Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Syracuse jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held on to win a crucial Big East games 14-13 over Pittsburgh.
After the first few minutes of the game, it looked like Syracuse might run away with Friday night's game against Pittsburgh. The final Big East game between the two schools. Ryan Nassib led the team down the field for a touchdown on the opening drive. Shortly after that, Syracuse recovered a fumble and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown to give the Orange a 14-0 lead. After that, the Orange offense went cold and slowly, the Panthers clawed back into the game. Ray Graham scored from a yard out and after two more field goals, the Panthers trailed 14-13 entering the fourth quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh drove the ball all the way inside the Syracuse 25 yard line. However, on the next play Tino Sunseri was called for intentional grounding. On 3rd down he was sacked and Pitt was forced to punt on 4th and 34. Taking over with 4:52 left in the game, Syracuse kept the ball on the ground, picked up four first downs, and was able to milk the rest of the clock for a narrow victory.
With the win, Syracuse improves to 2-4 and a team that's played well at times gets a morale boost. Conversely, Pitt drops to 2-3 with the bulk of the Big East schedule remaining as well as a trip to Notre Dame. The Panthers are also 0-2 in Big East play. It's hard to envision either team making a bowl game in their final season in the Big East, but we've all seen Big East teams struggle through September and turn it on in the second half of the season.