Instant Juice: Syracuse 20, Pittsburgh 23

Syracuse is favored slightly for Saturday's contest
Syracuse lost a close game to Pitt

A quick take on Syracuse’s 23-20 loss to Pitt on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: With the game tied at 20 early in the fourth quarter, Pitt went on a grueling 19-play, 81-yard drive resulting in a game winning field goal. The defense seemingly had gotten off the field, forcing Pitt into a 4th and 7 situation at its own 48. But the Panthers took a page out of the Riley Dixon playbook, and punter Ryan Winslow perfectly executed a fake, completing a pass to Matt Galambos for a backbreaking first down. That resulted in Chris Blewitt’s 24-yard game winning field goal as time expired.

ANALYSIS: This loss had a similar feeling to Saturday’s loss against Virginia, with the defense allowing a punishing, time-consuming drive to finish the game. The game seemed to turn after Dungey took a helmet-to-helmet collision and was forced to go into the locker room after the first play of the half. He proceeded to throw two straight interceptions upon his return, and Syracuse lost its offense momentum after heading into half up 17-13.

» Related: If Syracuse doesn’t make a bowl game, does a coaching change follow?

HERO: Tyler Boyd was as good as advertised, hauling in 12 receptions for 93 yards, and he added six rushes for 34 yards. Qadree Ollison was instrumental in the final drive, and finished with 90 yards and a pair of scores.

ZERO: For the second straight week, the Syracuse defense was unable to stop an opposing offense with a long field in front of them in the fourth quarter. The loss drops Syracuse to 3-4, and with games on the schedule remaining against Clemson and FSU, the margin of error to get to a bowl game is razor thin.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels to Tallahassee to play Florida State on Oct, 31 at noon. TV: ABC.

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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]