The Syracuse Orange seemed to do everything in their power to let the Boston College Eagles take control of this one, but BC never obliged. SU beat the rival Eagles 28-20 down at Alumni Stadium in Chapel Hill, Mass. Syracuse moves to 4-4 (2-2) on the year, while Boston College falls to 3-4 (0-4). The Eagles haven’t won an ACC football or basketball game since March of 2015.
Weather played a big factor for both teams in this one, with Syracuse turning the ball over three times, and Boston College suffering two turnovers of their own. Eric Dungey had one interception for SU, and two fumbles — the second of which gave BC the ball in Orange territory late in the fourth quarter. Between those miscues, a missed field goal, and 16 (!!!) penalties this afternoon, everything could’ve gone south in the potential letdown game.
Instead, Syracuse hung tough and delivered when it mattered most. Eric Dungey was 32-for-38 for 434 yards passing and three touchdowns. That yardage mark is the second-highest single-game total in school history. He also ran for 54 yards on the game (including a key four-yard run on third down and three to seal the win).
The highlight play of the day was Dungey’s fourth quarter touchdown pass to Amba Etta-Tawo, who hauled in a 68-yard catch and run that will remind a lot of fans of his long TD grabs vs. UConn and Notre Dame, respectively. Etta-Tawo caught 10 passes for 144 yards and a score. With that performance, he’s over the 1,000-yard mark on the year and within striking distance of the single-season yardage record. That belongs to Marvin Harrison, for his 1,131-yard effort in 1995.
Syracuse nearly had three receivers hit the 100-yard plateau. Along with Etta-Tawo’s 144-yard day, Steve Ishmael had eight catches for 108 yards and a TD (his first of the year), while Brisly Estime had five catches for 93 yards. Ervin Philips had seven catches for 78 yards and a score, and added a three-yard rushing touchdown to that as well.
The team had 582 yards of total offense, though just 98 yards on the ground. With the run being ineffective in a wet first half, SU pretty much left it behind once the rain cleared a bit in the second. That’s when the offense actually started creating big passing plays and picking up large chunks of yardage once again.
Defensively, the Orange continued their positive growth from the past few weeks, only allowing 13 points (one score was a kick return touchdown), and collecting two turnovers. The second turnover was a critical Parris Bennett interception inside the 10-yard line that prevented BC from putting up any points on the drive. Boston College had just 287 yards of offense on the day — a large chunk of which was picked up on one play (a 75-yard dash by QB Patrick Towles).
Zaire Franklin was a machine once again, making several stops at or behind the line of scrimmage for the Orange from the linebacker spot. Daivon Ellison also had a strong effort starting in the strong safety position, including a very big third down hit to force a Boston College punt.
Nice win for Syracuse as they head into the bye. We thought the season could’ve melted down just a few weeks ago, and instead we’re 4-4 and on a two-game win streak before a week off to prepare for Clemson.
Enjoy the rest of your Saturdays, gang. G’Orange!