Pitt pounces on Syracuse for 19-9 victory
Pitt pounces on SU for 19-9 victory
PITTSBURGH, Pa. — ACC foes Pittsburgh broke a two-game losing streak with a 19-9 victory over No. 20 Syracuse, marking the Orange’s third consecutive loss since earning bowl eligibility.
Syracuse’s star wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II had no catches. Running back Sean Tucker only rushed for 19 yards. Quarterback Garrett Shrader sat out with a lower-body injury. And although quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson got his first career start, he didn’t have enough chemistry with the offense.
The Orange had no touchdowns, just field goals.
And while Pitt didn’t have running back Israel Abanikanda, they still scored, just not at first.
In the first half, Syracuse defensive back Ja’Had Carter’s interception was the game’s first of two interceptions, and his third in three straight games. The lone score of the first quarter came from Orange placekicker Andre Szmyt’s 23-yard field goal.
Pittsburgh running back Rodney Hammond Jr. put the Panthers on the board with a six-yard rushing touchdown with 10:26 to play in the second quarter.
Szmyt followed up with a 48-yard field goal to put the Orange back within one, but the Panthers then scored a field goal of their own three minutes later to make the score 10-6 heading into the half.
The half didn’t end without a potential Pittsburgh targeting call, but it was ruled unnecessary roughness despite what Syracuse head coach Dino Babers thought.
Five minutes into the third quarter, Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis got picked off outside the red zone for the second time thanks to Syracuse defensive back Isaiah Johnson.
But, the Panthers scored the only touchdown in the third quarter with running back C’Bo Flemister’s one-yard rush. Szmyt then made it 17-9 with a 49-yard field goal, marking the last time Syracuse would score.
“While they were getting touchdowns, we were kicking field goals,” Coach Babers said.
To cap the game off, Pittsburgh’s defense forced a safety with 95 seconds remaining in the game.
Del Rio-Wilson went just 8-23 in completions for 120 yards. He said the team will take this loss the same way they’ve taken their wins, and instead of looking at it as a loss, they will take it as a lesson.
Syracuse will return to the JMA Wireless Dome Saturday to face the Florida State Seminoles at 8 p.m. for both Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day.
The 6-3 Seminoles beat Miami last night 45-3, and beat the Orange last year 33-30.