Instant Juice: Syracuse 27, Pittsburgh 24

Steve Ismael grabbed
Steve Ishmael grabbed a 35 yard TD pass from Eric Dungey in the fourth quarter of the 27-24 win over Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon

Syracuse, N.Y. – A quick take on Syracuse’s exciting 27-24 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon in front of a homecoming crowd of 33,290 at the Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (3-3, 1-1) snapped a two game losing streak and won its first ACC game of the season in comeback fashion.  Trailing 13-10 in the third quarter, the Orange scored on its first two possessions of the second half to take the lead for good, while the defense clamped down holding the Panthers (2-4, 0-2) to just two field goals and a late touchdown and two point PAT to make things interesting.

» Related: Already crunch time in ACC for Syracuse football

ANALYSIS: In a pretty even match-up between teams with the same records, the score was even 10-10 at halftime before the Orange found its offensive groove in the second half.  Eric Dungey scored on a 10 yard quarterback keeper to put the ‘Cuse up to stay in the third quarter, while the SU defense bent but did not break holding Pitt to just one second half TD.  The SU rushing game came to life with Dontae Strickland gaining a season-high 81 yards.

HERO: In control of the offense in the second half, Dungey kept the Panthers off balance with a mix of short and medium passes to six different receivers finishing 33 of 48 for 365 yards.  Dungey threw TD passes to Devin C. Butler and Steve Ishmael, in addition to his 68 yards rushing and third quarter TD scamper.

ZERO: Injury timeouts, they have become an epidemic.  Of course, player safety is paramount, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry with so many big hits in a game.  We counted at least eight interruptions of play with Pitt players getting hurt, stopping the action and the Orange offense in its hurry up pace, before SU finally held on in the fourth quarter.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse hosts defending national champion Clemson next Friday night in a nationally televised game, seeking to knock off CU for the first time (0-4) in league play.  The No. 2 Tigers (6-0, 4-0) beat Wake Forest 28-14 at home Saturday afternoon.  Game time: 7:00 p.m. ET/ TV: ESPN.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.