SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) –
Syracuse lost it’s second straight game falling to Notre Dame 41-24 Saturday afternoon in the JMA Wireless Dome. It was the first home loss for the Orange this season, snapping a 5-0 home record to start the season.
Mikel Jones tied a career high with 16 tackles, 10 solo, in the loss. On the offensive end, D’Marcus Adams, Oronde Gadsden II and Sean Tucker all scored touchdowns for the Orange while backup quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson was 11-for-22 for 190 yards and a touchdown pass after entering the second half for an injured Shrader.
The Irish stormed out to an early lead on the first play of the game when Brandon Joseph picked off Shrader’s first pass of the game and ran it into the end zone to put Notre Dame ahead with a 29-yard touchdown score. Blake Grupe’s extra point was good through the uprights for a 7-0 Irish lead seven seconds into the game. Syracuse answered back with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Gadsden II on the following drive and Andre Szmyt evened the score at 7-7 with the extra point.
Notre Dame had a chance to go ahead at the 5:32 mark, but Grupe’s 39-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right to keep things knotted at one score apiece.
Notre Dame took a 14-7 lead at 8:23 in the second when Logan Diggs rushed for a three-yard score. After another offensive drive stalled, DB Ja’Had Cater intercepted a Drew Pyne pass which was tipped by the intended Irish receiver and returned it for 34 yards to the Notre Dame 42-yard line with 1:42 to go. It was Carter’s third takeaway in the past two games.
The offense again stalled out in plus territory with 1:18 to go, turning it over on downs, before the Fighting Irish drove 61 yards before the break and entered the locker room with a two-touchdown lead. The Orange made a switch at the start of the third quarter, looking to redshirt freshman quarterback Del Rio-Wilson after Shrader was held to five completions on 14 attempts for 35 total yards. Babers said afterwards that the decision was made due to Shrader being unable to protect himself fully without his full skillset and mobility.
After halftime, Notre Dame added to its lead with a 31-yard field goal by Groupe to give the Irish a 24-7 advantage with 7:41 to play in the third quarter.
Syracuse’s Szmyt tied a career-high 54-yard field goal to cut Notre Dame’s lead to two scores, 24-10, with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter. The Orange defense forced a three-and-out on the following Notre Dame possession and ‘Cuse used a five-play, 67-yard drive to bring the game within a touchdown. Tucker moved past James Mungro (2,869) for 5th on the Orange career rushing list during the touchdown drive and scored on a four-yard run for his seventh rushing touchdown of the season.
Notre Dame made it a two-score game after the Irish regained possession when a Del Rio-Wilson pass was tipped by a Notre Dame defender into the hands of Marist Liufau. The Irish used a seven-play 54-yard drive to extend the lead to 31-17 after Audric Estime rushed up the middle for 11 yards to the end zone and Grupe’s extra point was clear through the uprights.
That was as close as the Orange would get, as the Fighting Irish tacked on another score after a blocked punt and a late field goal to give themselves a 17-point victory.
The Irish were led by Estime, who had two touchdowns and rushed for 124 yards on 20 attempts in the win. Quarterback Drew Pyne was 9-for-19 and 119 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Acrisure Stadium. The game will be televised live on ACC Network.