Nov 12, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA;  Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) tries to shake a tackle by Florida State Seminoles linebacker Kalen DeLoach (4) in the second quarter at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse, Wake Forest square off in matchup of struggling teams

Two teams trending in the wrong direction will meet Saturday night when Syracuse visits Wake Forest in Atlantic Coast Conference action in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Orange (6-4, 3-3) have dropped four straight games following their 6-0 start. They have only 12 points over the past two games and were pounded by then-No. 23 Florida State 38-3 last week.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader struggled in his first game back from a concussion, completing 6 of 16 passes for 65 yards and racking up minus-2 net rushing yards on 10 carries. Leading receiver Oronde Gadsden II was limited to one catch for 29 yards, and standout tailback Sean Tucker mustered an average of only 3.7 yards per carry on 14 attempts.

“We have to find a way to get Shrader at full strength,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “If we can’t get him at full strength, then we need other people to pick up where his weaknesses are and get back to that three-pronged approach we had earlier in the season.”

Tucker has scored only once on the ground in the past four games and has not exceeded 60 rushing yards in any of those contests. He is 171 rushing yards shy of 1,000 with two regular-season games remaining.

Wake Forest (6-4, 2-4) has lost three straight games and is coming off a 36-34 home defeat to then-No. 15 North Carolina, which recorded a late interception and kicked the decisive field goal with 2:12 remaining.

Wake quarterback Sam Hartman passed for 320 yards and four touchdowns in the loss, while Justice Ellison paced the rushing attack with 81 yards on 16 carries.

“I was proud of the way we bounced back, took the lead in the fourth quarter and again, it feels a little bit like (the game against) Clemson where they made a play or two more than we did,” Demon Deacons coach Dave Clawson said in reference to a double-overtime loss to the Tigers earlier this season. “That was a great football game (vs. North Carolina).”

Wake Forest has defeated Syracuse in each of the past two seasons, including 40-37 in overtime win last year.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) throws the football during the second quarter against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Travis amasses 5 TDs as No. 23 Florida State routs Syracuse

Jordan Travis had three passing touchdowns and added scores rushing and receiving Saturday as No. 23 Florida State slammed host Syracuse 38-3.

Travis went 21 of 23 for 155 yards as the Seminoles (7-3, 5-3 ACC) won their third straight game by the combined margin of 124-22. Trey Benson contributed 18 carries for 163 yards for the visitors.

Garrett Shrader connected on just 6 of 16 passes for 65 yards for Syracuse (6-4, 3-3), which has lost four straight games. Sean Tucker rushed for 52 yards on 14 carries.

Florida State scored on its first possession on a drive highlighted by Benson’s 27-yard run and Mycah Pittman’s 15-yard scamper. Travis punctuated the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run up the middle for a 7-0 lead.

Toward the end of the first quarter, the Seminoles began a possession near midfield and needed only six plays to find the end zone. Travis threw a quick pass to Malik McClain, who stiff-armed a defender and ran in for a 15-yard score.

Andre Szmyt kicked a 30-yard field goal for Syracuse early in the second quarter, but he missed a 53-yarder shortly thereafter.

Florida State increased its cushion to 21-3 with 5:47 remaining before halftime, as Travis found Johnny Wilson, who broke a tackle and sprinted in for a 24-yard score.

Ryan Fitzgerald’s 40-yard field goal at the halftime buzzer sent the Seminoles into the locker room with a 24-3 advantage.

Florida State put away the game with consecutive touchdowns to open the second half.

After a failed onside kick by Syracuse, the Seminoles promptly found the end zone with a 5-yard TD pass to Kentron Poitier. Following a punt by the Orange, Florida State drove down the field and scored on fourth-and-goal from the 2 on a pass from Wyatt Rector to Travis.

The Seminoles outgained the Orange 420-160 and limited Syracuse to one third-down conversion in 11 attempts.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Syracuse Orange defensive back Ja'Had Carter (1) defends a pass intended for Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Jared Wayne (5) during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt hands No. 20 Syracuse third straight loss, 19-9

Rodney Hammond Jr. ran for 124 yards and a touchdown and C’Bo Flemister also rushed for a score Saturday as Pitt snapped a two-game skid with a 19-9 home victory over No. 20 Syracuse.

The Panthers (5-4, 2-3 ACC) overcame nine penalties for 73 yards and two interceptions — one by quarterback Kedon Slovis (16 of 23, 178 yards) and one by wideout Jared Wayne on his only pass attempt.

Standout tailback Sean Tucker ran for just 19 yards on 10 carries for Syracuse (6-3, 3-2), which lost its third straight game. The Orange played without quarterback Garrett Shrader (concussion), with Carlos Del Rio-Wilson going 8 of 23 for 120 yards in his place.

