College Football:SU hands Louisville first loss of season
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Syracuse football team handed No. 11/10 Louisville (9-1, 4-1) its first loss of the season,45-26, in front of a crowd of 40,312 at the Carrier Dome on Senior Day. In his final game at the Carrier Dome, senior quarterback Ryan Nassib threw 15 completions for 246 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the BIG EAST career completions leader. He has 738. Nasib also moved into the second spot on Syracuse's career passing yards record list and is six yards shy of tying Marvin Graves (8,466 yards) for the Orange record. Syracuse improves to 5-5 on the season and 4-2 in the BIG EAST.
Jerome Smith recorded his fourth consecutive game with more than 100-yards rushing. The running back had 18 carries for 144 yards and one touchdown. It was his second game in a row with a touchdown.
Wide receiver Alec Lemon had nine receptions for 176 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game. He is now tied for fifth on the SU record list for most career receiving touchdowns with 16 and is tied for fifth on the record list for consecutive games with a reception (25).
SU had a balanced offensive attack, generating 278 yards rushing and 246 passing yards. The Orange defense held the Cardinals to 48 yards rushing, marking the fourth time this season SU has held an opponent to less than 100 yards on the ground.
The Orange stormed down the field in its first offensive possession of the game, going nine plays and 78 yards. Ross Krautman's 20-yard field goal put SU up 3-0 with 11:50 left in the first quarter. The drive included a 45-yard catch by wide receiver Jeremiah Kobena.
The Cardinals evened the score, 3-3, with 5:45 remaining in the opening quarter on a John Wallace 37-yard field goal. The field goal was a result of a 12 play, 55 yard drive that lasted 6:05.
After Louisville forced SU to punt, Lewellyn Coker recovered a fumble on the play, which gave the offense the ball on the Cardinal's 24-yard line. It was Coker's second consecutive game with a fumble recovery on a punt return.
Syracuse took advantage of the turnover and Prince-Tyson Gulley capped off a five-play, 20 yard drive with an eight yard rushing touchdown. Krautman's PAT gave the Orange a 10-3 advantage with 3:13 left in the first quarter.
Louisville tied the game at 10 with 1:27 left in the quarter, when Bridgewater found Corvin Lamb for a 53-yard touchdown.
Syracuse took the lead for good three minutes into the second quarter when Nassib found Lemon in the end zone with a 13-yard touchdown pass, making it 17-10 Orange. Krautman's kick was good, capping a 13 play, 92-yard drive that lasted 4:30. The drive was the longest scoring drive this season for the SU offense.
Lemon then scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on a 37-yard touchdown catch. Krautman converted the PAT, giving the Orange a 24-10 lead with just more than six minutes left in the first half. The touchdown was a result of six play, 70-yard drive.
Gulley matched Lemon with his second touchdown of the game, going 55 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown with 2:13 left in the second quarter. Krautman's PAT extended SU's lead to 31-10. Louisville cut the lead to 18, 31-13, with a 27-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the first half.
On SU's first offensive possession on in the second half, Nassib led the Orange on a nine play, 74-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 35-yard touchdown run by Smith. Krautman's point after gave the Orange a 25-point lead, 38-13, with 9:47 left in the third quarter.
Louisville countered with a touchdown with 1:49 left in the third quarter. Bridgewater found Eli Rodgers for a 44-yard touchdown pass, making the score 38-19. SU defensive tackle Eric Crume blocked Wallace's extra point.
To open up the fourth quarter, Nassib found Coker in the end zone on a three-yard touchdown pass at 11:14. It was Coker's first career touchdown and after Krautman's kick was good, the Orange took a commanding 45-19 lead. The scoring drive went 11 plays, 56 yards and lasted 5:35.
The Cardinals cut the lead to 19, 45-26, when Bridgewater hit DeVante Parker with an eight-yard touchdown pass. An interception by Dyshawn Davis with 4:32 left in the game gave the Orange the ball on SU's 35-yard line. Syracuse ran out the clock to improve its home record to 4-1 this season.
The last time that Syracuse defeated a ranked team was a 49-23 victory against No. 11/14 West Virginia in 2011.