SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse had a depleted receiving corps on Saturday with Jarrod West and Brisly Estime out due to injury. Alvin Cornelius was asked to step up and make plays to give a passing attack a much-needed boost.
Cornelius made a big play that gave the Orange the lead back mid-way through the third quarter. Facing a third and 15 from the Pittsburgh 42, Syracuse appeared to be in deep trouble.
They had not made a big play in the passing game all day, and the Panther defense was pressuring quarterback Terrel Hunt more and more as the game progressed. But on a day where big plays were few and far between for the Syracuse offense, Cornelius made a huge one in a critical spot.
Hunt dropped back to throw and received adequate protection from his offensive line. Cornelius sprinted down the sideline and gave a little stutter to the inside, forcing the Pitt corner Lafayette Pitts to turn his hips. He ran by Pitts to the outside, and Hunt lofted the ball in his direction.
Cornelius turn on the jets to go after a ball that was seemingly overthrown. But he sprawled out, stretching his arms as far forward as they would go, and made a terrific catch as his body landed two yards deep in the end zone.
It was a fantastic catch, the first scoring reception of Cornelius' young career, and one that gave that Orange the lead in a game where points were at a premium. While Syracuse could not hold that lead, It gave glimpses of the future at receiver for Syracuse.