Syracuse lost Eric Dungey and Steve Ishmael in the first half, and the offense failed to score in the second half, but the Orange somehow found a way to defeat Central Michigan 30-27 in overtime. Walk-on quarterback Zack Mahoney pitched it to running back Jordan Fredericks who crossed the goal line in overtime after Ron Thompson stuffed Central Michigan on a 3rd and goal run to give the Orange their first 3-0 start since 1991.
Dungey left the game when he took a late hit from a Chippewa defensive lineman, and did not return with an upper body injury. Mitch Stanitzek was ejected for targeting following the play. Ishmael's injury was announced at halftime.
Austin Wilson and Mahoney split time in taking over for Dungey and led Syracuse to a first half touchdown, on a pass from Wilson to Jamal Custis, to extend their lead to 24-10. The Chippewas scored early in the third to cut the lead to seven. The Syracuse defense forced a couple of turnovers in the fourth, but the offense could not get anything going.
Central Michigan drove and scored a touchdown with just seven second left to tie the game and send it into overtime on a 27-yard pass from Cooper Rush to Ben McCord. The Chippewas got the ball first to start the overtime session. They drove inside the Syracuse five, but Thompson stuffed running back Devon Spaling at the one yard line.
After a Central Michigan field goal, Syracuse took over with Mahoney at the helm. He completed a critical third down pass to Kendall Moore to extend the overtime drive. Two plays later, he pitched the ball to Jordan Fredericks who was able to cross the goal line for the game winning score.
Syracuse was outgained 520 to 326 total yards. The defense came in having forced the most turnovers in the country, and were able to add two more to their total. Both came with Central Michigan driving in the fourth quarter. The Chippewas held the ball for nearly 40 minutes of game time, while Syracuse had less than 21 minutes of possession.
Syracuse next faces LSU on September 26th for a noon kickoff. They have to hope that Dungey is able to return.