Syracuse picked up their second win of the season on Friday night, defeating Pittsburgh 14-13 in a defensive struggle. The Orange scored only one offensive touchdown but were able to hold on in the second half for the 1-point win.
Syracuse scored two first-quarter touchdowns that ended up being the difference, as the defenses took control over the final three quarters. The first touchdown came on the Orange's opening possession, as Ryan Nassib moved the offense quickly down the field. Adonis Ameen-Moore capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run for the early 7-0 lead.
The Syracuse defense converted the second, and game-winning, touchdown of the quarter. Pitt tight end Drew Carswell had the ball jarred loose by Jeremi Wilkes, and Dyshawn Davis was there for the scoop and score, a 52-yard scamper the other way for the touchdown.
The second half was dominated by the defense, with the Panthers picking up a field goal for the only score of the half. Tino Sunseri connected with tight end Mike Shanahan for a big 46-yard gain on their second possession of the half. Shanahan was wide open in the middle of the field and Sunseri withstood pressure to get the ball away just in time. The play moved Pitt to the 11-yard line, but the drive abruptly ended there, forcing a 27-yard Kevin Harper field goal.
It appeared Pitt would take the lead with five minutes to play, moving the ball inside the Syracuse 20-yard line. Sunseri once again hit tight end Shanahan on a crossing route for a 24-yard gain. But the Panthers QB was called for intentional grounding and then got sacked on subsequent plays, taking Pitt out of field-goal range. The penalty killed their chance for the go-ahead score, and forced a punt from just inside midfield.
The Orange never gave the ball back, however, pounding the ball on the ground to run out the final five minutes and secure their first Big East win of the season.
Box Score Hero: While the Pitt offense was unable to find the end zone, Tino Sunseri continues to connect with wideout Devin Street. Sunseri threw for 319 yards and it was Street who was on the other end most of the time, hauling in 10 catches for 130 yards.
But Did They Cover? Syracuse did not cover the 2-point spread.
Next Week's Schedule: Syracuse will travel to New Jersey to face Rutgers, while Pitt will host Louisville at Heinz Field.