Northwestern Vs. Syracuse Final Score: Wildcats Survive Frantic Second Half For 42-41 Win

Sep 1, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Christian Jones (14) points to the stands after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Syracuse Orange to the stands at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

The Northwestern Wildcats survived a frantic Syracuse comeback to win 42-41 on Saturday.

The Northwestern Wildcats scored a game-winning touchdown with 0:44 left to win their season-opening game, 42-41, over the Syracuse Orange in the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon.

Trevor Siemian, the Wildcats backup quarterback, led the team on the go-ahead 10-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 9-yard TD pass to Demetrius Fields.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 35-13 lead with 7:34 to play in the third quarter after starting QB Kain Colter scored from one yard out. After that, it was all Syracuse until the final possession.

Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib capped the 22-point comeback when he connected with Christopher Clark from 22 yards out with 2:40 to play. The 2-point conversion gave the Orange a six-point lead that would be short-lived.

Box Score Hero: Nassib was on fire in the second-half, throwing TD passes on four consecutive possessions to lead his team back. He was 44/64 for 472 yards in a losing effort.

Rankings Ramifications: Neither team came into this game ranked or receiving votes in the polls. Northwestern will have to continue winning to crack the rankings.

But Did They Cover? Syracuse entered the game as 2-point favorites was covering until the Wildcats' late TD. The teams went well over the over/under of 53.5.

For More On This Game: For more on Syracuse football, head to Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For all things Northwestern, get to Sippin' On Purple. For coverage of NCAA Football, stick with SB Nation's College Football hub.

Next Week's Schedule: Northwestern hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores next Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. That game will be on the Big Ten Network. Syracuse takes on the USC Trojans the same day at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. That game will be televised by ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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