Shrader’s five TDs lead SU to shootout win over Virginia Tech
SU football beats Hokies 41-36
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Garrett Shrader laid motionless on his back at midfield. Seconds earlier, his 45-yard heave found Damien Alford’s hands. Alford found the endzone, and the Orange found the win-column for the first time in four weeks.
“When that ball was in the air I knew it was a catch I had to make,” Alford said. “It was a play designed to go deep. I went up for the ball and it was a good pass by Shrader.”
FOR. THE. WIN.
Garrett Shrader to Damien Alford for the 45-yd score! pic.twitter.com/y7g1pbiTcT
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) October 23, 2021
In an afternoon where running back Malachi Thomas had a career game for the Hokies, he ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns, it was Shrader’s career game for Syracuse that put the Orange on top 41-36.
The redshirt sophomore QB threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns without any turnovers. He also ran for 174 rushing yards and three scores, accounting for five touchdowns and 410 all-purpose yards.
“It was a team effort today,” Shrader said. “The biggest thing was the defense going out and getting a stop, getting the ball back for us and giving us a chance.”
Sean Tucker rushed for 123 yards on 20 carries, his sixth straight game with 100 yards on the ground and his seventh of this season. The Orange offense out-produced the Hokies 550 to 437 in total yards.
“First drive, we go down there and there were holes open, but (Sean) was just making cuts,” Shrader said. “Every time they load the box, try to take things away, that’s when I run.”
At times, it looked like today’s Syracuse football game could’ve gone the same way the previous three had.
Virginia Tech drove 75-yards down the field and scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, Andre Szmyt missed a 19-yard field goal just before halftime and the team struggled to substitute players with the time clock dwindling.
“That’s not good,” SU head coach Dino Babers said about shuttling players off the field. “That needs to stop.”
But Babers and Syracuse played aggressively. SU converted all four fourth downs they attempted and went three-for-four on red zone scoring chances.
“I really felt like after we came out in the second half, we were going to get something,” Babers said.
And, they did. Amassing 213 yards and four touchdowns in the second half, Shrader played hero for the Orange. At 4-4, Syracuse leaves Blacksburg, Virginia, with a road conference win and a game-winning touchdown.
“Garrett never saw the play,” Babers said. “Go back and check the tape. Garrett’s on his back. He never saw the play. He could barely breathe when I got to him.”