Syracuse loses third straight, falls to Pitt

The Orange are dominated by the Pitt Panthers in road loss that drops them to 3-8 on the season.

It wasn't pretty right from the start. The Syracuse offense continued its season long trend of immense struggles. Trailing 10-0 nothing, the Orange put together one of their better drives of the afternoon, but Ben Lewis dropped a would-be touchdown pass and Cole Murphy missed a short field goal.

Pittsburgh responded with another score to push the lead to 17-0 at intermission.

The Orange tried to get back into it, marching down the field on their first drive of the second half. It was capped by a Ron Thompson one-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 10.

But the Panthers would takeover from there. A 49-yard catch and run by receiver Tyler Boyd raised the lead to 20 and essentially sealed the game.

Syracuse turned it over three times on Saturday. Two via interceptions and one on a fumble. One of the interceptions came in the end zone with Syracuse looking to put points on the board early. A.J. Long was trying to find Steve Ishmael on a fade, but it was perfectly covered by Lafayette Pitts.

It was not for lack of effort from the Syracuse coaching staff. They tried using Mitch Kimble in addition to A.J. Long. They tried running the ball inside and out. They tried quick passes and going down the field. Nothing worked. There was a lack of execution, poor throws, dropped passes and too many mistakes.

Kimble did not complete any of his six attempts. Long was just 10-19 for 149-yards. Each threw an interception.

The Syracuse defense knocked all-world running back James Conner out of the game in the first half, but the Panthers still ran the ball well against a usually stingy Orange unit. They ran for over 260-yards on Syracuse, only 38 of which came from Conner.

Conner did score a first quarter touchdown which set a new ACC record for most rushing TDs in a season with 22.

He was replaced by true freshman Chris James, who toted for over 120-yards on the ground.

Freshman wide receiver Steve Ishmael was one of the lone bright spots on offense, snatching six catches for 97-yards. His Pittsburgh counterpart, Tyler Body, had seven grabs for 126-yards and a touchdown. Pitt outgained the Orange 445-yards to 255.

With the loss, Syracuse falls to 3-8 (1-6) on the season. They wrap up the 2014 campaign against Boston College on Saturday, November 29th.

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