Syracuse dented the scoreboard first, shortly after Ja’Had Carter intercepted Slovis in the end zone. The Orange methodically drove down the field and took a 3-0 lead on Andre Szmyt’s 23-yard field goal — the 12th play of the drive — with 26 seconds left in the first quarter.

Pitt answered back with a touchdown on its next possession as Hammond found the end zone on a 6-yard rush.

The teams then exchanged punts before the Orange got within 7-6 on Szmyt’s 48-yard field goal with 3:44 remaining until intermission. However, the Panthers squeezed in a field goal of their own before halftime, with Ben Sauls booting a 43-yarder in the waning seconds.

Flemister accounted for the only scoring of the third quarter when he registered a 1-yard TD run in the final two minutes of the period. The big play of the possession for the Panthers was a 23-yard pass from Slovis to Wayne (six catches, 102 yards) that set up the hosts with a first-and-goal at the 1.

Szmyt missed a 46-yard field goal early in the fourth, although he did drain a 49-yarder with 4:52 to play to get the visitors within 17-9.

With under two minutes left, Pitt punter Sam Vander Haar pinned Syracuse at its own 1. On the next play, Deslin Alexandre sacked Del Rio-Wilson for the game-clinching safety.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; East Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Syracuse Orange defensive back Garrett Williams (8) reacts after a play against the Connecticut Huskies in the first quarter at Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse CB Garrett Williams (ACL) is done for season

Syracuse standout cornerback Garrett Williams will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL, coach Dino Babers said on Monday.

Williams was injured during the first half of Saturday’s 41-24 home loss to Notre Dame. He was sporting crutches on the sideline in the second half.

“He is one of our leaders,” Babers said. “Garrett is a cool cat. He’s Syracuse through and through. Nothing but Orange running through his veins, and he wants nothing but the best for his family, and we want nothing but the best for him. We will stand beside him, and there’s no doubt he will stand beside us.”

Williams had 36 tackles and two interceptions in seven games this season. He has picked off four passes in 32 career games over four seasons.

The Orange also have to firm up the status of quarterback Garrett Shrader (lower body). Shrader had the injury before playing Notre Dame. Babers removed him before the end of the loss to the Irish but said that choice wasn’t injury-related.

Syracuse (6-2, 3-1 ACC) visits Pitt on Saturday. The Orange have lost their past two games.

–Field Level Media

Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer (87) runs the ball on a play that was called back during the Notre Dame vs. Stanford NCAA football game Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Notre Dame Vs Stanford Football

No. 16 Syracuse, coming off loss, faces resurgent Notre Dame

No. 16 Syracuse suffered its first loss last weekend, but the Orange don’t have much time to dwell on that defeat, as Notre Dame will visit the city Saturday for the first time since 2003.

In their most recent game, the Orange (6-1) led No. 5 Clemson by 14 points in the first half before a fourth-quarter collapse resulted in a 27-21 setback. The Orange were doomed by 10 penalties and a late interception, plus their 3-of-11 third-down conversion rate didn’t help.

“I think this team is focused,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said earlier this week. “These guys are different. The culture of this team after seven games is different than the culture that has been on any other team. They are showing it in their record, and they’re showing it on how they play, and they’re showing it on how they go about their work.”

The Orange will need to be ready for a Fighting Irish team that has won four of its past five games, most recently a 44-21 rout of UNLV last week. Tight end Michael Mayer had six catches for 115 yards and a touchdown, while Isaiah Foskey blocked two punts for Notre Dame (4-3).

“Listen, it wasn’t perfect,” Irish coach Marcus Freeman said. “We know that. That’s the reality of football. It’s never perfect. There’s a lot of things that you’re going to look and want to correct, but overall they played a really good game.”

Drew Pyne threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns, while Logan Diggs chipped in 130 rushing yards as the Irish notched their second-highest point total of the season and their largest margin of victory.

“We needed this. We needed this for our confidence,” Freeman said. “We are a good team that doesn’t always play that way. It’s our job as coaches to get our team to perform this way.”

Notre Dame lost its most recent road meeting with Syracuse, 38-12, in December 2003. The past six meetings have taken place either in South Bend, Ind., or at neutral sites in New York or New Jersey. The Irish are 5-1 in those past six meetings with the Orange.

That said, this version of Syracuse appears to be different than in recent years. Babers’ squad has knocked off Louisville, Purdue and North Carolina State and had a great opportunity to defeat Clemson.

One of the issues for the Orange in their defeat to the Tigers was a shortage of carries — five — for star running back Sean Tucker.

“That’s something that should not happen,” Babers acknowledged. “I agree with everyone else. He should have more carries than that in a football game. That has been addressed.”

Tucker and quarterback Garrett Shrader each have six rushing TDs this season, while Oronde Gadsden II is Shrader’s favorite target with 37 catches for 593 yards and five scores.

