COLLEGE PARK, Md - Syracuse used turnovers and its run game to claim a 20-3 win over Maryland (5-4, 1-4 ACC) on Saturday at Byrd Stadium. The Orange (5-4, 3-2 ACC) has allowed an average of 1.5 points per game in its last two contests.
Jerome Smith scored both of Syracuse's touchdowns, bringing his total to 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. He ran for 118 yards on 28 carries, his third 100+ rushing yard game of the season. Ryan Norton was the game's second leading point scorer with two field goals.
Terrel Hunt threw 15 completions on 24 attempts for 140 yards and was intercepted once. His primary target was Brisly Estime, who caught four passes for 40 yards including a 22-yard reception. Jarrod West tallied three receptions for 42 yards, highlighted by a 33-yard, one-handed sideline catch.
George Morris made his return after missing the last two games due to an injury. He ran for 50 yards on seven carries to help the Orange total 242 rushing yards.
Ritchy Desir led SU defenders with a personal best 11 tackles and a forced fumble, the first of his career. Marquis Spruill totaled seven tackles on the day including two for a loss and recovered a fumble that started an SU scoring drive. Darius Kelly tied his career-high tackles with eight and recorded a pass breakup.
As a whole, the Orange defense caused four turnovers and held the Terps to 81 rushing yards.
Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown completed 21 of his 40 passing attempts for 211 yards. Amba Etta-Tawo caught six passes for 109 yards, the most of any receiver in the contest. Nigel King finished with 65 yards on five receptions. Levern Jacobs, who tallied 158 yards his last time out, was held to 25 yards on six receptions.
The Orange marched 80 yards down the field on the opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead with 7:06 remaining in the first quarter. Hunt threw a 22-yard pass to Estime to get in the red zone and then threw to him again, putting SU on the five-yard line. After left tackle Sean Hickey made his first career reception and brought it just short of the goal line, Jerome Smith carried it in on a one-yard touchdown run.
Syracuse scored again in the closing seconds of the first half when Ryan Norton kicked a 34-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead going into the locker room. The Orange started the drive when Darius Kelly forced a fumble, which was recovered by Marquis Spruill on the Maryland 38 yard line.
Cameron Lynch forced a fumble to end the opening drive of the second half and returned it 18 yards to put SU in Maryland territory. An 11-yard run by Jerome Smith followed by an 11-yard catch by Ashton Broyld put the Orange on the 18 yard line. Syracuse could only come up with four more yards on the next set of downs and settled for three points off a 30-yard field goal by Norton with 10:03 to go in the third quarter.
Maryland ruined the shutout opportunity when Brad Craddock kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter. The score snapped a 113+ minute shutout streak for the Orange, dating back to Georgia Tech.
Smith added six more to the board in the fourth quarter to give Syracuse a 19-3 lead with 10:33 left in the game. After Hunt went on a 29-yard run, Smith broke a tackle to gain 21 yards and a touchdown for his second score of the day. Norton's PAT was good and the Orange went up 20-3.
Syracuse stayed strong on defense and held off the UMD offense for the remainder of the game.
The Orange are on the road again next week when they take on Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and the game will air on either ABC/ESPN2 or on ESPNU.