A quick take on Syracuse’s 36-29 overtime win against Wake Forest:
WHAT HAPPENED: With 11:02 left in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Newman’s 40-yard field goal gave Wake Forest a 29-14 lead. From there, the Orange scored 22 unanswered points to force overtime, and eventually win the game.
It started with an eight-play, 73 yard march down the field that ended with SU quarterback Ryan Nassib finding Adam Harris in the endzone for a touchdown to pull the Orange to within 29-21. Syracuse immediately forced a quick three and out, setting up Antwon Bailey’s 53 yard run for a touchdown with 7:07 left.
The Orange actually had a chance to win in regulation, as SU drove to the Wake Forest 7 yard line. But Ross Krautman’s field goal was blocked, setting up the extra frame. It didn’t matter in hindsight, as Nassib found Van Chew for a 4-yard strike on Syracuse’s first possession in overtime, capping the dramatic comeback.
SIGNIFICANCE: The Orange won its opening game for the first time in three seasons. It was also a nice way to start at the Carrier Dome, where the Orange haven’t had a winning season since 2004.
That being said, SU’s fourth quarter masked an otherwise forgettable game through the first three quarters. The Orange looked completely lifeless for much of the game and some fans started to empty out early in the fourth quarter. Syracuse gained less than 150 yards heading into the final quarter and started the game with three straight 3-and-outs. The defensive secondary didn’t look much better, as receiver Chris Givens had seven receptions for 170 yards and two scores.
HERO: Bailey rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Nassib, who was under pressure all game, managed to throw three scores.
ZERO: Tanner Price was picking apart SU’s secondary to the tune of 289 yards and three scores. But after he left with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, Ted Stachitas took over and the Demon Deacons didn’t score the rest of the way. Price’s injury turned out to be the turning point of the game.