Into the fourth quarter, the Syracuse Orange were hanging with the LSU Tigers and an upset victory was on their mind. After Zachary Mahoney found Ben Lewis for a two yard touchdown, the gap was closed to 24-17. The Orange defense needed to get the ball back if they were to tie the game.
After LSU grabbed a first down, the Syracuse defense stepped up. Leonard Fournette tried to go off tackle, but Donnie Simmons got penetration along with others, forcing Fournette backwards. Syracuse then gang-tackled him, resulting in a seven yard loss.
On the next play, Darrel Williams picked up eight yards, creating a third and nine for the Tigers. A defensive stop would give Syracuse the momentum and a chance to tie the game in the fourth. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris took the snap with 9:41 left in the game at his own 38 yard line.
Syracuse brings pressure, leaving the receivers with one on one coverage. Harris stepped up in the pocket and the pressure was not able to get there in time. He launches and goes deep for Travin Dural, who has Julian Whigham covering him. Dural beats Whigham, who loses ground as he first tries to locate the ball by looking up.
The ball is underthrown, and Dural has to hesitate and come back to the ball. At this point, Whigham does not look back, and grabs Dural before the ball gets there. Dural makes the catch anyway, but Whigham is called for defensive pass interference. The result is a 51-yard gain and a first down.
LSU would score on the next play, a fade to Malachi Dupre. That pushed the LSU lead to 31-17 and seemed to snag any momentum away from the Orange. On the next possession, Mahoney would throw an interception, the only turnover for either team on the afternoon.
The third down conversion was a tough break for Syracuse, as they seemed to be gaining momentum and the crowd starting to believe. There were other missed opportunities on Saturday, but this one seemed to be the breaking point.