The Orange (3-3) edged NC State (3-3) 24-10 Saturday, earning its first ACC victory in school history. Both offenses struggled to find any rhythm early on, but the SU rushing attack of Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley turned it on to pull away from the Wolfpack in the 4th quarter. Smith led the team with 140 yards on the ground, while Gulley was right behind him with 132.
"It's just one win, but I think it's huge," Coach Scott Shafer said after the game. "I think that mentality, going on the road and playing against a 12th man and that crowd, I think it's a huge momentum boost for our kids to know they can do that."
NC State was again with out its regular starting quarterback, Brandon Mitchell, who broke his foot in week one against Louisiana Tech. There was some hope that he would be ready to go, but ultimately Pete Thomas got the start.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first quarter and were tied at 7 at halftime. After both teams exchanged a pair of field goals, the Orange took the lead with 06:13 remaining after back-to-back 57 and 18 yard runs by Smith and Gulley respectively.
Syracuse held NC State to a three-and-out. Jay Bromley sacked Thomas on 3rd and 5 in the last play of the day for the junior quarterback. Smith went into the locker room after suffering an apparent shoulder injury.
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The next drive, SU effectively put the game out of reach with a 9 yard touchdown run by Terrel Hunt. The sophomore finished the day with more yards rushing (92) than passing (74.)
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The Orange is back in action next Saturday as it travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech. Coverage starts on WAER with Countdown to Kickoff at noon, with the game at 12:30.