yards, two TDs) was the headliner of a 229-yard rushing attack.

“This is an offense that’s built for playmakers,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said this week. “… Now, there’s no secret that Jordan Travis is an incredible playmaker. He has played at an exceptional level, and he’s got great pieces around him.”

Travis threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Georgia Tech. He also starred in last season’s 33-30 win over Syracuse, throwing for two touchdowns and running for 113 yards in a 33-30 victory.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader also had a big day on the ground in that one. He ran for a game-high 137 yards and three TDs; however, his availability for Saturday’s game is up in the air.

The senior quarterback has missed the past 1 1/2 games with a concussion. Backup Carlos Del Rio-Wilson struggled in his place in last week’s 19-9 loss at Pitt, connecting on just 8 of 23 passes for 120 yards.

“It’s difficult to turn this into too much of a passing team and not a balanced football team,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said after watching standout tailback Sean Tucker run for a season-low 19 yards on just 10 carries.

In addition to Tucker, Orange wideout Oronde Gadsden II is looking to bounce back after getting held without a reception against Pitt. He leads the team with 41 catches, 671 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

“They’re going to have their plan of attack for whichever quarterback steps on the field,” Norvell said of the Orange. “They’ve got one of the best running backs in the country there in the backfield. Gadsden, the tight end/flex receiver, he is a matchup problem for everybody that they face. … This is a group that can really do some challenging things. I think they do a great job schematically. We’ve got our work cut out for us on that end.”

Speaking of dynamic offenses, Florida State leads the nation in drives of 80-plus yards (15) and 90-plus yards (seven), as well as plays covering at least 20 yards (69).

The Seminoles already have clinched the 49th bowl appearance in program history.

“They are absolutely on fire. They’ve done some amazing things in a year,” Babers said.

The Orange won their first-ever matchup with the Seminoles in 1966 but have lost 12 of the past 13 meetings.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda (2) runs the ball against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Pittsburgh 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 Syracuse, Pitt trying to avoid losing streaks

Syracuse and Pitt both find themselves trending in the wrong direction as the regular season heads into its final month.

The Orange — ranked 20th in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season — visit the Panthers on Saturday in a match-up of ACC foes hoping to avoid their third straight defeat.

Syracuse (6-2, 3-1 ACC) opened the season with six consecutive victories, including quality wins over Louisville, Purdue and North Carolina State. The Orange then led by 14 at undefeated Clemson before crumbling down the stretch in a 27-21 defeat.

Their problems were compounded last weekend in a 41-24 home loss to Notre Dame, when they allowed 246 rushing yards and lost quarterback Garrett Shrader to a second-quarter concussion.

Shrader’s status against Pitt is cloudy, as Orange coach Dino Babers would not say this week whether the senior quarterback would get the nod against the Panthers, or whether it would be Carlos Del Rio-Wilson making his first career start.

“All that stuff is in consideration behind the curtain, but I just can’t talk about that stuff in the press conference,” Babers said.

Standout running back Sean Tucker (758 yards, 7 TDs) has found the end zone five times in the past four games. He has, however, carried only 35 times the last three games and could be in for a heavier workload Saturday.

Syracuse wraps up its regular season with four ACC games, three of which take place on the road.

“Non-conference is over,” Babers said. “We were 3-1 in non-conference. We lost to Notre Dame. Now it’s all conference play. We’ve got one loss and we have to see how we’re going to finish this thing up.”

The Panthers (4-4, 1-3) also have four league games remaining, and they hope those contests go smoother than the last two games. After getting off to a 4-2 start, Pitt has dropped lopsided decisions to Louisville (24-10) and North Carolina (42-24).

They have been outscored 38-0 in the fourth quarter of those two games.

“The fourth quarter wasn’t good enough,” Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi said seeing a 24-14 lead against UNC punctured by four unanswered touchdowns. “We turned the ball over again in the fourth quarter, which started the tumble. It seems like every week we’ve got one of those.”

On the bright side, Pitt receiver Jared Wayne had a career-high 161 receiving yards on seven catches against North Carolina. And Israel Abanikanda racked up 127 rushing yards and three scores on the ground.

“They’ve got the best running back in the country,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said of Abanikanda, who has an ACC-best 1,086 rushing yards and a national-best 16 touchdowns through the first eight games.

On the other hand, Pitt’s defense will need to be better against Syracuse. The Panthers have given up at least 24 points to seven opponents (Western Michigan was the only exception) and UNC scored the most, with 42.

Pitt has won 17 of the last 20 matchups with Syracuse, including the past four in a row. The Panthers captured last season’s meeting 31-14 behind four TD passes from Kenny Pickett, who is now starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

–Field Level Media

Oct 29, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Audric Estime (7) runs over Syracuse Orange defensive back Alijah Clark (5) in the second quarter at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame hands No. 16 Syracuse second straight loss

Audric Estime and Logan Diggs combined for 208 rushing yards and three touchdowns as visiting Notre Dame knocked off No. 16 Syracuse 41-24 on Saturday afternoon.

Estime (20 carries, 123 yards) ran for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and Diggs added 20 carries for 85 yards and one score for the Fighting Irish (5-3), who outrushed Syracuse 246-61.

The Orange’s Garrett Shrader completed just 5 of 14 passes for 35 yards before exiting with a concussion in the second quarter. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson came on and was 11 of 22 for 190 yards. Both players threw one touchdown and one interception.

Sean Tucker ran for 60 yards and a touchdown for Syracuse (6-2), which has dropped back-to-back games.

Notre Dame dominated the first half, outgaining Syracuse 225-73 en route to a 21-7 advantage at intermission.

