The Syracuse Orange (apparently) weren’t even sure who’d be playing quarterback before this game began. But they were probably pretty thankful that it was Eric Dungey after the Orange beat the Boston College Eagles, 42-21.
With the win, SU moves to 9-3 (6-2), and likely earns a trip to the Camping World Bowl.
Dungey did whatever he wanted in the first half, then made savvy plays in the second to keep Syracuse out ahead. He was 21 of 34 on the day for 362 passing yards and three scores (plus an interception), while adding another 34 yards and three more TDs on the ground. His rumbling 18-yard touchdown late in the first half will play on highlight reels for years.
After a rough start to the game — a big return from BC’s Michael Walker and missed field goals from both teams — it was all Syracuse, even with a few hiccups on the way to the finish. SU scored 21 straight points after being down 7-0, then took a 28-14 lead into halftime. Boston College got within a touchdown a couple times, but Dungey and the Orange offense kept them at arm’s length. A gorgeous fade from Dungey to Taj Harris in the end zone put Syracuse up three scores to virtually put the game away early in the fourth quarter.
Sean Riley led the way for SU with five catches for 115 yards and a score (a 75-yarder), while Jamal Custis had three grabs for 68 yards and a TD. Harris had three receptions for 45 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Sharod Johnson (three for 61) and Nykeim Johnson (four for 29) also caught multiple passes.
While Dungey got his on the ground, Dontae Strickland was the leader with 129 yards (a new career-high). Moe Neal had 37 yards of his own, Riley had six and Jarveon Howard had two.
Defensively, Ryan Guthrie was everywhere once again, continuing his strong second half of the season with 11 stops and one tackle for loss. Kielan Whitner, Alton Robinson, Tyrell Richards and Kingsley Jonathan all had TFLs as well. Trill Williams and Andre Cisco (seven now!) both had interceptions, and Richards had a fumble recovery. Sterling Hofricther (!!!) also had a forced fumble and recovery on a kickoff.
Big rivalry win, big win overall and an awesome regular season for the Orange here. It’s great to see Dungey start 12 games. It’s great to see SU win nine games after such a difficult last 15 seasons. These seniors and Dino Babers deserve this, as do the fans who’ve suffered through a lot. And best of all, it’s not over yet, either.
More recap to come. G’ORANGE!