Blog: Syracuse takes 24-10 win over NC State
Posted October 12, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Final; Syracuse 24, NC State 10: Two Syracuse touchdowns late in the fourth quarter broke the 10-10 tie and secured the win for the Orange. NC State fell 24-10.
2:39 fourth quarter; Syracuse 24, NC State 10: Syracuse's Terrel Hunt took it into the endzone for a 8-yard run and then followed with a Norton run for a successful two-point conversion and the 24-10 lead.
6:13 fourth quarter; Syracuse 16, NC State 10: With 6:13 to go in the game the Orange go up 16-10 on a Prince-Tyson Gulley 18-yard run. Syracuse opted for the 2-point conversion attempt and could not convert.
10:12 fourth quarter; NC State 10, Syracuse 10: Niklas Sade hits a 27-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 all. A 38-yard rush by quarterback Pete Thomas set up the scoring drive.
4:13 third quarter; Syracuse 10, NC State 7: Syracuse has to settle for a field goal after NC State holds them on third down and three. Ryan Norton hits a 19-yard field goal for the 10-7 lead.
10:39 third quarter: NC State's Niklas Sade missed a 51-yard field goal attempt to take the lead from the Sryacuse 34.
1:15 second quarter; NC State 7, Syracuse 7: NC State's Jack Tocho intercepted a Terrel Hunt pass and ran it back for 20 yards to give NC State the ball on the Syracuse 27. A few plays later, NC State's Pete Thomas was intercepted by Durell Eskridge and the Orange got the ball back on their own 46. But it wouldn't last long as Tocho picked Hunt again to change the direction of play for the third time in minutes. This time NC State is able to keep the ball as Thomas throws across the field to David Grinnage for a 21-yard pass and run touchdown.
11:11 second quarter; Syracuse 7, NC State 0: A one-yard touchdown rush by Jerome Smith gave the Orange the first score of the game and the 7-0 lead in the second quarter. The scoring drive spanned 77 yards in eight plays and just under three minutes.
End of first quarter: NC State quarterback Pete Thomas started the game despite the chance that injured Brandon Mitchell may return. Neither team could get the ball moving down the field during the first quarter, leaving the game scoreless after one.
NC State's Bryant Shirreffs has come in for Thomas on occasion on run plays. So far State has 75 total yards to Syracuse's 94.
Two teams both in search of their first Atlantic Coast Conference victories of the season will meet up at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, as the NC State Wolfpack play host to the Syracuse Orange (3:30 p.m., RSN, Mix 101.5 FM).
This will be the first ACC road game of the year for Syracuse. The Orange, formerly of the Big East, lost their first game as an ACC member last week, falling to third-ranked Clemson by a 49-14 final. Beginning with this weekend's contest, four of their next five games will be played on the road.
After beginning its schedule with four straight home games, NC State lost its road opener at Wake Forest this past Saturday, 28-13. Injuries have decimated the Wolfpack offense, and the they are expected to be shorthanded once again this weekend. The 'Pack have also faced Clemson earlier this season and battled to a hard-fought 26-14 loss.
Injuries have been an unfortunate but major theme for the NC State offense. The Wolfpack played Wake Forest without its leading rusher and top two receivers. Freshman Matt Dayes, who has run for a team-best 180 yards and four TDs, missed his first game. Fellow freshman Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who led the team in receiving through three games, sat out for the second straight week.
The team has also been without starting left tackle Rob Crisp and starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell. All of the injuries have created a real lack of continuity for the unit.
The Wolfpack have had a different player lead the team in rushing in all five games so far this season. Pete Thomas, who has stepped in for the injured Mitchell, has been intercepted seven times and has just two passing TDs. He is also the team's second-leading rusher, averaging 30.6 yards per game, which speaks more to the Wolfpack's offensive woes than to Thomas' running prowess.
While the offense has hardly resembled the unit that was supposed to take the field each week this season, the defense has made some strides. NC State ranks second in the ACC and 17th nationally in rushing defense (107.6 ypg). Two of its first five opponents failed to crack 100 yards on the ground.
A year ago, the 'Pack ranked 53rd in rushing defense (154.8 ypg). A lot of credit goes to the front-seven, which has been disruptive at the point of attack. NC State is second in the conference and fifth nationally in tackles for loss, averaging 8.8 per game.
Robert Caldwell is seventh in the ACC with 8.4 tackles per contest. Dontae Johnson stepped up against Wake Forest with seven tackles and an interception.
This is the first time these two teams will square off as ACC foes and marks the seventh meeting overall. NC State has won all six prior matchups, the most recent of which occurred in 1998.
Syracuse lit up the scoreboard against also-rans Wagner and Tulane, totaling 106 points in those two victories. But in their three losses, the Orange totaled only 58 points against tougher competition (Penn State, Northwestern, Clemson).
They ran for 323 yards against Clemson last week, led by Jerome Smith's 125 yards and Devante McFarlane's 95. Smith is tied with Miami's Dallas Crawford for the ACC leads with eight touchdowns (7 rushing, 1 receiving). SU averaged a healthy 6.7 yards per carry as a team against Clemson but gained only 13 first downs for the game. The primary reason for that was an anemic passing game, as Terrel Hunt and Drew Allen combined to complete only 11-of-28 passes for 74 yards with four interceptions and four sacks.
The Orange defense simply had no answer for Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, who tied his own school record with five touchdown passes. The Tigers scored touchdowns on five of their first seven drives, all but erasing any doubt about the outcome. Despite giving up big play after big play in the passing game, there were a few positives for the Orange defense to build on. They did manage to compile eight tackles for loss, including four sacks.
Additionally, the secondary notched two interceptions. Julian Whigham's pick in the second quarter snapped Boyd's school-record streak of 187 passes without an interception. Marquis Spruill finished with a team-high nine tackles, all solo, including two behind the line of scrimmage.
If Clemson was the litmus test for both of these teams, NC State fared much better in its matchup with the high-powered Tigers.