SYRACUSE, N.Y.- In the last home game of the season, the SU football team (5-6, 1-5 BIG EAST) lost to Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2 BIG EAST), 30-13, on Senior Day at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Prior to start of the game, 23 student-athletes and managers were recognized for their commitment to the Orange program.
Senior Antwon Bailey closed the curtains on his games in the Dome by rushing for a career-high 135 yards, his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season. Bailey also eclipsed the 2,000-career rushing yards mark, becoming the 20th running back in program history to do so. He passed SU legend Jim Brown to become 17th all-time on Syracuse’s career rushing list.
Senior Ryan Nassib was 19-of-37 for 203 yards and threw one touchdown pass. He moved up to third on the program’s list for most passing yards in one season with 2,460 yards on the year. Nassib also passed Perry Patterson to become third on the career completions record list (474).
Syracuse opened the game with a drive to the Bearcats 23-yard line. Receptions by seniors Van Chew and Nick Provo set the stage for a 40-yard field goal by sophomore Ross Krautman, to give the host team a 3-0 lead.
On its first drive of the second quarter, Cincinnati made it down to the Syracuse 1-yard line. The Orange defense pushed Cincinnati back nine yards and held the Bearcats to a 27-yard field goal by redshirt freshman Tony Milliano, making the score 3-3.
SU responded by marching to the Bearcats 15-yard line where Krautman gave the Orange the lead again, 6-3, with a 32-yard field goal.
Sophomore Munchie Legaux and the Bearcats came right back to score a touchdown. Legaux hit redshirt junior Travis Kelce for a two-yard completion to give the Bearcats a 10-6 advantage with 2:06 remaining in the half.
Cincinnati opened the second half with a 71-yard kick return by freshman Ralph David Abernathy and on the ensuing play senior Isiah Pead ran for a 24-yard touchdown to give the Bearcats a 17-6 lead.
After two field goals by Milliano, SU trailed 23-6 with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. The Orange continued to fight, putting together a 76-yard, 10-play scoring drive to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 23-13. Nassib hit tight end Nick Provo on a 17-yard pass, the touchdown seventh connection of the season.
In the fourth quarter, Cincinnati extended its lead to 30-13 after a 69 yard touchdown pass from Legaux to Pead.
Syracuse will be back in action in its regular-season finale at Pittsburgh on Saturday, Dec. 3 (12:00 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2) at Heinz Field.