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Syracuse Beats Virginia Tech In a 41-36 Thriller

Syracuse Football

After three consecutive one possession losses, Garrett Shrader played hero with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Damien Alford with 19 seconds remaining. That third down heave propelled the Orange to their first road ACC win since 2019 and a 4-4 record. SU also grabbed its first ACC win in Blacksburg.

The first half flew by. Syracuse had only one drive, while Virginia Tech countered with just two of its on. Both teams scored and entered the first break knotted at seven.

That’s where the action picked up, especially nearing the end of the first half. Following a Syracuse score, Andre Szymt had his extra point blocked and returned for two points the Hokies way. Instead of a 14-14 game, the Orange found themselves down 16-13. It was a turn of events that completely shifted momentum, but wasn’t the only Syracuse pitfall in the second quarter.

The final 30 seconds left a sour taste following a 195-yard quarter. Shrader raced down to the one-yard line, which led to miscommunication and successive timeouts. That halted a touchdown drive, a possible lead and instead led to a 19-yard field goal try.

The result:

It was a rough first half, but a respectable one for Shrader and Sean Tucker. SU had already compiled over 150 rush yards and although down six, the Orange were prepped to get the ball fresh out of the break.

The first drive resulted in a score and eerily similar to the first 15 minutes of play.

The fourth quarter started with SU trailing 26-20. That’s when records started to break and the Orange tried to take a stronghold of this ACC back-and-forth contest. But it wasn’t without Virginia Tech taking a 36-27 lead before good fortune swung in SU’s direction. A long return by Trebor Pena spearheaded a lethal attack headlined by Garrett Shrader and company.

SU drove down the field with under four minutes to go and located Courtney Jackson in the endzone to pull the Orange within two. Following a defensive stop, Syracuse controlled the ball with a minute to go.

That’s when Shrader magic ensued. If a 365 all purpose yard day wasn’t enough for QB1, the Mississippi State transfer threw a deep ball to Damien Alford with 19 seconds on the clock for the win. A 45-yard pass and catch that handed SU its fourth win of the season. One of 34 passes for a season-high 236 yards through the air. Part of an offense that tallied over 550 total yards.

Sean Tucker also notched some history with his sixth straight game crossing the century mark on the ground, the first time that’s happened in Syracuse history.

But the story of the day was about persistence and Dino Babers’ aggressive nature with the Orange converting all four fourth-down conversions. Overall, a trio of heartbreaks geared the Orange up for the glory of a tight victory, one that sends SU one step closer to bowl eligibility.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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