The first play from scrimmage was intercepted by Notre Dame’s Brandon Joseph and returned 29 yards for a touchdown. The Orange answered by taking their next possession 53 yards in seven plays for the tying score — a 13-yard TD pass from Shrader to Oronde Gadsden II — but the Fighting Irish scored the next 17 points to take control.

Midway through the second quarter, Diggs capped an 11-play drive with a 3-yard TD run to create a 14-7 edge for the visitors.

Late in the half, Syracuse failed on a fourth-and-7 from the Notre Dame 39. That set up good field position for the Irish, who found the end zone six plays later as Drew Pyne found Jayden Thomas for a 3-yard score with 17 ticks left until halftime.

After Notre Dame kicked a 31-yard field goal midway through the third quarter, Syracuse began to mount a mini-comeback. Andre Szmyt made a 54-yard field goal and Tucker capped the next Orange possession with a 4-yard TD run, making it 24-17 late in the third quarter.

However, Estime scored back-to-back fourth-quarter touchdowns to seal the outcome.

First he sliced untouched up the middle for an 11-yard score. Notre Dame then blocked a punt and Estime plunged in from 2 yards out for a 38-17 cushion.

The hosts pulled within 38-24 with 5:44 remaining, but they got no closer.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson wide receiver Joseph Ngata (10) gets tackled by Syracuse defensive back Isaiah Johnson (20) during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina on Saturday, October 22, 2022.   Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 5 Clemson overcomes turnovers, slow start to edge No. 14 Syracuse

Will Shipley ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as No. 5 Clemson rallied past No. 14 Syracuse for a 27-21 home win in ACC action.

Phil Mafah contributed 94 rushing yards and a score as Clemson (8-0, 6-0 ACC) won its 38th straight home game, setting a new ACC record, despite committing four turnovers and forcing only one — an interception by RJ Mickens with 15 seconds left to seal the win.

Tigers quarterbacks DJ Uigalelei and Cade Kubnik combined for just 157 passing yards and three turnovers (all by Uigalelei).

Garrett Shrader went 18 of 26 for 167 yards with a passing TD and a rushing score for Syracuse (6-1, 3-1), which squandered a 14-point, first-half lead in losing for the first time this season. The Orange only gave standout running back Sean Tucker five carries, which resulted in 54 yards.

Klubnik took over at quarterback for a struggling Uigalelei in the third quarter with his team trailing 21-10. The freshman guided a 15-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in Mafah’s 1-yard TD plunge on fourth-and-goal early in the fourth quarter.

The two-point conversion was no good.

The Orange committed two critical personal foul penalties on the drive and finished with 10 penalties for 88 yards on the day.

Syracuse went three-and-out on its next drive and Clemson quickly took the lead on Shipley’s 50-yard TD run. Klubnik improvised on the two-point conversion before finding Joseph Ngata to make it 24-21.

B.T. Potter tacked on a field goal with 1:33 remaining to make it 27-21.

The teams exchanged first-quarter touchdowns as Shipley plunged in from 1 yard out before Shrader found Tucker for a 12-yard TD to even the score.

The Orange took their first lead of the game with 9:14 left until halftime, as Ja’Had Carter scooped up a fumble by Uigalelei and ran 90 yards to the end zone. The Tigers were stuffed on fourth down on the ensuing possession, and Syracuse marched down the field with Shrader covering the final 7 yards on a scramble, giving the visitors a 21-7 advantage.

Potter’s 44-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the half made it 21-10.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) tries to move past North Carolina State Wolfpack cornerback Derrek Pitts Jr. (24) in the second quarter at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 Syracuse remains undefeated with 24-9 win over No. 15 NC State

Garrett Shrader and Oronde Gadsden II hooked up for two touchdowns in front of a raucous home crowd Saturday as No. 18 Syracuse defeated 15th-ranked North Carolina State 24-9 to remain undefeated.

Sean Tucker ran for 98 yards and a touchdown for the Orange (6-0, 3-0 ACC), while Shrader finished 16 of 25 with two TDs and two INTs. Gadsden racked up 141 yards on eight catches as Syracuse outgained NC State 389-255.

Jack Chambers went 18 of 30 for 160 yards without a touchdown or an interception for NC State (5-2, 1-2). The Wolfpack played without starting quarterback Devin Leary, who suffered a season-ending injury during last week’s game against Florida State.

Chambers also led the visitors with 58 rushing yards in this one, while teammate Jordan Houston had 44 rushing yards on 12 attempts.

The first touchdown pass from Shrader to Gadsden was a 12-yard strike just over two minutes into the game. The teams then exchanged punts before the Wolfpack got on the board on a 20-yard field goal by Christopher Dunn.

The offenses quieted down for a while from there, as the only scoring of the second quarter was a 22-yard field goal by Syracuse’s Andre Szmyt.

The third quarter featured a 42-yard field goal by Dunn to get NC State within 10-6 midway through the period. But the Orange answered on the following possession, marching 78 yards in 13 plays, capped by a 17-yard TD connection from Shrader to Gadsden.

The Wolfpack then took 9 1/2 minutes off the clock, bridging the final two quarters, in a marathon 18-play drive that ended with Dunn’s 36-yard field goal. That made it a 17-9 game with 6:58 to go.

However, the hosts sealed the outcome with a 25-yard rushing touchdown by Tucker, who sprinted untouched down the left sideline to keep the Orange unblemished on the season.

Chambers drove the Wolfpack into the red zone on the game’s final possession, but his fourth-down pass was incomplete as the final buzzer sounded.

–Field Level Media