Mayer is the top receiving threat for the Irish with 44 catches for 526 yards and six TDs. The Irish have three running backs with between 70 and 80 carries, led by Audric Estime (79 carries, 435 yards, six TDs).

“We’re not going to be a one-running-back team,” Freeman said. “You can’t. Not against the teams we play, the physicality, how many times we run the ball.”

–Field Level Media

Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter (0) during the third quarter of the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida Wednesday, December 29, 2021.

Ncaa Football Cheez It Bowl Iowa State Vs Clemson

Clemson LB Barrett Carter (concussion) out vs. Syracuse

Clemson star linebacker Barrett Carter is expected to miss Saturday’s game between the No. 5 Tigers and No. 14 Syracuse.

Multiple outlets reported that Carter, who ranks third on the team with 33 tackles, is dealing with a concussion.

The host Tigers (7-0, 5-0) and the Orange (6-0, 3-0) are the only unbeaten teams remaining in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

A 6-foot-1, 225-pound sophomore from Suwanee, Ga., Carter was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2021 by 247 Sports. He also has four tackles for loss and two sacks in seven starts.

–Field Level Media

Clemson Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) the ball off to Clemson Tigers running back Phil Mafah (26). The Clemson Tigers defeated the Florida State Seminoles 34-28 at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Fsu V Clemson First651

No. 5 Clemson puts home streak on line vs. surprising No. 14 Syracuse

Two of the nine undefeated teams in the country collide Saturday when No. 5 Clemson hosts No. 14 Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

The Tigers (7-0, 5-0 ACC) were expected to be among the nation’s elite teams, and they have backed it up with a perfect start to the season that includes wins over ranked foes Wake Forest and North Carolina State.

Most recently, Clemson nipped Florida State 34-28 last weekend as DJ Uiagalelei passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another. After throwing nine TD passes and 10 interceptions a season ago, Uiagalelei has a sparkling 17-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season.

“I think he is much better, much more improved,” Orange coach Dino Babers said. “Their offense has changed dramatically based off of his improvement, and it’s a testament to him.”

The Tigers’ signal-caller threw a touchdown pass in last season’s 17-14 triumph in Syracuse. Clemson survived when Orange kicker Andre Szmyt missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt in the final minute.

“This will take a little time to get over,” Babers said that day after his team fell to the Tigers for the fourth straight season.

Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader struggled in that one to the tune of 17-of-37 passing for 191 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He did add a rushing touchdown but totaled only 6 yards on seven carries.

Syracuse’s Sean Tucker ran for 157 yards in that matchup and will certainly be a focal point of the Tigers’ defense this weekend after running for 330 yards over the past two games for the surprising Orange (6-0, 3-0).

Oronde Gadsden II is another player the Clemson coaching staff will be focused on ahead of Saturday. The sophomore wideout caught two touchdown passes from Shrader — and made eight catches for 141 yards total — last week in the Orange’s 24-9 victory over then-No. 15 NC State.

“I was explaining it to the players on Sunday. … This is only the third time that we’ve been (undefeated) this deep in over three decades,” Babers said. “It’s rare, you should cherish it, you should understand this moment and not let it go past you right now, it’s something that you should look at and be proud of.”

While Syracuse’s coach is brimming with confidence, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and many of his players were bummed to let a 20-point fourth-quarter lead slip down to six points in the final quarter vs. Florida State.

Still, Swinney is upbeat about Uiagalelei.

“What he’s provided for our team is just great leadership and excellent decision-making,” Swinney said. “He’s so coachable. This guy, he truly prepares like a pro every single day. He is a great preparer. He loves it. And I’m really, really proud of him. He’s been awesome.”

The Tigers have scored at least 30 points in every game this season, while the Orange rank sixth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 13.2 points per contest.

The Syracuse defense should present a serious challenge for a Clemson squad that has won 37 straight home games.

“I think that we’ve beaten some good teams, and to go on the road and win is not easy,” Swinney said. “So, I think we’re pretty battle-tested, and we’ve just got to keep moving. Nothing carries over to next week. We’ve got to start over.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary (13) throws a pass during the first half against the Florida State Seminoles at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NC State QB Devin Leary out vs. Syracuse

North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary will miss Saturday’s Top 25 showdown at Syracuse with a shoulder injury, ESPN reported.

Graduate transfer Jack Chambers will be under center for the No. 15 Wolfpack (5-1, 1-1 ACC) against the Orange (5-0, 2-0).

Leary, the ACC preseason player of the year, was injured during last weekend’s 19-17 win against Florida State. There is no timetable for his return.

“It could be this week or it could be six weeks,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said earlier this week, adding that the X-rays on Leary’s passing shoulder were negative.

