Syracuse suffered another loss on Saturday, falling 44-38 in triple overtime to the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.
The Orange fall to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play with the loss. In the end, Syracuse's defense simply couldn't pull out enough stops, wasting a strong performance from freshman quarterback Eric Dungey. Dungey went 16-of-22 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran the ball 18 times for 85 yards and a score.
In the first quarter, Syracuse moved the ball into Virginia territory on three separate drives. But thanks to a lost fumble, a holding penalty that put SU out of field goal range and a turnover on downs near the goal line, the Orange didn't come away with any points.
Syracuse did get on the board in the second, though. Safety Antwan Cordy recovered a Virginia fumble at the Cavaliers’ 44-yard line and took it the rest of the way for a touchdown, putting the Orange up 7-0.
Virginia would score 14 unanswered points, but SU countered with an 11-play, 76-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Jordan Fredericks. And after the Orange came away with an interception on the next drive, Dungey made arguably the play of the game.
In a 14-14 deadlock late in the second quarter, Dungey took off running from Virginia’s 30-yard line and broke into the open field. When he approached the five-yard line, he hurdled UVA’s Quin Blanding before falling into the end zone, putting SU up by a touchdown at halftime.
Later, the Orange had a chance to put the game away late in the fourth quarter, leading 24-17. Virginia faced a third-and-15 deep in its own territory. Quarterback Matt Johns checked the ball down to Albert Reid, who was immediately swarmed and taken down by several Syracuse defenders. But SU’s Zaire Franklin grabbed Reid’s facemask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty that gave UVA a first down and extended the drive. The Cavaliers then drove down the field and kicked a game-tying field goal, forcing overtime.
In overtime, Syracuse and Virginia traded touchdowns. First, Dungey found Ervin Philips for a seven-yard touchdown before Johns found Canaan Severin for a 36-yard touchdown. Then, in the second overtime, UVA’s Taquan Mizzell ran for a 13-yard touchdown before Dungey connected with Steve Ishmael for a 12-yard score.
But in the third overtime, SU kicker Cole Murphy missed a 48-yard field goal and the Orange’s defense couldn’t come up with a stop of its own. Virginia scored in five plays, finishing the drive with a one-yard touchdown by Jordan Ellis to clinch the win.
The loss was a third consecutive one for Syracuse after starting the season 3-0. To become bowl eligible, the Orange must now win three of their final six games. The remainder of their schedule is composed of ACC counterparts Pittsburgh, Florida State, Louisville, Clemson, NC State and Boston College.
Syracuse will return home to the Carrier Dome next Saturday, when Pittsburgh is set to visit. As always, you can listen to live game action on 88.3 WAER FM.