Syracuse football lets NC State slip away and bowl hopes dim

Nov 20, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (16) is grabbed by the helmet by North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive lineman Daniel Joseph (99) during the first half at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Tucker claimed the school’s single-season rushing record, but Syracuse could not claim a victory, dropping a 41-17 game at #20 North Carolina State. Tucker had 105 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown to push his season total to 1,467 yards, but the Orange (5-6, 2-5 ACC) gave up 28 second quarter points, falling into a hole they could not dig out of.

Tucker’s ninth 100-yard game of the season pushed him past Joe Morris in the Syracuse record book. Morris’ record of 1,372 rushing yards in a season was set in 1979.

The Wolfpack (8-3, 5-2) posted half of their second quarter outburst in the span of 49 seconds, getting a rushing touchdown to open the game’s scoring, then tacking on a pick-six of SU quarterback Garrett Shrader to grab a 14-0 lead. Tucker breathed life into the Orange with a 55-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive, but N.C. State got a 97-yard kickoff return from Zonovan Knight to match the tally.

The ‘Pack added another score with eight seconds left in the opening half to stretch their lead to 28-7 and grab a stranglehold on the game.

Syracuse never threatened the hosts after that, mustering a field goal midway through the third quarter and a Shrader touchdown run of 48 yards in the fourth.

» Related: ESPN writer says Syracuse has 50-50 shot at a bowl game

Shrader’s scoring scamper was a lone bright spot on the day, as he finished with just eight completions on 20 pass attempts for just 63 yards. It marked the third straight game where Shrader picked up 65 yards or fewer through the air.

Mikel Jones led the Orange defense with a dozen tackles, 2.5 for loss, including a sack. SU did not force a turnover for the fifth straight game.

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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.