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Second half thread: Syracuse 21, Wake Forest 10

Not the game we thought we’d be playing, but we’ll take the lead.

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Syracuse Orange lead the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 21-10 after one half of football down in Winston-Salem, N.C. This was not at all the type of game we were expecting through 30 minutes, but we’ll obviously take the lead.

Throwing against the wind in the first quarter, Syracuse struggled to pass all that well early and had to rely on the ground game — especially as ACC refs have been letting most interference calls go today. After a strong game throwing the ball last week, Eric Dungey is just 8-of-16 for 64 yards through the air. His impact’s been felt much more on the ground, where he has 13 carries for 37 yards.

The rest of SU’s ground game has been even more effective, though. Moe Neal’s run seven times for 51 yards and a touchdown, while Jarveon Howard has two touchdowns on seven carries of his own (plus 12 yards). Dontae Strickland has 26 yards on seven runs.

Dungey’s eight completions have been spread around as has been the case all year. Jamal Custis leads the way with two grabs for 39 yards, and Sean Riley has two for 14. Ravian Pierce also has two receptions (for six yards), while Devin Butler and Strickland have one apiece.

Atypically, Syracuse has controlled the line of scrimmage, holding the ball for 17 minutes and change. They also have six sacks on the day, tying a season high (vs. UConn). Ryan Guthrie has two of those, and has played a strong game all around for the third straight week, leading the team with nine tackles so far. Alton Robinson has three tackles for loss (one sack). McKinley Williams also has a fumble recovery — the game’s lone turnover and what set up the go-ahead points for Syracuse in the first quarter.

More to come in the second half as we see if the Orange can improve the passing game, and if Wake Forest leans more heavily on the run game (their strength for the year). SU gets the ball to start the half and can hopefully extend the lead early and force Wake to press and play from behind.

Catch you all with the recap shortly after the game. G’ORANGE!