Syracuse defense creates four turnovers in loss to Penn State

Syracuse held PSU to 23 points

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Syracuse’s defense bailed out—and nearly lead the team to a win in spite of—a stagnant offense in Saturday’s 23-17 loss to Penn State.


  • Syracuse held Penn state to just 353 total yards and 57 yards on the ground. Penn State was also just 1 for 16 on third down conversions. “Defense played a tough-assed football game,” Syracuse coach Scott Shafer said. “I was really impressed with the way coach (Chuck) Bullough had those kids playing.”
  • Syracuse’s defense accounted for four turnovers and helped set up two scores (it could’ve been four).
  • Compare that to SU’s offense, which had just 260 total yards. Drew Allen, in his first start, finished with 189 yards and two interceptions. Jerome Smith had a pair of scores and 73 yards, but also fumbled.

    Syracuse held PSU to 23 points

» Related: Syracuse loses to Penn State in season opener


  • With the teams scoreless in the first quarter, Penn State backup quarterback Tyler Ferguson inexplicably fumbled the ball while trying to throw with 51 seconds left. Micah Robinson recovered, and eight plays later, Ross Krautman hit a field goal for the first points of the game.
  • Jeremi Wilkes gave Syracuse another scoring opportunity, intercepting true freshman Christian Hackenberg and returning it to midfield with 9:21 left in the second quarter. But two plays later, Jerome Smith fumbled, giving it back to the Nittany Lions.
  • With Penn State up 13-10 with 4:15 to go in the third quarter, Brandon Reddish stripped star receiver Allen Robinson of the ball, and returned it to the Penn State 27. This time, though, Krautman missed a potential game-tying field goal.
  • The defense once again proved to be the catalyst in the fourth quarter. Down 23-10, Robert Welsh intercepted Hackenberg and rumbled down the sideline before he was stopped at the one. One play later, Smith punched it in from a yard out for the final score of the game.

» Related: Allen was named starter 10 days ago


  • The defense couldn’t contain Robinson, one of the best receivers in the Big 10, and a returning 1,000 yard receiver. Robinson didn’t play the first half for disciplinary reasons, but still finished the game as the leading receiver, with seven receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. That score came on a 51 yard pass, where Robinson slipped behind the SU secondary and found himself wide open. “It was just a good player making plays,” linebacker Marquis Spruill said. “He came in and he balled out and did what he was supposed to do.”
  • The Orange also allowed Geno Lewis to catch a 54 yard bomb from Hackenberg to put Penn State up 23-10 with 11:39 in the fourth quarter.

What did you think? Leave us your comments below, or Tweet them to us at @TheJuiceOnline.

For more Syracuse coverage, Like our Facebook page and follow us @TheJuiceOnline.

Avatar photo
About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]