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Second half thread: Syracuse 24, Western Michigan 13

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The Orange put in a quality first half that could’ve been even better.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Clemson at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange football team needed a bounce-back game this weekend after two straight losses. And early on against the Western Michigan Broncos, it seemed like they’d get it. SU jumped out to a 21-0 lead by the early part of the second quarter, and takes a 24-13 advantage into halftime.

Surprisingly, Tommy DeVito’s legs have done a lot of the work for Syracuse in this one. He seven attempts for 99 yards — including a 60-yarder on the first drive. He also ran one in for 36 yards, giving the Orange their third touchdown. He’s also 17-of-22 passing on the afternoon with a shovel pass touchdown to tight end Aaron Hackett.

Moe Neal’s also run the ball reasonably well for SU, picking up 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Abdul Adams has four for five yards, but also had a key fumble recovery after a muffed punt by WMU.

Hackett leads SU in receiving yards with 31 on four catches. Trishton Jackson has three for 30, and Adams has one reception for 22 yards. Taj Harris and Nykeim Johnson have three receptions apiece. Sean Riley has two, while Moe Neal has one.

Syracuse earned the initial lead with a nice mix of offensive pace (45 plays in the first half) and timely turnovers. WMU coughed it up three times, including once as LeVante Bellamy was about to get into the end zone. The Broncos have also committed quite a few penalties, with seven for 75 yards (SU has four for 35, however).

Though the Orange have looked like the better team for much of the game, WMU spent the second quarter starting to figure things out on both sides of the ball. Their blitz has gotten after DeVito more and with Ryan Alexander potentially out for the remainder of the contest at tackle, that could very well continue. On offense, Bellamy’s certainly gotten going with 11 carries for 105 yards and long score. QB Jon Wassink is 13-of-23 for 184 yards and a TD, though his top target (D’Wayne Eskridge) has been out since suffering a shoulder injury on the first drive.

Antwan Cordy and Evan Foster lead SU in tackles with six apiece, and Alton Robinson has the team’s lone sack, while also tallying three QB hurries and a forced fumble. With Ifeatu Melifonwu and Andre Cisco out today, Chris Fredrick and Cordy have been pretty busy. Both have two pass break-ups on the day. Freshman linebacker Mikel Jones has also gotten involved when SU’s in a 4-3 alignment and has been helpful stopping the run here and there.

The Broncos get the ball to start the third quarter. Leave your comments below and we’ll be back with a quick recap right after the game wraps. G’ORANGE!