Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo breaks the 100-yard mark yet again. But, his 123 receiving yards on the night, combined with RB Dontae Strickland’s 127 rushing, were not enough to push the Orange past the University of South Florida. They fall to the Bulls, 45-20.
The Orange had a promising start, scoring 17 unanswered points to begin the first half.
In the first of three, consecutive scoring drives, QB Eric Dungey threw a perfect, 24-yard pass to WR Ervin Philips. Deep in the middle of the end zone, Philips leaped from behind a Bull defender, catching the ball while he was mid-air just a few feet over of the ground.
Four minutes later, it was Brisly Estime who took a pass deep for 47 yards. Kicker Cole Murphy added three more points to the board with a field goal in the last 30 seconds of the quarter.
By the end of the first, USF had just 64 total yards, compared to Syracuse’s 214. But, the momentum of the game would soon change.
South Florida WR Rodney Adams contributed three touchdowns in the second quarter, one receiving and two rushing. Running back Marlon Mack also gave his team six points—and the lead—with a short 2-yard run into the end zone.
By the time buzzer blew at the half, the Bulls had come back with 28 uncontested points of their own. Syracuse trailed by 11, 28-17.
The Orange would go on to score just three more points with a field goal by Murphy in the third. USF, on the other hand, racked up 17 more. One of the scoring plays included an 83-yard punt return by D’Ernest Johnson. A field goal from 42 yards away near the nine-minute mark sealed the deal for the Orange.
USF remains undefeated on the year. They improve to 3-0 while Syracuse drops to 1-2.
The Syracuse hurry-up was able get off 105 plays. That’s more snaps than against both Colgate (81) and Louisville (93). South Florida, which also runs a hurry-up, did so just 64 times. The Orange possessed the ball over 16 minutes longer than the Bulls.
Etta-Tawo continues to lead the ACC in receiving yards (313) while Dungey is third in regards to passing with 610 yards. Strickland before tonight's game had 17 carries and 51 yards. He more than doubled those stats, gaining 128 yards in 30 attempts.
Syracuse is scheduled to compete on the road for the first time this season. They will travel to East Hartford, Conn. to take on the University of Connecticut Huskies. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
“We have to find a way to win with the people that we have, with the depth that we have, with the injuries that we have,” Babers said in the post-game press conference.