The Orange improved to 2-0 after they beat Wake Forest 30-17 in front of a little over 26,000 at the Carrier Dome.
The game got off to a promising start as Eric Dungey looked comfortable in command of the offense. Tim Lester broke out the option for the first time all year and the Orange marched down the field before stalling and settling for a field goal.
After that, in the first half at least, it was all downhill for the offense. The Orange only scored three more points on offense in the first half with their only touchdown coming on a pick six by Donnie Williams. Syracuse ran twenty-five plays and racked up a measly 108 yards in the first half.
On a side note, the Orange honored former head coach Dick MacPherrson. Coach Mac made his way around the field and Coach Shafer ran over to him.
“Coach Mac means the world to Syracuse,” Shafer said, “I ran over to him and said ‘We’re gonna win this damn game for you.”
The second half didn’t get off to a much better start as the Demon Deacons moved the ball, almost at will, as the Syracuse secondary struggled. However much the Orange defense bent, they did not break and they got the ball back only down four.
The game finally seemed to turn in the Orange’s favor when Eric Dungey eluded a sack and whipped the ball over the middle to an open Brisly Estime. Estime broke a tackle and took off for a 89 yard TD, the third longest passing play in Syracuse history.
Coach Scott Shafer commented on Dungey’s rebound in the second half.
“I saw the competitive nature that (Dungey) had. I saw his vision. If we keep leading him forward, he will be a very good quarterback.”
The defense responded the offense’s new-found life and from that point on the Orange controlled the game. The Wake offense stalled and Dungey stepped up and led the Orange offense with confidence.
Dungey added to his 89 yard strike with a 53 yard TD toss to Steve Ishmael, who up until that point, had been virtually invisible.
Ishmael explained how the momentum really changed after his touchdown.
“(After) I scored it was all hype. We were looking forward to the rest of the game after that.”
It really was smooth sailing for the Orange after that TD. Wake Forest was unable to get anything going and the Syracuse offense clicked on almost every play.
When it was all said and done, the Orange are 2-0 for the second time in two years. With Central Michigan coming to the Dome next week, the Orange have a great chance to improve to 3-0, and be halfway to the crucial six win mark.