Syracuse Football Falls Hard to Boston College in Season Finale

Nov 25, 2017

In his last game in a Syracuse uniform, kicker Cole Murphy went 2-2 on extra points and missed a 50 yard field goal just before half.
Credit Cuse.com

Football season is over for the Syracuse Orange (4-8, 2-6), and it ends on the lowest of lows: suffering a 42-14 beatdown at the hands of Boston College (7-5, 4-4).

The first possession of the game was an Orange 3 and out. The second possession was a 73 yard drive for the Eagles, capped off by a touchdown run from running back AJ Dillon. The freshman finished the day with 193 yards on the ground, more than half of Boston College's 333 rushing yards.

A touchdown catch and run by Orange wide out Steve Ishmael tied the game just two minutes later. The senior was the lone bright spot for Syracuse. Ishmael had 11 catches for 187 yards en route to breaking Marvin Harrison's school record for career receiving yards. 

The Eagles responded on their next drive with AJ Dillon's second of three rushing touchdowns on the game. Time and time again, Syracuse failed to stop BC's leading rusher on simple hand-offs up the middle. Dillon now has six 100-yard rushing games this season.

Boston College broke the game open with two big plays in the second quarter. First, a 64 yard jet sweep handoff to wide receiver Jeff Smith gave the Eagles a two touchdown lead. As soon as 'Cuse got the ball back, BC batted down a backwards pass by Orange QB Rex Culpepper and returned it for a touchdown with most of the Syracuse offense acting as bystanders. 

'Cuse's freshman quarterback threw a touchdown to wide out Ervin Phillips on the next drive, but those were the last points of the 2017 season for Syracuse football. The Orange forced a turnover on the next Eagles possession, but Rex Culpepper threw an interception a couple plays later to give the ball right back.

On the first drive of the second half, AJ Dillon scored his third touchdown for BC.  With the score 35-14 late in the third quarter, Rex Culpepper led the Orange down the field on a long drive. With everything on the line, Syracuse was stuffed on 4th and short to force a turnover on downs.  On the next drive, Eagles QB Darius Wade added on a touchdown pass for good measure. 

With the win, Boston College won five of their last six games to end the season. Four of those wins were by more than 20 points. The Eagles are qualified for a bowl game.

On the other side of the spectrum, Syracuse lost all five games after their win at Clemson. The Orange lost their last three games to Wake Forest, Louisville, and Boston College (all without Eric Dungey) by more than 20 points. 

The Orange will be without several key players on both sides of the ball next year. On offense, seniors leaving the team include wide receivers Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips. On defense, senior linebackers Zaire Franklin and Parris Bennett have concluded their playing careers for Syracuse. 

In true 'Cuse fashion, it's finally time to fully commit to basketball season.