The Syracuse Orange (3-3, 1-1), coming off of two close losses on the road to LSU and NC State, picked up its third win of the season at home against the Pittsburgh Panthers (2-4, 0-2) 27-24. Syracuse was led by quarterback Eric Dungey who threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, one on the ground and two through the air.
'Cuse got the scoring started early in the first quarter with a chip-shot 26-yard field goal off the foot of kicker Cole Murphy.
Syracuse held on to a 3-0 lead until the second quarter, when Pittsburgh running back Jordan Whitehead tip-toed down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown to get the Panthers on the board. Pittsburgh extended their lead to 10-3 later in the quarter with a field goal by sophomore kicker Alex Kessman.
Eric Dungey led the Orange offense on a late first-half drive to tie the game up at 10. Dungey floated a deep pass to wideout Devin C. Butler who snuck inside the pylon for the score with just 34 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
After Pitt took the lead to start the second half with another field goal by Kessman, 'Cuse came right back with a scoring drive of their own. Dungey scampered untouched for a ten yard score to take a 17-13 lead with less than seven minutes left in the third quarter.
On Pittsburgh's ensuing possession, quarterback Max Browne was sacked and stripped of the ball by defensive lineman Alton Robinson. The Panthers were able to recover the ball on the play, but Max Browne was injured and would not return for the remainder of the game. Browne was replaced by redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci.
Late in the third, Syracuse extended the lead to seven with another field goal from senior Murphy, this time from 38 yards out.
Pitt chipped into the 'Cuse lead with a game-long 56 yard field goal by kicker Alex Kessman. Kessman's kick left no room for error, as the ball deflected off of the crossbar and through to bring the game score to 20-16.
Wide receiver Steve Ishmael reeled in a tough grab with a defender draped all over him, and was able to cross the goal line to give Syracuse their biggest score margin of eleven, with the score 27-16. Tight end Ravian Pierce came up with two catches on the drive as a part of his nine-catch, 99-yard performance.
Pittsburgh's tailback Qadree Ollison rushed for 19 yards for a mid-fourth quarter score in an attempt to mount a comeback. After a successful two-point conversion, the Panthers cut the Orange lead to 27-24.
With no timeouts and just over a minute remaining, Pittsburgh's offense was unable to drive into field goal range, and the Orange held on to the three point lead, winning 27-24.
Syracuse overcame a slow start to put together a strong offensive performance. The Orange will need to start faster next week playing against defending national champion Clemson on Friday at 7 pm.