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Final score: Syracuse 41, Holy Cross 3

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It was weird, but it worked.

NCAA Football: Holy Cross at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange football team beat the Holy Cross Crusaders, 41-3 on Saturday. It was a weird one at times, but the result was never in doubt as Syracuse started hot, cooled considerably and then closed things out with a couple more scores for good measure.

Tommy DeVito had his second straight quality stat line, going 19-of-31 for 269 yards and four touchdowns and an interception, though he was under fire for much of the contest and also made some questionable decisions. Some of those were potentially influenced by the pressure, as SU’s offensive line looked far worse than what we saw vs. WMU last week. DeVito also went to the locker room early, which is something to keep an eye on...

Four different Orange players caught touchdowns passes, with Luke Benson hauling in the big play of the day on a 70-yard score in the fourth quarter. Taj Harris was the leading receiver with six receptions for 107 yards and a TD. Trishton Jackson had six catches for 58 yards and a score. Aaron Hackett had two catches for 22 yards and a touchdown.

Syracuse didn’t put a ton of effort into running the ball, and also didn’t look all that great when they did. Abdul Adams had 42 yards on six carries, but nearly half of that was on a 19-yard touchdown scamper. Moe Neal ran 11 times for 36 yards. DeVito also had 28 yards rushing. Jawhar Jordan had 18 with a fumble, and Jarven Howard chipped in 10.

The story of this one was more the defense, which held strong throughout and increased the pressure on Holy Cross as the game wore on. SU had five sacks on the day, with Brandon Berry recording 2.5 to lead the way. Lakiem Williams and Kingsley Jonathan each had one. Mikel Jones added a half-sack on his end.

SU defended eight passes on the day, with Chris Fredrick and Alton Robinson (!!!) collecting two apiece. Andrew Armstrong led the team in tackles with eight. The Crusaders only had 138 total yards on the day and just nine first downs. They didn’t hit positive yardage on the ground until late in the fourth quarter.

So, not exactly the game we thought we’d be watching, but still a dominant effort, especially on the defensive side. Syracuse wins, and gets to 3-2 on the year heading into the bye. They’ll have 12 days to fix some things and get any injured players back to full strength before heading back on the road to face NC State on October 10.