Syracuse got five field goals out of Andre Szmyt, which is good, as they needed each and every one to pull out a 22-20 win at home over Virginia on Friday night. The last was a 31-yarder with 1:14 remaining that tied the school record for field goals in a game and put the Orange (4-0, 2-0 ACC) back in front.
The Cavaliers (2-2, 0-1) had taken their first lead of the game on the previous drive, completing a comeback from a 16-point halftime deficit. That Virginia touchdown gave them a one-point lead with just under six minutes remaining.
SU led for almost the entire game, notching a 17-yard touchdown run from Garrett Shrader less than three minutes into the action for a 7-0 lead. After the Hoos missed a pair of field goals, Szmyt made a pair in a two-minute span bridging the first and second quarters, then tacked on his third with 1:21 left in the opening half, stretching the Syracuse lead to 16-0.
Virginia came roaring out of the break, scoring two touchdowns in 20 seconds, the latter coming after Trebor Pena fumbled a kickoff return. The first score capped a 75-yard drive, but was marred by a blocked extra point. The kick following the second touchdown was good, bringing the guests within 16-13.
Szmyt doubled the Orange lead with 24 seconds left in the third, knocking his fourth field goal through the uprights for a 19-13 advantage.
In addition to the Cavaliers’ special teams adventures, both teams played rather sloppily. Each side committed a dozen accepted penalties and SU doubled up Virginia’s turnovers, giving the ball away four times.