SU Soccer: Syracuse vs Virginia Tech

Syracuse football pulls away for upset win over No. 17 Virginia Tech

Orange scores two fourth-quarter touchdowns to secure first ACC victory.

The Syracuse Orange football team hadn’t beaten a ranked opponent since 2012, and not many fans expected that to change against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday at the Carrier Dome. But, in stunning fashion, the No. 17 Hokies (4-2, 2-1 ACC) fell to Syracuse (3-4, 1-2 ACC), 31-17.

Fans stormed the field following the victory, ecstatic their team pulled out an upset.

Photo: Emma Wishnow

Orange head coach Dino Babers was emotional in the locker room and at his postgame press conference following the upset win.

"Really excited for the fan base, for the administration, for the community, the university and those young men out there on the football field,” Babers said. “For them to be able to experience that celebration, that's what college football is all about, that excitement, that energy. It's so pure, so honest.”

Babers went on to talk about the major impact the win will have on the Syracuse program.

"The biggest thing about this win is that any time you take over a program, you're trying to get everybody to buy in [and] work as one,” Babers said. “No matter how hard everyone wants to do that, there's always going to be naysayers. Those ones that always say 'Hey maybe we should be doing it the way the old team did it.' It's always that way, until you get that one win that solidifies you, that brings you together. We're now a family.”

The Orange came out with a bang, scoring on its first offensive drive just 1:49 into the game. Quarterback Eric Dungey completed a pass to receiver Ervin Philips, who beat everybody and ran 58 yards into the end zone. Syracuse led 17-3 at halftime, surprising most of the almost 34,000 in attendance.

When the Hokies came back to tie the game at 17 in the fourth quarter, there was a sense of disappointment in the Carrier Dome. But the Orange responded well, stopping Virginia Tech on defense and connecting for two touchdowns in the final 7:56. The crowd roared with endearment, almost in disbelief at the score.

Virginia Tech fans in attendance were stunned, watching their ranked team lose to a major underdog.

Dungey left the game with a knee injury but returned shortly after and carried the team, a move Babers called "gutsy".

"We needed him,” Babers said. “Any time your quarterback is out there battling, and he's bruised, he's hurting, and he's bleeding, and he's coming back in the game it really makes you put your lips together and just play and stop complaining because everybody is out here battling."

The Orange will return to action at Boston College (3-3, 0-3 ACC) on Oct. 22. Kick-off is set for 12:30 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.


Dungey completed 28 of his 53 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown. He also added a career-high 106 rushing yards and a score on the ground.

Senior wide receiver Brisly Estime hauled in eight passes for 131 yards and a score. Philips finished the game with 11 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown.

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