A quick take on Syracuse’s 28-17 win against Stony Brook:
WHAT HAPPENED: Ryan Nassib found Marcus Sales over the middle for a 19 yard touchdown with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter to open up an 11 point lead as Syracuse won its first game since Oct. 21, 2011. It was a come from behind victory for the Orange, as the Seawolves took a 17-14 lead into halftime. But the Orange defense responded in the second half, holding Stony Brook scoreless, and Brandon Reddish’s interception with 3:37 left in the game cemented SU’s win.
ANALYSIS: It wasn’t pretty, as the Orange left plenty of points on the board. Twice in the second half with the ball inside the Stony Brook 5 yard line, SU’s offense was stuffed on fourth down and came away with zero points. Kicker Ross Krautman also missed a pair of field goals in the first half. On the other side, the Syracuse defense struggled against SBU’s run game. Miguel Maysonet and Marcus Coker combined for 216 yards on the ground and a touchdown as Stony Brook hung with the Orange until late in the fourth quarter. For SU, even though they improved in the W/L column, it isn’t encouraging that Syracuse struggled mightily against an FCS team at home.
HERO: Sales had five receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. Nassib, after going 6-15 in the first half, had another strong second half, and finished 22 for 35 for 335 yards and three touchdowns.
ZERO: Special teams struggled for the third straight game. Aside from Krautman misfiring on a pair of field goals, Steve Rene again curiously didn’t call for a fair catch on a punt return, and then also botched a kickoff return before leaving the game with an injury. Prince-Tyson Gulley in his only kick return was only able to get 10 yards. For Stony Brook, Kyle Essington completed just 4-19 passes for 94 yards and a pair of interceptions.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m., TV: Big 10 Network.