Leary has passed for 1,265 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He threw for a school-record 35 passing scores last season, breaking Philip Rivers’ mark of 34 set in 2003.

Chambers has completed 6 of 14 passes for 48 yards and one touchdown this season.

Chambers is in his first season with the Wolfpack after transferring from FCS program Charleston Southern. He spent four seasons with the Buccaneers and passed for 2,490 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange wide receiver Devaughn Cooper (7) catches a pass against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse hosts Wagner in search of first 5-0 start since 1987

After heart-thumping wins in each of the last two weeks, Syracuse wouldn’t mind a more relaxing victory Saturday when FCS foe Wagner comes to town.

The Orange are trying to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1987. They trounced Louisville and UConn in their first two games before slipping past Purdue in the final seconds and then getting by Virginia 22-20 in the waning minutes last Friday.

Looking forward, this could be a “trap game” for the Orange, as they face ranked opponents in five of their next six games. The only matchup in that stretch against a non-ranked foe comes against Notre Dame, which was ranked as high as No. 5 earlier in the season.

“This game is, to me, a tricky game for us. Our team has to really stay locked in,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said.

He especially wants his team to focus on cleaning up its offensive execution. The Orange were thrilled to win against the Cavaliers despite committing four turnovers.

“We’re really fortunate to come out with the win. We’re excited about that,” Babers said after defeating Virginia. “The play was not perfect, that’s for sure. But the record is.”

The Seahawks’ record, meanwhile, is far from perfect. Wagner has lost its first three games by a combined 96 points. They have scored a total of 14 points in their last two games and are coming off a 27-7 loss to St. Francis (Pa.).

But the Seahawks are coming off a bye week, so coach Tom Masella is hoping the extra rest gives his team an advantage.

“I thought we had a good week of practice last week,” Masella said on the Wagner College TD Club Coaches Show. “We got some young kids some reps, but we had to get better fundamentally, and I thought our kids had a good week last week.”

The Orange, on the other hand, are averaging 33.3 points per game behind quarterback Garrett Shrader (eight touchdowns, one interception) and wideout Oronde Gadsden II (19 catches, 300 yards, three TDs).

That said, Syracuse already has lost four starters to season-ending injuries, so their depth could be challenged as the season moves along.

“We’re averaging losing a starter per game,” Babers said. “Backups who are now starters have done a really, really good job based off the people we’re playing, but starting with this week, if we’re gonna continue losing one a game, I don’t know how that’s gonna look. I don’t know how that crystal ball looks in the end.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) runs with the ball for a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Szmyt’s five field goals allow Syracuse to top Virginia

Andre Szmyt tied the Syracuse record by making five field goals, including the decisive boot with 1:14 remaining, as the host Orange nipped Virginia 22-20 on Friday evening.

Syracuse (4-0, 2-0 ACC) benefited from a third-down facemask penalty on Virginia (2-2, 0-1) on the final drive. Shortly thereafter, Garrett Shrader’s 12-yard scramble set up Szmyt for the winning kick.

The Cavaliers drove to near midfield on their last-minute drive, but Brennan Armstrong’s final two passes fell incomplete.

Shrader finished 22 of 33 for 277 yards with an interception and a rushing score for the Orange, who won despite committing four turnovers. Oronde Gadsden II led Syracuse with seven catches for 113 yards.

Armstrong went 19 of 38 for 138 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Perris Jones contributed 87 rushing yards and a touchdown for Virginia, which committed two turnovers, missed two field goals and had an extra point blocked.

Trebor Pena ignited Syracuse by returning the game’s opening kickoff 57 yards. The Orange offense needed only five plays to cover the final 41 yards, capped by a 17-yard TD scramble by Shrader.

The Cavaliers then missed field goals on consecutive possessions as Brendan Farrell was wide right from 50 and then from 48. Following the second miss, the Orange drove 11 plays and Szmyt kicked a 26-yarder to make it 10-0.

Armstrong fumbled on the next play from scrimmage, setting up Syracuse deep in Virginia territory. The Orange generated no offense on that drive, but Szmyt drilled a 32-yard field goal for a 13-0 cushion.

The senior kicker booted another field goal late in the first half to make it 16-0.

Keytaon Thompson got Virginia on the board on the opening drive of the second half, plunging in from 1 yard out. Pena fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Cavaliers were back in the end zone two plays later, this time on a 4-yard run by Jones.

The Orange then converted three third downs — including a third-and-18 — as part of a 14-play drive that Szmyt punctuated with a 40-yard field goal in the final minute of the third quarter.

The score remained 19-13 until Virginia scored on fourth-and-goal from the 4 with 5:51 remaining in the contest. Armstrong found Lavel Davis Jr. over the middle for the TD, and the extra point put the visitors in front.

–Field Level Media