Just under a year ago, Syracuse football played one of the craziest games you’ll ever see on the gridiron. At halftime, Syracuse trailed 9-3, in a game that’s over/under spread was 59.5. In the first half, Garett Shrader had just four completions for 35 yards. It was a disastrous start for the Orange after a great offensive output the week prior against UCONN. But then at the half, it seemed as if something changed. Isaiah Jones caught a three-yard pass from Shrader to tie the game then Andre Szmyt’s extra point gave SU the 10-9 lead going into the 4th quarter. Then it got crazy.
11:25 remaining 15-10 Purdue
After starting at their own 25 following the Orange touchdown, the Boilermakers drove right back down the field to take the lead back. Syracuse had two penalties on the drive, totaling 20 yards. The touchdown came on a deep pass down the middle to Payne Durham. The Boilers attempted to go for two to go up by seven but failed
8:17 remaining 18-15 Syracuse
After giving up the touchdown, the Orange offense took no time to get right back on the board. Dino Babers decided to roll the dice at the Purdue 46-yard line on 4th and 1. Instead of a run up the middle Garrett Shrader threw a deep ball to Oronde Gadsden who took it all the way for the score. Shrader then ran into the endzone to convert the two-point conversion.
8:08 remaining 25-15 Syracuse
Now with the momentum back on their side, the SU defense stepped back onto the field. A strong pass rush on Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell forced him to make an errant pass that went right to Caleb Okechukwu who took it to the house to extend the Syracuse lead. At this point, it felt like the Orange were going to pull away.
6:41 remaining 25-22 Syracuse
Just over halfway into the fourth quarter, already 28 points had been scored after just 19 points scored in the first three quarters combined. Here, Aidan O’Connell bounced right back from the interception and completed four straight passes that led to a touchdown. The cherry on top was a 55 yard bomb to WR Charlie Jones.
0:51 remaining 29-25 Purdue
After the offensive fireworks to start the final quarter, the defenses began to show up. Syracuse got just one first down on the first drive after the Jones TD. Purdue then missed a field goal and in response, SU went three and out. Starting at their own 44, the Boilermakers drove down the field with ease, finding the endzone on just six plays. Payne Durham caught the go-head touchdown but on the ensuing extra point the Boilers lost their heads and had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty go against them.
0:07 Remaining 32-25 Syracuse
Starting with the ball at the Purdue 50-yard line, the Orange had a chance. Shraders’ first three passes were incomplete, however, the third down play had a holding call on the Boilers. So SU had another shot. After two more incomplete passes, Shrader threw it again, and again a flag was thrown. So another fresh start for the Orange, but now with under 20 seconds left. Shrader threw a deep ball towards the back left of the endzone and Oronde Gadsden was there to bring it in and give the Orange the victory.
The game will go down as one of the best and most exhilarating in Syracuse history. This Saturday, the Orange and Boilermakers are in primetime for a 7:30 kickoff.