Bowl-less in Syracuse

Brian Leonard rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown as the Rutgers shocked Syracuse, 24-7, likely leaving Syracuse out of the bowl picture.

Ryan Hart added a 19-yard touchdown and a 3-yard rush for a score, as Rutgers (5-7, 2-5 Big East) finished its best season under third-year coach Greg Schiano. Rutgers was helped by three Orangemen errors, as the Scarlet Knights tallied three scores in a five minute span.

"It's a sad day for Syracuse football," Anderson said. "No disrespect intended, but we lost to Rutgers."

The win gave Rutgers its most wins since 1998 and snapped a three-game losing streak.

Meanwhile, Syracuse (5-6, 2-5) dropped its third straight game, and its bowl hopes dwindled even further. The Orangemen will need to beat Notre Dame next week and have many situations with seven-win teams fall into place before they are invited to a bowl game.

Should this happen, it would be the third time in the past four years Syracuse hasn't made a bowl game. Speculation has started as to whether coach Paul Pasqualoni will be around next year.

"Here's what I know," Pasqualoni said about the future of his job. "I know that we have one more game to go. We're going to focus on the game. Get ready to play Notre Dame at home in the Carrier Dome.

The Orangemen seemed ready to play at the start, as Anthony Smith blocked a punt on the opening series and Steve Gregory pounced on the ball in the end zone for the score. It seemed Syracuse, which had topped Rutgers in 11 of the past 12 games, would continue its winning ways.

But when Marcus Clayton fumbled a punt at the Syracuse 42 and Rutgers recovered, Syracuse began unraveling. Rutgers wasted no time tying the score, as Hart completed a 19-yard pass to Tres Moses.

Hart would score again after Syracuse quarterback R.J. Anderson was intercepted and Rutgers returned the ball to the Syracuse 3-yard line.

With high winds topping off in the 40 mph range, Syracuse lost the ball again on the ensuing kickoff, as Rutgers recovered the ball at the Orangemen 33. Leonard would eventually punch the ball in the end zone to stretch the Scarlet Knight's lead to 21-7.

The Orangemen offense was a disaster, as star tailback Walter Reyes had just 40 yards on 18 carries. Meanwhile, Anderson was ineffective again, completing just 14-of-32 passes for 161 yards.

"It didn't work out for us today, but we got a solid, solid group of people here," Pasqualoni said. "We're looking forward to next week and … (winning) our last home game"

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