Hills and Valleys for Fields in First Start

There were ups and downs in Syracuse quarterback Joe Fields first start of the Greg Robinson era. Fields used his mobility to get out of trouble, as he has in the past, but also threw the ball with some success.

Late in the third quarter, Syracuse's offense took the field down by a point. A perfect punt from Cincinnati's Chet Ervin put Fields and the offense inside their own one-yard line. The quarterback completed passes of 42 and 50 yards on the drive leading Syracuse to a 27-yard field goal and the lead. The 50 yard pass was to Rice Moss.

"It was a broken play," Fields said. "I guess (Moss) was on the same page as me because he just went out deep and I put the ball where he could come down with it."

Fields finished the day with 131 yards through the air and no interceptions. The young quarterback's most crucial play resulted in a touchdown. Unfortunately, it was for the wrong team.

Fields dropped back to pass, and never saw the Cincinnati player coming. He was hit on his blind side and fumbled the ball. Cincinnati Linebacker Kelvin McCullough picked up the fumble and ran 17 yards for a touchdown.

"We had maximum protection," Coach Greg Robinson said. "But (Cincinnati) brought more than we could block. I don't think Joe ever saw the guy coming off the backside on him. It's tough."

"He got a good hit on me so the ball came out," Fields said. "It's amazing, that one fumble really did hurt us."

The touchdown gave the Bearcats a six point lead and enough cushion to escape with a win 22-16 win. Fields injured his finger on the next drive and didn't return. The injury was not serious.

Robinson said he was upset by the fumble, but was encouraged by Fields effort in his first start.

"I give him credit," Robinson said. "I see a little competitor out there who is feisty as all, get out and he did what I thought he would do, compete. That's his game."

Fields said he thought he played "okay" in his first start of the year, but the loss put a sour note on any success he had on the field.

"I feel good but that one fumble really did cost us the game," Fields said. "There is no accomplishment on me starting if we lose."


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