Instant Juice: Syracuse 31, Virginia Tech 17

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Syracuse upset No. 17 Virginia Tech

A quick take on Syracuse’s 31-17 upset of No. 17 Virginia Tech on Saturday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Virginia Tech tied the game at 17 early in the fourth quarter, Syracuse responded with two critical touchdown drives. The second touchdown came after the Orange forced a three-and-out with 5:23 left, and four plays later, Dontae Strickland hit pay dirt on a 16-yard run. On Va. Tech’s ensuing possession, quarterback Jerod Evans fumbled and De’Jon Wilson recovered with 4:08 left, as the Orange defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since Nov. 10, 2012 when it upset No. 10 Louisville.

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ANALYSIS: Dino Babers got his first signature win in his brief tenure at Syracuse a week after a deflating loss to Wake Forest. The key was a critical 17-play, 75-yard touchdown drive culminating in an Eric Dungey keeper to put SU up 24-17 with 7:56 left after SU appeared to have lost all momentum. Babers kept true to his offensive philosophy during that drive, going for it on 4th-and-2 at the Virginia Tech 37 yard line. Though it has been a rough start to Babers’ first season at Syracuse, the win should go a long way to appeasing a fan base that had been hungry for more immediate results.

HERO: Against a defense that had given up just 20 points in its last three games, Dungey played one of the best games of his career, throwing for 311 yards and a touchdown, and 91 yards and another touchdown on the ground.

ZERO: Jarod Evans accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense, but threw an interception and had a late fumble that essentially sealed SU’s upset. Evans had come into the game with just one turnover in his first five games.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse heads to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 12:30 p.m. TV: ACC Network.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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