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Syracuse vs. Pitt: How many records fell on Saturday?

A whole lot of scoring led to a whole lot of record book rewriting.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Syracuse Orange lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers 76-61. In a football game.

You were there, in some capacity, marveling at both the level of offensive achievement, and the utter lack of defensive prowess on both sides. In an insane fourth quarter alone, SU and Pitt combined for 47 points.

So how many records did the teams set or come close to this weekend? We take a look through as many as we can find...

Most total points in an FBS game

The teams’ 137 combined points set an ACC record halfway through the fourth quarter, and then came for the all-time record between FBS schools. Entertainingly enough, 2017 non-conference opponent Middle Tennessee nearly topped the record a few hours later with a 77-56 win over Florida Atlantic. So at least until SU hosts the Blue Raiders next year, this record is safe with us and the Panthers.

Most points allowed in Syracuse history (single game)

When you’re on the losing end in a high-scoring game like this, you may be contributing some less-than-favorable records as well. This is one of them for Syracuse. The previous high in program history was 75 points vs. Union in 1891 (!!!) — the only other time an Orange opponent topped 70. Coming into this season, SU had allowed 60 or more just seven times. They did so twice this year (62 vs. Louisville).

Most points allowed in Syracuse history (season)

This record was probably falling with or without the help of Pitt scoring 76 on Saturday. Going into the game, the previous record was 418 points allowed in 2007, and the Orange had already allowed 387 with a game to go. So your new record-high stands at 463 points allowed (or nearly 39 points per game).

Most yards gained in Syracuse history (single game)

Syracuse’s 668-yard output fell just short of the school’s all-time record, a 675-yard effort vs. Rutgers in 1992. Yesterday still firmly places them in second, however. It’s conceivable much of that list will be littered with more recent results come next season. There’s only one other post-2000 result in the top 10 right now (629 yards vs. Rhode Island in 2002).

Most completions in Syracuse history (single game)

Zack Mahoney, never considered an incredibly adept passer (especially by your author) was an unlikely name to be etched anywhere near the top in this category. And yet, he ends up second all-time with 43 against Pitt. Ryan Nassib’s 45-completion performance still holds the mark, but not by much. If you told me as recently as yesterday morning that Mahoney, and not Eric Dungey, would pose the most serious challenge to Nassib’s record this year, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Most attempts in Syracuse history (single game)

Again, the top mark here is reserved for Nassib (66 vs. Northwestern in 2012), but Mahoney ends up at second all-time with 61 yesterday. The fact that he completed as many of those as he did shows how far this offense came along yesterday vs. previous games with Mahoney under center.

Most passing yards in Syracuse history (single game)

Mahoney misses Nassib at the top again (for the same Northwestern game), but this time by a slightly larger margin. His 440 yards were 42 short of Nassib’s mark, but still second all-time.

Most touchdown passes in Syracuse history (single game)

This time, Mahoney actually caught Nassib in the record books. With five touchdown passes on the day, Zack matches Nassib’s mark from a 2010 contest with Maine. Mahoney does set the record for most passing touchdowns vs. an FBS opponent.

Most touchdown receptions in Syracuse history (single game)

Amba Etta-Tawo caught all five of Mahoney’s touchdown balls, which gave him the new Syracuse record outright. The previous high was four, set by Tony Gabriel (1970 vs. Miami) and Tommy Kane (1987 vs. Colgate).

Most touchdown receptions in Syracuse history (season)

Going into the game, Etta-Tawo seemed to be a long way off from Kane’s 1987 high of 14 in one season. But the five-score output vaulted him from fourth to first in one game.

Most receptions in Syracuse history (season)

Both Etta-Tawo and Ervin Philips had already surpassed the old mark, but now that the season’s over, their new marks will be confirmed atop the list. Etta-Tawo finished the year with 94 after catching 13 vs. Pitt. Philips ended up with 90 following an 11-reception effort on Saturday. Previously, no SU player had caught more than 70 in a single season. Both Brisly Estime and Steve Ishmael (48 apiece) would’ve also made the old top-10 in school history if not for Etta-Tawo and Philips’s higher marks.

Most receiving yards in Syracuse history (season)

Etta-Tawo also owned this record already, but he added to it with another 178 yards on Saturday. His all-time leading total now stands at 1,482 yards — over 300 past Marvin Harrison’s old record. He also put up the second-most receiving yards in ACC history.

Most receptions in Syracuse history (career)

Syracuse’s receivers continued to move up the list for career catches. Etta-Tawo didn’t make it into the top 10, but he didn’t miss it by much at 94 (the previous 10th-place spot was inhabited by Art Monk and Jared Jones, with 102 apiece). Ervin Philips’s output bumps him up to 134 receptions, which is now tied for fifth on the career list with Jarrod West. Ishmael’s 114 (he had seven vs. Pitt) is now the ninth-best number ever. Brisly Estime’s 103 catches put him 12th all-time.


There are other records here and there that could be included above. But we’ll opt to close the list here. Any other marks you’d like to mention? Add them below.