It was an uncharacteristic day for Ryan Nassib.
Syracuse’s quarterback had come into Saturday’s game against Rutgers having thrown nine touchdowns to only one interception in Syracuse’s first four games of the season.
But Nassib didn’t turn in the kind of performance that Syracuse fans have become accustomed to seeing, as the junior quarterback threw for zero touchdowns and three interceptions in Syracuse’s 19-16 double overtime loss to Rutgers.
“Those things happen, and we lost that game because of those errors, and we weren’t able to capitalize at times,” said head coach Doug Marrone, not only of Nassib, but the entire team. “We had our chance.”
For the game, Nassib completed just 15-of-32 passes and had a quarterback rating of just 72.5. In his previous games, Nassib had completed more than 66 percent of his passes and had a rating of more than 128.
But Syracuse’s sloppy play wasn’t limited to just Nassib’s interceptions. The Orange also had two of its kicks blocked, and also lost two fumbles. Antwon Bailey’s fumble in the second overtime ended the game.
“I’ve never seen a performance like that by our defense,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said.
That performance came partly at the expense of Nassib.
With the Orange leading 13-3 with 4:16 left in the third quarter, Syracuse had the ball on the Rutgers 5-yard line with a chance to put the game out of reach.
But Nassib was intercepted by David Rowe, keeping Rutgers in the game.
“When we went down there on the five-yard line, there are so many things that go through your mind,” Marrone said. “At the end of the day, we just didn’t take advantage of the situations that we had that we worked on during the week, and we have to execute better.”
Nassib’s final interception of the game came with 2:09 left on a 4th and 10 from the Rutgers 37. Steve Beauharnais returned it 44 yards to the Syracuse 34, but San San Te missed a 44 yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
“Turnovers are the number one way to lose a football game,” Marrone said. “We are not good enough to overcome those turnovers and we had five which is unacceptable.”
Brad Bierman contributed to this story with reporting from Syracuse.