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Syracuse Stuns Wake Forest in the Season Finale


  What a way to finish the season! The Syracuse Football team stunned Wake Forest in the Dome to give Orange fans something they have been looking for all season. In the final play of overtime, Trill Williams stripped the ball from Demon Deacon wide receiver Kendall Winton and returned it for a 94-yard touchdown and the win. This gave Syracuse its second ACC win and moved them to 5-7. Unfortunately, this was the last game for the Orange in 2019 because they did not reach bowl game eligibility.Going into this game, Syracuse were underdogs at home. Wake Forest was 8-3 and destined for a bowl. A win like this definitely boosted morale going into the offseason. 

The Orange jumped ahead early in the game, outscoring Wake Forest 17-9 in the first half. But coming out of the locker room, SU was not as dominate. The Demon Deacons came out of the half ready to go, scoring 14 points in the third quarter alone. With an exciting fourth quarter, it was clear this game was going into extra time. Syracuse got on the board first in overtime but on Wake Forest’s possession the Demon Deacons were locked into score. And that’s where on the final play, Williams came in and played both the spoiler and hero. 

 The offense finally exploded for Syracuse. Head Coach Dino Babers gave backup quarterback Clayton Welch the nod as he suited up for the Orange for the last time. He finished with two touchdowns and opened up the attack. Trishton Jackson received over 100 yards and a score. Moel Neal eased the pressure off Welch by rushing just shy of a hundred yards. The only downfall of the offensive performance was they finished with three total turnovers.

Those turnovers were overcome, however, by the five turnovers Syracuse forced. Of course the most notable turnover came on the finally play of the game, but all the other turnovers helped keep the Wake Forest offense at bay. Three of those turnovers were interceptions, which was one of the few strengths of the Orange defense this season. At the end of the night, the Demon Deacons did outgained the Orange by over a hundred yards, but the defense cleaned things up and kept the game close. We can’t talk about the defensive performance without talking about Williams. He not only scored the walk off touchdown, but he also had a good tackling day, recording eight total tackles on the day. 

Andre Szmyt scored 15 of Syracuse's 39 points in the finale.

  Special teams was a big factor yet again this season. Andre Szmyt accounted for 15 of the 39 points for Syracuse. That’s four field goals and three extra points. On the other side, Demon Deacon kick Nick Sciba had an FBS record for consecutive made field goals with 34 and that all came crumbling down when he missed a field goal that would have put Wake Forest over the Orange. 

This season was not what Syracuse fans expected out of the squad that went to a bowl game last year and started the season on the AP Top 25 preseason list, but this victory gave fans something to be proud of this season.