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Syracuse football 1997 remind: Orange lose another heart-breaker

Special teams key as Oklahoma holds off the Orange

Demond Parker Oklahoma

The Syracuse Orange didn’t get time to dwell on their overtime loss to N.C. State. Syracuse was back on the road to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Sooners.

Syracuse got an early lead thanks to an 84-yard punt return touchdown by Quinton Spotwood. A back and forth first-half ended with the Orange leading 21-17 following a Dee Brown touchdown run.

It looked like the Orange were going to get back into the win column when Donovan McNabb found Aaron Lewis to make it 28-17 Syracuse towards the end of the third quarter. Oklahoma responded behind running back De’Mond Parker who carried the ball 31 times for 239 yards on the day. Behind his running the Sooners drove the field and scored on a run by quarterback Eric Moore to close to 28-23.

Moore scored again to open the fourth quarter and Syracuse couldn’t respond and were forced to punt. Travian Smith broke free for his second blocked punt on the day and teammate Sedric Jones scooped and scored to make it 36-28 Oklahoma.

McNabb, who passed for 223 yards and ran for 61, had a key third-down scramble on the ensuing drive, which was capped off by Kyle McIntosh. Syracuse went for the two-point conversion and tie but McNabb was sacked.

The Orange got the ball back with one more chance to win and after two long passes from McNabb to Kevin Johnson, they brought on Nate Trout for a 44 yard field goal attempt and the win. Once again the Oklahoma special teams unit came through with a block and the Sooners snapped an eight-game home losing streak while dropping the Orange to 1-2 on the season.

Syracuse will welcome the #22 Virginia Tech Hokies to the Carrier Dome in their next game as the Orange will be hoping to get back to .500.