BRONX, N.Y. (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) –
Putting together a throwback style offense, Syracuse football upended Pittsburgh 28-13 at Yankee Stadium as the two teams celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first-ever college football game on that site.
Syracuse (5-5, 1-5 ACC) put together a run-heavy game plan, amassing 382 yards on the ground. LeQuint Allen Jr. went for 102 yards while tight end Dan Villari rushed for a game-best 154 yards and a touchdown. Garrett Shrader neared the century mark with 96 on the ground and another rushing touchdown.
Defensively, the Orange were backed by four Pitt turnovers, all in the second half and resulting in 21 ‘Cuse points. Jayden Bellamy came down with a pick six and a fumble recovery. Kevon Darton and Terry Lockett each scooped up a fumble as well. After trailing 13-7 at halftime, the Orange did not allow Pitt a single point in the entire second half while scoring 21.
The Orange started off on the right foot, scoring on the first drive of the game, running the ball nine-straight times before Shrader hit Max Mang for a 5-yard touchdown, chewing up nearly five minutes of clock in the process.
After the sides traded possessions, Pitt set up on the Syracuse 38-yard line after recovering a fumble. Six plays later, the Panthers converted a 35-yard field goal for a 7-3 Orange lead late in the first quarter.
Neither side could find the end zone through the first 12 minutes of the second quarter before Pitt finished a four-play drive with a 10-yard rushing touchdown. The Panthers took a 10-7 lead with less than three minutes in the half.
Just the second three-and-out of the game for Syracuse led to a Pitt field goal with 36 seconds left in the opening half, the final Panther points of the contest for a 13-7 halftime lead.
Early in the third quarter, Bellamy came up with his fumble recovery, setting up Syracuse to retake the lead. Facing a fourth and two, Shrader ran around the right side as he went nearly untouched from 21 yards out. A Denaburg kick put the Orange back on top for the first time since late in the second quarter with a 14-13 lead.
The Syracuse defense clamped down on the next Pitt drive, pushing the Panthers into a three-and-out. Isaiah Johnson laid a booming hit, keeping Pitt deep in its own zone. A 43-yard punt set up Syracuse near midfield.
Taking a direct snap, Villari ran for 38 yards down to the Panthers’ 7-yard line. After the drive stalled on fourth down near the Pitt end zone, the Syracuse defense stepped up with a pick-six as Bellamy picked off Christian Veilleux. With his second turnover of the quarter, Bellamy returned the interception 23 yards for a 21-13 Orange advantage.
On the very first play of the final quarter, a fumbled exchange in the backfield led to the third Pitt turnover of the half as Terry Lockett gobbled up the loose ball, setting the Orange offense up at the Panthers’ 34-yard line.
Two plays later, it was Villari again taking a direct snap to the house, this time from 27 yards out as Syracuse more than doubled up on the Panthers with a 28-13 lead with over 14 minutes to play in the game.
‘Cuse’s defense finished things off, forcing the Panthers into an interception, two lost fumbles and a punt in the final four Pitt possessions in The Bronx.
Syracuse hits the road next week in Atlanta as the Orange take on Georgia Tech. Game time is set for 8 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium, live on ACC Network.