Tommy DeVito throws four touchdowns as Syracuse football rolls

Syracuse running back Moe Neal
Syracuse running back Moe Neal rushes ahead. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

For the second straight game, quarterback Tommy DeVito tossed four touchdown passes, this time powering Syracuse to a 41-3 home victory over an overwhelmed Holy Cross team. The Orange (3-2) led the game by at least two touchdowns for all but the first 6:35 of the game and more than tripled the FCS Crusaders (1-3) in total yards, 429-138.

The SU defense was particularly tough in the second half, allowing their guests just 31 yards after the break. The first Holy Cross first down after halftime did not come until after the halfway point of the fourth quarter.

After their defensive mates forced a Crusader punt on their first possession, the Syracuse offense needed less than 100 seconds to drive 63 yards for a score. Tommy DeVito found a wide open Aaron Hackett, who coasted in from 14 yards out, to cap the drive. Andre Szmyt booted the extra point for a 7-0 Orange lead just over three minutes into the action.

SU was forced to punt on their following possession, but Aaron Bolinsky caused a fumble on the return and Tyrell Richards pounced on the ball at the Holy Cross 17. DeVito connected with Trishton Jackson on a post route on the next play for a score and Szmyt’s extra point made it 14-0 with 8:25 left in the first. Just over six minutes later, punter Sterling Hofrichter filled in for Szmyt and hammered home a 52-yard field goal to push the Syracuse lead to 17-0.

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Holy Cross matched that field goal just over a couple minutes into the second quarter, but the Orange took away any Crusader momentum by marching for another touchdown on their next drive. Abdul Adams had the scoring honors, as he blasted through an alley on fourth-and-four for a 19-yard touchdown run. Hofrichter tacked on the conversion for a 24-3 lead less than five minutes into the second. That score held to halftime.

Shortly before the middle of the third quarter, Sean Riley returned a punt 34 yards to set up SU with a short field. Syracuse ground out 19 yards before their drive stalled at the Crusaders’ eight and they settled for a field goal attempt from Szmyt. His 26-yard effort from inside the left hash was true, nudging the Orange lead to 27-3.

On a third-and-four on their next possession, DeVito connected with Taj Harris near the first down marker. That was not enough for Harris, who reversed field and exploded past a handful of Holy Cross defenders for a 47-yard touchdown. Szmyt’s extra point made it a 34-3 game with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

SU closed the scoring on their next offensive play. DeVito connected with freshman tight end Luke Benson downfield, who raced past the defense for a 70-yard score. The extra point capped the game at 41-3.

Tommy DeVito finished the day with 19 completions on 31 attempts, amassing 269 yards to go with his four scores. Taj Harris and Trishton Jackson each gathered half a dozen receptions to lead the ten different Syracuse pass catchers. Harris cracked the century mark with 107 receiving yards.

Brandon Berry had a career day, collecting two-and-a-half of the team’s five sacks and forcing a fumble. Aaron Bolinsky also forced a fumble and Tyrell Richards had a fumble recovery. Kingsley Jonathan and Lakiem Williams each had a sack and Mikel Jones was credited with half a sack. Andrew Armstrong led the defense with eight stops, including three tackles for loss.

The nonconference portion of their schedule officially in the books, the Orange return to action on Thursday, October 10 with a trip to North Carolina State. The Wolfpack (3-2, 0-1 ACC) have dropped two of three contests and are yet to defeat a Power Five opponent on the season after falling at Florida State Saturday night, 31-13.

The Syracuse-N.C. State game will get underway at 8:00pm Eastern with ESPN handling television duties.

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Jim Stechschulte
About Jim Stechschulte 566 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.