Here are 10 things we learned from Syracuse’s 31-27 win over Missouri on Saturday night to clinch bowl eligibility:
1. Slice it any way you want, with Syracuse’s 31-27 win over Missouri on Saturday night the Big East remains undefeated against the SEC this season. Louisville beat Kentucky 32-14 while Rutgers topped Arkansas, 35-26, both back in September.
2. Missouri definitely missed the presence of standout tackle Sheldon Richardson. The Orange amassed 508 yards of total offense, including 123 on the ground.
3. Syracuse fans had to be rolling their eyes and saying, “Here we go again…” after Dorial Green-Beckman broke away for a touchdown on a 70-yard wide receiver screen on the game’s fourth play. The Orange would fall behind 17-3 before rallying and outscoring Missouri 28-10 the rest of the way.
4. Things looked bleak after a Syracuse interception led to a late Tigers field goal with just 1:52 to play, but QB Ryan Nassib rallied the Orange, going 81 yards (all to Alec Lemon) in 90 seconds to stun Missouri at home.
5. Nassib finished 26 of 40 for 385 yards and two touchdowns, including a 4th-and-10 19-yard completion to Alec Lemon on the Orange’s game winning drive. Nassib became Syracuse’s all-time leading passer in the first quarter with 8,845 passing yards.
6. Alec Lemon caught 12 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns — good for third on the Big East single-game total list. And turned several pro scouts eyes in attendance.
7. Continuing the season-long trend, penalties hurt both teams. The Orange were flagged 5 times for 60 yards while Missouri was hit eight times for 68 yards.
8. One area of improvement coming out of this game has to be timeout management. Doug Marrone burned two timeouts early in the second half that could have loomed huge given the way this game ended.
9. The Orange snapped Missouri’s 18-game win streak against non-conference opponents.
10. The Orange are now bowl eligible for the second time in Doug Marrone’s four-year tenure. The most important question: if Syracuse beats Temple next Saturday do they win the Big East West Division?Micah Tannenbaum