As last-gasp field goal misses, Syracuse can only sigh

Tucker-Clemson
Oct 15, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) runs with the ball against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Szmyt pushed a potential game-tying 48-yard field goal left with 38 seconds to play, sentencing Syracuse to their third straight three-point loss, this one coming at home against Clemson, 17-14. The Orange (3-4, 0-3) defense played quite well, but their offensive counterparts struggled greatly in the second half, allowing the Tigers (4-2, 3-1) to hang on for the win.

Clemson got a 40-yard field goal to stretch their lead to 17-7 with 9:22 remaining in the game. To that point, SU had gained 24 yards in the second half.

Five plays later, Garrett Shrader connected with Trebor Pena on a 62-yard touchdown pass, injecting life into the home crowd. Pena spun out of a tackler’s grasp and eventually dove into the right front pylon for the score. Szmyt knocked the extra point through and Syracuse trailed by just three with over seven minutes to play.

The Orange got the ball back at their own seven with under five minutes to play and made four first downs on the drive, including conversions on 3rd-and-15 and 4th-and-7. The drive stalled out at the Clemson 30, setting the stage for Szmyt’s miss.

Sean Tucker racked up 157 yards in the game, including a 54-yard burst in the first quarter and a 39-yard scamper in the second. Shrader threw an interception on the play after the former and the latter set up a two-yard touchdown run by Shrader that tied the score at seven a side just past the midpoint of the second.

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Aside from the long scoring pass to Pena, Shrader struggled in the game, totaling 17 completions on 37 attempts for 191 yards. The quarterback, who had run for over 300 yards in the last two games, finished the contest with ten yards on five carries (sacks removed).

Mikel Jones paced the defense with seven tackles while Garrett Williams left the game late in the second quarter with an injury after logging seven stops. Cody Roscoe notched a sack, giving him 7.5 on the season. The last Syracuse players to reach double digits in sacks were Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson, who each finished the 2018 season with ten.

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About Jim Stechschulte 750 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.