Despite fast start, Syracuse football falls to South Florida, 45-20

SU jumps out to 17 point lead in first quarter, but scores on just one other possession as USF pulls away

The Syracuse Orange’s offense racked up more yards, first downs, and even had longer possession time than their opponent, the South Florida Bulls, on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. However, USF (3-0) beat Syracuse where it mattered, winning 45-20 off the strength of three touchdowns by senior wide receiver Rodney Adams.

"Right now I’ve got a lot of disappointment on my face." - SU head coach Dino Babers

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers thought his team started well, but lamented at his team’s inability to finish drives once the second quarter began.

“Right now I’ve got a lot of disappointment on my face,” Babers said. “I really thought we could win that game.”

Syracuse (1-2, 0-1 ACC) had a 17-0 lead after the first quarter but then allowed 28 unanswered points in the second. The Orange scored one other time, a 49-yard field goal by junior Cole Murphy in the third quarter, before allowing 17 more unanswered points.

The Orange opened the game with a good mix of passing and rushing plays, scoring 17 points in the opening quarter. They began with a 16-play, 79 yard drive that was capped off by a 24-yard touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Ervin Philips. Syracuse then scored their second touchdown of the day on a 47-yard touchdown catch by senior wide receiver Brisly Estime, the final play of a six play 92-yard drive. Finally, a 40-yard field goal by Murphy with 30 seconds left in the quarter gave the home team a 17-0 lead.

The tide began to turn near the end of the first quarter when USF star running back Marlon Mack had a 40-yard gain to end the quarter. Three plays later, Adams scored the first of his three touchdowns in the quarter after hauling in a 27-yard reception for a touchdown. The Orange still had a 10-point lead on the Bulls in the second quarter, but failed to convert on a fourth and four at their own 47-yard line. Syracuse would turn the ball over on downs, leading to Mack’s first touchdown of the day. Adams would add two more touchdowns by the end of the first half.

“Our expectation is to score every time,” said Syracuse sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey, who threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns in the game, but also threw two interceptions. “We got to help the defense out by doing our part with the ball.”

Syracuse would get to within eight points of USF thanks to Murphy’s second field goal of the day in the third quarter but USF would add 17 points, including a 52-yard touchdown run by Mack. USF faced a fourth and one at their own 48-yard line, but junior quarterback Quinton Flowers handed the ball off to Mack, and the running back raced up the left side of the field untouched and into the back of the end-zone

“I take responsibility for that because it’s my job to make sure everybody’s on the same page,” Syracuse linebacker Zaire Franklin said when asked about the play. “Another case, similar to last week, where some guys are doing one thing, other guys are doing another. When you play dynamic players, they’re going to make you pay.”

USF continued to make Syracuse pay when junior running back D’Ernest Johnson added to his team’s lead with an 83-yard punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach for the Orange.



There were 32,228 fans in attendance for the USF-Syracuse game. 32,184 were in attendance last week during the Syracuse-Louisville game where all full-time Syracuse students received free admission.

USF now leads the all-time series 8-2 against Syracuse. SU has not beaten the Bulls since 2012. 

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.