CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WSYR-TV) – The 2020 Syracuse football season has begun. The long awaited season opener at No. 18 North Carolina did not go in Syracuse’s favor.
The Orange could not keep up with Tarheels and lost 31-6. UNC scored 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Tommy DeVito finished with 13-31 with 112 passing yards. He was sacked 7 times by the UNC defense. SU could not get anything going on the ground as DeVito led the ground game with 30 yards and the team finished with just 68 yards.
For three quarters, the defense was the bright spot for Syracuse. Andre Cisco and Mikel Jones both had interceptions. Aaron Bolinsky also recovered a fumble on a muffed punt as well. Cisco now has 13 career interceptions and is six away from tying a program record of 19 set by Markus Paul.
UNC’s Sam Howell had 295 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Javonta Williams led their offensive production with 57 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.
North Carolina looked crisp on its opening drive of the game. The Tarheels went 65 yards in 10 plays capping off the drive with a 11 yards touchdown pass from Howell to Garrett Walston to make it 7-0.
That was all of the offense of the opening quarter for either team. The Orange defense picked off Howell on the next Tarheels possession as Mikel Jones got the first interception of his career and the first SU turnover of the year with 8:23 to play in the first. SU could not capitalize on it turning the ball over on downs.
The first points did for Syracuse did not come until the second quarter. Following a Dazz Newsome fumbled a punt, Andre Szmyt knocked in a 37 yards field goal to make it 7-3 UNC with 10:43 left in the half.
The Orange defense made a statement to open the third as Cisco grabbed another interception returning it to the UNC 48 yard line with 12:50 to play. SU settled for its second field goal on a 24-yards connection for Szmyt.
The Tarheels then scored 24 unanswered points. Grayson Atkins made a field goal from 31 yards out to make it 10-6 UNC after three. In the fourth, Javonta Williams scored all three of his rushing touchdowns.
Syracuse drops to 0-1(0-1) with the loss. Next up, the Orange travel to Pittsburgh for another noon kick on September 19th. The game will air on the ACC Network.