Syracuse football rallies late, but can’t beat Wake Forest in OT

Oct 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (16) drops back to pass against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Two plays after Andre Szmyt gave Syracuse a three-point lead in the first overtime session, #19 Wake Forest responded with a touchdown pass to claim a 40-37 victory. The score kept the Demon Deacons’ record pristine at 6-0 overall and 4-0 in ACC play. The Orange fell to 3-3 on the season and still looking for their first conference victory after a pair of ACC games.

The loss marred an impressive offensive effort, as SU rolled up 514 total yards, including 354 on the ground, eight shy of tying a school record for rushing yards in an ACC game. Garrett Shrader led the way with 178 yards on 29 carries and Sean Tucker was right behind with 153 yards on 26 attempts.

Shrader had one score on the ground to complement his two touchdown passes, while Tucker ran for two touchdowns and added another on a reception.

Syracuse scored back-to-back touchdowns to grab a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter. Tucker had a six-yard run for the first score and Shrader found a wide open Anthony Queeley for a 24-yard touchdown pass less than a minute into the second. Shrader answered a Demon Deacon score with a five-yard scoring run, which allowed the Orange to hold a 21-17 halftime lead.

Wake Forest took the lead in the third quarter, following a field goal with a 69-yard touchdown pass, victimizing Garrett Williams on the deep ball. Their two-point conversion attempt failed, but Wake still held a 26-21 advantage with under five minutes remaining in the second quarter.

After spending over a full quarter in neutral, the SU offense came back to life, moving 75 yards in five plays for a touchdown. Courtney Jackson made a terrific adjustment to make a 29-yard grab that set up Tucker’s 14-yard touchdown run. Syracuse could not convert on their two-point conversion, though, and held a 27-26 lead.

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Midway through the final quarter, Dino Babers opted to kick on a 4th-and-2 at the Wake 27, but Szmyt pushed the 45-yard field goal kick left. The Deacs responded with a touchdown drive and successful two-point conversion for a 34-27 lead.

The final Orange possession of regulation started at their own six with 2:21 remaining. Aided by a personal foul on Wake Forest, SU marched down the field, scoring the tying touchdown when Shrader slipped a short pass to Tucker, who took it for a 28-yard touchdown.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 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. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.