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Syracuse football: Orange fall short to Clemson 27-21

Syracuse had opportunities but self-inflicted mistakes cost them

Syracuse v Clemson Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange headed to Clemson hoping to move to 7-0 and take the lead in the ACC Atlantic but a strong performance by the defense went for naught in the end.

A strong first drive by the Orange featuring Shrader misdirection runs got the ball into field goal range. The drive stalled and Syracuse had some indecision about kicking or going on 4th and 3. After a time-out and an Andre Szmyt attempt that fell short, Dino Babers decided to go for it, but Shrader’s pass was tipped at the line.

Clemson didn’t waste any time hitting a 41 yard pass to Davis Allen down the middle and capping the 7-play 72 yard drive with a Will Shipley one yard run. The Orange responded with their own quick drive as Shrader capped it with a 12-yard wheel route throw to Sean Tucker to even the score.

A Ja’Had Carter interception ended a promising Clemson drive and it was 7-7 after the first quarter. Clemson looked poised to take the lead but Marlowe Wax and Duce Chestnut forced a DJ Uiagalelei fumble and Carter picked it up and brought it back 90 yards to put the Orange in front.

The Orange defense came up with a 4th down stop and took the ball down behind Shrader’s legs to extend their lead to 21-7. Clemson moved the ball but a sack from freshman Kevin Jobity helped hold to a BT Potter field goal to make the score 21-10 heading into the half.

Clemson’s defense came out stronger but Syracuse forced another turnover with Rob Hanna getting it out of Will Shipley’s hands and into Marlowe Wax’s. When the offense was forced to punt, the defense just said “we’ll get another turnover” and Jason Simmons grabbed the 2nd Syracuse interception on the day.

The Orange held a 21-10 lead at the end of the third quarter but costly penalties kept a Clemson drive going and they scored on 4th and goal from the 1. The two-point conversion was intercepted by Anwar Sparrow and it was 21-16.

Another 3 and out and Clemson got the lead back on a 50-yard run by Shipley and the two-point conversion was good this time. Syracuse couldn’t move the ball on two consecutive possessions after Clemson got the lead.

Potter added another 44-yard field goal and the Orange went down 27-21 with 1:33 left. Syracuse got the ball inside the Clemson 30 but Shrader tried to force the ball to Gadsden and the upset bid fell short.

Second half penalties and poor offense spoil a strong effort from the Orange who fall to 6-1 on the season and will host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next Saturday.