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.
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.