TAMPA, Fla. - Syracuse climbed back from being down as much as 20 points to win at South Florida, 37-36. Ryan Nassib's one-yard touchdown pass to Alec Lemon with six seconds left in the game secured the Orange's (4-4, 3-1 BIG EAST) third BIG EAST win of the season. The comeback was the eighth fourth quarter comeback of Nassib's career and the first this season.
Nassib completed 27 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. It was his fourth game of the season with over 300 passing yards.
Jerome Smith led the Orange running game with 28 attempts for 127 yards. This is Smith's second consecutive game with over 100-yards rushing.
The defense was led by seniors Shamarko Thomas and Deon Goggins, who each totaled nine tackles a piece. Thomas also forced a fumble in the third quarter that set up an Orange touchdown.
The Bulls (2-6, 0-4 BIG EAST) opened up the game on a 12 play 75-yard scoring drive that lasted 4:55 and ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Demetri Murray.
The Orange didn't waste time getting on the score board. On Syracuse's first possession, Krautman kicked a 20-yard field goal, making the score 7-3 at 6:03 in the first quarter. After completing his ninth field goal of the season, Krautman is now tied for fifth in career made field goals at SU with 42.
Maikon Bonani added a 36-yard for USF with 3:12 left in the first quarter, extending the Bull's lead to 10-3.
Bonani kicked his second field goal of the game, this time from the 32-yard line, putting the Bulls up, 13-3 against the Orange at 10:58 in the second quarter. The field goal capped an eight-play, 69-yard scoring drive that included a 53-yard rush by Daniels.
After Krautman hit the upright and missed his 22-yard field goal attempt, the Bulls received the ball on their 20-yard line. On the ensuing play, Lindsey Lamar rushed for an 80-yard touchdown, extending the Bull's lead to 17-points, 20-3, with 5:04 left in the half.
The Bulls ended the first half with a 46-yard field goal by Bonani. Bonani made the attempt with four seconds left in the first half, giving USF a 23-3 lead heading into the locker room.
Coming out of the locker room after halftime, the Orange mounted its comeback.
In the Syracuse's opening drive of the second half, Nassib orchestrated a seven play, 84-yard drive that was capped off by a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jarrod West. The touchdown put the score at 23-10, with USF holding on to its lead.
The Syracuse defense forced the Bulls to punt on its first offensive possession in the second half. Durell Eskridge blocked Brochaus-Kann's punt, giving the Orange offense the ball on their 42-yard line. Alec Lemon rushed for a four-yard touchdown, pulling SU within six points of the Bulls, 23-17. The scoring was five plays for 45 yards and lasted 1:40.
SU's defense came up big again, this time with Dyshawn Davis forcing a fumble. Thomas recovered the ball on USF's 23-yard line.
Nassib found Marcus Sales in the end zone with 6:10 left in the quarter to give the Orange the lead for the first time in the game, 24-23. The five-yard touchdown pass was the culmination of a six play, 23 yard scoring drive and gave SU its first lead of the game, 24-23.
Bonani kicked a 41-yard field goal with 2:15 left in the quarter, putting USF back in the lead, 26-24.
USF took a 33-24 lead after Daniels connected with Andre Davis for a 30-yard touchdown at 10:43 in the fourth quarter.
Sales scored his second touchdown of the game at 7:17 after catching a 19-yard pass from Nassib. The drive lasted 12 plays and 75 yards and pulled SU within two of USF, 33-31. With 1:23 left in the game, Bonani kicked his fifth field goal of the game, this time from 47-yards out. The Bulls were now up, 36-31.
With 1:23 seconds remaining, Nassib marched the Orange down the field. The drive included a 19-yard pass to Sales that set SU up on the USF one-yard line. After the Bull's called a timeout, Nassib found Lemon in the end zone for a one-yard touchdown, securing SU's 37-36 comeback win.
USF quarterback B.J. Daniels completed 17 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown. Daniels also rushed for 134 yards. Lindsey Lamar registered 10 rushes for 145 yards.
The Orange is back in action at Cincinnati on Saturday, Nov. 3rd at noon (BIG EAST Network). SU returns to the Carrier Dome for a Homecoming contest against Louisville on November 10.