South Florida came out strong from the start taking their power running game and dominating the Orange at the line of scrimmage. They took their opening drive down the field for a touchdown on a 1-yard touchdown run by Demetris Murray. The Orange tried to respond, but a dropped Jerome Smith pass forced them to settle for a field goal. The Bulls rushed for over 200 yards in the first half, as they took a 23-3 halftime lead into the locker room.
Syracuse opened the second half with a quick drive to get back in it. Ryan Nassib hit Jarrod West on a 31-yard touchdown pass. Syracuse blocked a punt on the next possession to bring momentum on their side. A few plays later, Alec Lemon ran it in from 5-yards out on a reverse to bring the Orange within 23-17. On the next play, Shamarko Thomas recovered a USF fumble, which led to a Marcus Sales 5-yard touchdown catch to give Syracuse their first lead of the game.
South Florida responded with a drive that ended in a field goal to regain the lead. USF extends the lead with a touchdown pass to Andre Davis, but the Orange respond with Sales' second touchdown catch of the game. A late drive drained the clock and gave the Bulls a 36-31 lead, as the Orange took over with 1:23 left.
Nassib drove Syracuse down to the 1-yard line with six seconds left. He hit Alec Lemon on a quick out for a touchdown. Syracuse pulls out a gutsy win 37-36.