Orange downed by Virginia

In the end, the Syracuse defense let up too many big plays.

Virginia's Marques Hagans accumulated 283 yards, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for another as Virginia (4-0) downed Syracuse (2-2) Saturday afternoon.

"In the end, you can't give up big plays against a good team like that," Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni said.

Trailing 21-3 heading into the third quarter, Syracuse marched 80 yards down the field, ending in a 2-yard touchdown run by Damien Rhodes. Virginia answered with a field goal to make it 24-10 before the Orange drove down the field again.

Syracuse put itself in a position to score again, but Joe Kowalewski dropped a fourth-down pass in the end zone that proved to be the turning point of the game. On the ensuing drive, Hagans threw a 39-yard strike to Michael McGrew, giving the Cavaliers a 31-10 lead.

"We're still a good team," quarterback Perry Patterson said. "We still have all of our goals in front of us. We want to be a BCS team. We're going to start on those goals next week against Rutgers."

Syracuse looked solid to start the game, capping a 68-yard drive with a Collin Barber field goal. But the Orange would sputter afterwards, gaining just 41 more yards in the half.

Hagans would rush for two touchdowns, the first coming in the opening quarter on a 59-yard run. With 1:50 left in the second, he would add another rushing touchdown from 10 yards out. Wali Lundy, with 14 minutes left in the first half, accounted for the other Virginia score, running in from 27 yards.

It seems Patterson has cemented the starting signal caller position. Patterson was 15-for-23 for 141 yards.

"I thought Perry looked very sharp," Pasqualoni said.

Walter Reyes and Rhodes combined for 124 yards on the ground.

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