Team Win Has Orange Momentum Continuing

Four turnovers and a squandered second half lead certainly weren’t what the Syracuse football team was looking for when it exited the locker room with a 13-point lead for the second half vs. Virginia on Friday night. But for the second week in a row, Syracuse found a way.

The Orange have won games in different ways all season to date, finishing the month of September with a perfect 4-0 record and a 2-0 mark in ACC play for the first time in the 10 seasons that ‘Cuse has been in the conference.

Friday night was another example of the Orange needing strong performances from all-three phases at different times in a 22-20 win over Virginia, and when one unit faltered, another was ready to pick up the play.

“The play wasn’t perfect, but their record is,” said head coach Dino Babers.

A week after giving up 424-yards through the air, the Syracuse defense rebounded with a staunch performance against Virginia, allowing just three scores on the day. Twice, they took over deep in their own territory after Syracuse had turned it over – those two possessions resulted in six points. Garrett Williams also got the ball back twice for his offense, forcing and recovering a fumble and also picking off UVA QB Brennan Armstrong in the third quarter on a drive that could have potentially given UVA the lead.

Special teams were a key for ‘Cuse on Friday. Andre Szmyt tied a school record for made field goals, going 5-for-5 on the evening. The field goal unit’s reliability bailed the offense out on multiple stalled drives to convert to points. Trebor Pena also made a big play in the return game, bringing the opening kickoff across the 50, setting up Syracuse’s lone offensive touchdown. They also blocked a PAT, which loomed large late in the game. The unit also had a miscue of its own by way of a fumble on a kickoff return.

And while the offense may not have had its most productive day of the year, having three turnovers on the offensive side of the ball, when they got the ball back trailing for the first time on Friday night, they rallied together to find a way to move the ball 62-yards on a nearly five-minute scoring drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal with 1:14 left from Szmyt.

Thus far, Syracuse has found a way to win in different ways, including blowout victories over Louisville and UConn, some last second heroics against Purdue and Friday’s win over Virginia that was filled with adversity. All of that sets up a chance for the Orange to move to 5-0 for the first time since 1987 if they can continue momentum at home vs. Wagner this week.

Tickets for all remaining home games are available at

Print Friendly Version

Powered by CUSE.COM.

Related Articles

Back to top button