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Final score: Syracuse 32, Boston College 23

Hey, we have a winning record!

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange finished out their 2022 season 7-5 (4-4) after the win against the Boston College Eagles, 32-23. This sends the Orange into the end of the season on a positive note, heading into their bowl matchup. Syracuse scored 26 unanswered points to end the game on a second half offensive explosion. They finished the game with 443 yards of offense, 158 on the ground and 285 in the air, while limiting BC to 331 total yards. It wasn’t rosy to start, but the second half turned all Orange late to end the year on a win sealing a positive record for the first time since 2018.

Prior to the game, the Orange faithful were notified that both Mikel Jones and Derek McDonald were to miss the game, showing up in street clothes and matching boots on their feet. It also looked as though Trebor Pena was missing in action as well.

The game started out rough for the Orange, as BC stripped Garrett Shrader on the opening possession on third and long. Thankfully the Syracuse defense held the Eagles to a field goal, but Ja’Had Carter dropped an all but guaranteed pick-six to make everyone think “what could have been.” After following up another three and out with BC blocking the ensuing punt, the Orange really were wishing for that pick-six, even more so after a quick Zay Flowers touchdown immediately bringing it to 10-0 on the day.

Adding insult to injury, after what was a solid drive starting for Syracuse, another Kam Arnold sack over the top of Dakota Davis waylaid the progress being made and forced a 40-yard field goal attempt, which Andre Szmyt didn’t get all of, missing what is normally a chip shot for him. BC proceeded to do their best Syracuse impression with Connor Lytton missing his attempt wide right.

Kadin Bailey got his first major action of the season alongside Leon Lowery and Anwar Sparrow as Marlowe Wax went down with injury in the second quarter. After a punt pinned the Orange on their own four yard line, the Orange air attack found a rhythm, marched most of the period and finished disappointingly with only a field goal, though Szmyt redeemed his earlier miss, putting the Orange on the board 10-3.

Anwar Sparrow came up big for the defense with a strip of Emmett Morehead, giving Syracuse another shot to put points up with 1:56 in the half. After Shrader and Company ran the two minute drill to perfection, getting inside their ten, a plethora of penalties backed the Orange up. A hold by Kalan Ellis, then a flagrant personal foul on Enrique Cruz for literally swinging at a BC defender backed the Orange out of field goal range. While the defense held at the end of the half, it wasn’t a great look for the offense at all.

To open the second half, the Eagles went scoreless thanks to a Syracuse defensive effort. While they gave up another sack on the drive, the Orange offensive line looked much more settled after the Cruz ejection, this time with Ilaoa at center and Vettorello out to tackle. Some nice motion into quick throws to DeVaughn Cooper and Gadsden paired with some improvisation by Shrader and Tucker again brought the Orange inside the ten of the Eagles. Two false starts by Vettorello moved the offense in the wrong direction and they had to settle for another Andre Szmyt field goal, 10-6, with a minute and a half left in the third quarter.

The Eagles and Orange traded touchdowns on the ensuing two possessions, with Cooper continuing his solid day on the touchdown reception. Early in the drive, Donovan Ezeiruaku gave the a boost to the offense, bailing them out on third down with a hands to the face of Shrader on a hurry. Shrader was stood up before the endzone on a 2-point attempt keeping it a one touchdown game, 17-12 Eagles, with ten minutes left in the fourth. A huge Marlowe Wax sack and a Lowery hurry put the ball back in the Orange hands with just under eight minutes and a chance to take the lead.

A quick Sean Tucker run, tempo pass from Shrader to Cooper and trademark long bomb to Damien Alford for a 58-yard touchdown put the Orange up, 18-17, for the first time all game. Second play from scrimmage, Steve Linton scooped up another Morehead fumble, this time caused by Caleb Okechukwu giving the Orange the ball on the Boston College 38-yard line. Sean Tucker proceeded to Sean Tucker his way into the end zone and put the Orange up seven, 24-17. Andre Szmyt converted to make the game an eight point affair, 25-17. After holding BC on their fourth down attempt, Sean Tucker had a 29-yard run to put the exclamation point on the night for the Orange.

The Orange offense performed quite well, with 443 net yards on the day, but couldn’t capitalize early in the game and kept leaving points on the board with penalties. In the second half, things looked a little brighter, with Shrader ended the day with 21 of 27 for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tucker led all rushers with 125 yards on 21 carries and 2 touchdowns. DeVaughn Cooper, Damien Alford and Orande Gadsden formed quite the three headed giant receiving today. Gadsden led the yardage with 6 receptions for 106 yards, Cooper finished with 7 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown and Alford had 4 for 83 yards and the go-ahead touchdown on the day.

Marlowe Wax stepped up and led a great effort by the Mob on the day. He finished with 7 solo tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Anwar Sparrow and Leon Lowery looked to impress in their auditions, Sparrow finishing with 7 tackles, 4 TFL and a sack, Lowery with 4 tackles. Isaiah Johnson had 9 total tackles, most on Zay Flowers as they tried to target him Johnson did as well as possible as someone could do with that assignment.

The Orange finish the season 7-5 (4-4) and will await a bowl invitation in the near future here. In the end the season was able to finish on a positive note and the extra practices heading into this bowl along with some time to heal some of these knocks on the squad should send Syracuse into bowl season looking up.