SU Football v. Pittsburgh

Dungey leads Syracuse to first ACC win in 2017 over Pitt

In front of over 33,000 fans, Syracuse was winning most of the second half.

Eric Dungey threw two touchdown passes and ran one in himself, finishing with a total of 413 yards. Syracuse’s (3-3, 1-1 ACC) defense kept Pitt (2-4, 0-2 ACC) from converting a third down until the fourth quarter, finishing 3-of-13, and the Orange beat the Panthers 27-24 Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse’s win over Pitt is its first in five years. The Panthers were 4-0 against the Orange since both joined the ACC in 2013 and had won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two.

Photo: Deandre Curtis
Syracuse wide receiver Steve Ishmael (8) celebrates during Syracuse's 27-24 win.

"They're our rival," SU head coach Dino Babers said. "If we're going to play them every single year, and they're on the other side of the division, they're our rival."

Last year, the two combined for 1,312 yards — the highest scoring game in FBS history. But it was a change of pace from last season as this year’s first half was a defensive showdown. The Orange opened up the game with a 26-yard field goal from Cole Murphy.

Pitt answered in the second quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run from Jordan Whitehead. He had 73-yards on seven touches. Syracuse struggled to produce throughout the majority of the first half. It wasn’t until 34 seconds left in the half that Dungey connected with Devin Butler for a 32-yard score.

“I think guys were just trying to do a little too much. But once we get those guys to understand what they got going on then it’s going to be good,” Dungey said.

The two went into the half tied 10-10. The offense was well-balanced in the second half as Dungey hit six different receivers with four players totaling 50 plus yards. Ravian Pierce headed the offense with 99 yards on nine touches. Steve Ishmael recorded 97 yards on five touches. Devin Butler and Ervin Phillips combined for 119 yards on 15 grabs.

“We don’t know who’s going to be open. A lot of that stuff is tied to what the defense is doing,” Babers said. “Coaches find ways to double guys and bracket guys and take people away. If they’re doing a fantastic job at it then someone else has to make a play. It was really cool to see other guys offensively and defensively do their job.”

Dungey recorded his ninth career rushing score to give the Orange a 17-13 lead with 6:59 left in the third quarter. The 10-yard run tied him with Donovan McNabb and Bill Hurley.

Trailing, Pitt quarterback Max Browne left the game with an injury as midway through the third. He finished 15-of-22 for 161 yards as Ben DiNucci took his place under center. The redshirt sophomore was 6-of-10 for 55 yards.

Murphy nailed a 38-yard field goal attempt to extend the lead 20-13. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Alex Kessman drilled a 56-yard field goal off the crossbar to cut the lead 20-16. It was the longest kick in Carrier Dome history. Dungey added to Syracuse’s lead with 11:07 left to play on a a 35-yard touchdown pass to Ishmael – his ninth passing touchdown of the season.

Pitt followed shortly with a 19-yard run from Qadree Ollison to get within reach. The Panthers started their final drive with less than a minute to play. DiNucci was sacked with 29 seconds on the clock for a loss of eight and Pitt couldn’t convert. Syracuse finished 91-500 total offense compared Pitt’s to 59-358

Next up: Syracuse (3-3) welcomes defending national champion Clemson (6-0) to the Carrier Dome next Friday at 7:00 p.m.

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