Syracuse punctuates improbable season with win over Boston College

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Syracuse head coach Dino Babers addresses the media. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Saturday afternoon, both #19 Syracuse and Eric Dungey both bounced back from the low point of their seasons with an emphatic 42-21 win at Boston College. Following last week’s rout by Notre Dame in which he was knocked out of the contest, Dungey had a hand in all six touchdowns for the Orange (9-3, 6-2 ACC), who clinched sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division with the win. The loss dropped the Eagles to 7-5 and 4-4 in conference play.

Dungey threw for three scores and ran for three more at he steered the SU offense to 559 total yards. The senior quarterback also became the second to throw for over 9,000 yards in school history, as his 362 passing yards brought him to 9,037 yards in his career, 153 yards behind Ryan Nassib. Dungey also passed the 11,000-yard mark in total offense and tied the legendary Floyd Little for second place in the school record book with 35 rushing touchdowns.

After each team opened the game with a drive resulting in a missed field goal, Boston College struck first with a touchdown drive for a 7-0 lead with 3:14 left in the first quarter. That lead lasted for just 11 seconds.

On the first offensive snap following a touchback, Eric Dungey connected with Sean Riley, who had gotten behind the Eagle defense, on a 75-yard touchdown pass. Andre Szmyt added the extra point to tie the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, punter Sterling Hofrichter forced a fumble while making the tackle on the return and recovered the loose ball, setting up Syracuse with the ball at the BC 36. Dungey completed a 34-yard pass to Jamal Custis on the first play, then later capped the drive with a four-yard rushing score. Szmyt tacked on the extra point for a 14-7 Orange lead with under a minute to go in the first.

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SU made it three straight scores when Dungey capped a 67-yard drive by carrying the ball in from two yards out. Szmyt’s conversion made it 21-7 just over two minutes into the second quarter.

The Eagles sliced into the Syracuse lead with a 69-yard touchdown less than three minutes before halftime, but the Orange responded with another score before the break. Once again, Dungey carried the ball into the end zone, this time stretching across the paint to finish an 18-yard touchdown run. The extra point pushed the SU lead to 28-14 with 90 seconds left in the opening half.

Boston College did not roll over, getting an interception on the first Syracuse possession and converting it into a touchdown to get within seven points just over 90 seconds out of the locker room. The Orange struck back, ending the next BC drive with an interception by Trill Williams.

SU marched 76 yards for a score, the payoff coming when Dungey and Jamal Custis combined for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Szmyt booted the extra point home to extend the lead to 35-21 with just under five minutes left in the third quarter.

Syracuse put the game away early in the fourth quarter when Dungey slipped a two-yard touchdown pass to Taj Harris. The extra point stretched the Orange lead to 42-21 with just over nine minutes on the clock.

The SU defense took over from there, ending the next two BC drives with turnovers. Alton Robinson had a strip sack on the first, Tyrell Richards recovering the ball. Andre Cisco ended the latter by jumping a short passing route for an interception.

Eric Dungey completed 21-of-34 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns to go with an interception. Dontae Strickland piled up 129 yards on 20 carries to lead the SU ground game. Sean Riley led eight different pass-catchers with five grabs for 115 yards and a score.

For the second straight week, Ryan Guthrie logged a team-leading dozen tackles. Andre Cisco and Trill Williams each had an interception, with Cisco’s being his team-leading seventh pick of the season. Sterling Hofrichter was credited with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while Alton Robinson had a forced fumble and Tyrell Richards recovered a fumble. Kingsley Jonathan, Richards, and Robinson all had sacks, as well.

Syracuse now awaits its postseason bowl assignment, which will be announced on Sunday, December 2.

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Jim Stechschulte
About Jim Stechschulte 521 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.