|Posted on November 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange came into their home, the newly-renovated Dome, on a four-game losing streak, with three of those losses being on their grounds, to the Duke Blue Devils, Liberty Flames, and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Their lone win of the season came in their first-ever game in their upgraded home, a 37-20 defeat of the visiting Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets inside of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play.
The Boston College Eagles entered the arena following a close loss to the Clemson Tigers on the road, 34-28, in a game where starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence was held out due to coronavirus and true freshman D.J. Uiagalelei threw touchdowns to no interceptions and ran for another score to win the game.
True freshman quarterback JaCobian Morgan, making his first career collegiate start, completed both of his pass attempts on his first drive as a starter, but the Orange punted the ball away after not overcoming a 10-yard holding penalty.
Boston College would punt the ball back to Syracuse after gaining one first down, the first by either side in the game, on their opening drive.
Morgan would go 3-for-4 on the second drive of the game for the Orange, gaining his first new set of downs as a starter when he linked up with redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Anthony Queeley for a 31-yard pass play.
But the drive would end in Syracuse's second punt of the game on their second drive.
The Eagles would put together their best drive thus far in this match-up on their second possession, running the ball eight times and redshirt-sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec going 4-for-4 on his pass attempts.
With 1:03 left on the first-quarter clock, graduate kicker Aaron Boumerhi booted the first points of the game through the uprights from 33 yards away, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead following this 12-play drive.
Boston College would eat seven minutes and 54 seconds (8:57 to 1:03 mark) off the clock on this drive, meaning that they not only came away with points, but they also shrunk the opportunity window for Syracuse in the quarter.
Morgan would take the third possession for the Orange out of the first and into the second quarter, going 5-for-7.
True freshman running back Sean Tucker would have rushes of eight, eight, and six yards chronologically on this drive.
This 10-play possession would conclude with the Orange matching the Eagles thanks to a 35-yard field goal by redshirt-junior kicker Andre Szmyt at the 11:59 mark of the second quarter.
Boston College would have their own 10-play drive to follow, balancing with six rushes and four passes, but came away with nothing when Boumerhi missed his attempt from 52 yards away, turning the ball over on downs to Syracuse at the Syracuse 36-yard line with 8:44 before halftime.
The Orange, however, would come away with nothing as well on this opportunity created by the turnover on downs, with Morgan's lone pass on the drive falling incomplete and the Orange punting the ball away on a three-and-out drive.
Boston College would take 4:02 off of the game clock on their fourth drive of the game, but for the third time on four tries, not add anything to the scoreboard. Syracuse senior defensive end Kingsley Jonathan would get hands on Jurkovec twice on this possession to create pressure, with Jurkovec completing passes both times.
The Orange would have the ball for 2:04 on their next drive, their fifth of the game, but had no points to show for it, with Morgan going 1-for-2 and what would have been his second completion of the drive being called back due to a holding penalty.
Starting from their own 34-yard line and ending in the Syracuse end zone, Boston College attained their first touchdown of the game on their fifth drive of the first half, where Jurkovec went 3-for-3, with the last completion being a 20-yard scoring play to sophomore wide receiver Zay Flowers, leaving 24 seconds on the second-quarter game clock.
That 10-3 lead by the Eagles would stand as the halftime score.
Boston College would take almost six minutes off of the game clock in their first drive of the second half, thanks to running the ball successfully, with eight carries, to go with Jurkovec going 2-for-2, bringing the game clock down to 9:!5.
However, Boumerhi would miss for the second-straight time in the contest, this from 39 yards away, turning the ball over on downs on the Syracuse 22-yard line.
On their first drive of the second half, the Orange would gain points for only the second time in the game, when Szmyt connected from 46 yards away, bringing the Orange deficit to four points, 10-6, with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter. Morgan went 3-for-5 on this drive, while Tucker ran for 21 yards on two carries and senior wide receiver Nykeim Johnson took one carry nine yards on a misdirection.
Eight carries on their second drive of the second half would allow Boston College to further condense the game clock. A 17-yard run by senior running back Travis Levy would move the Eagles into the Orange redzone, to the Orange 15-yard line. But, Syracuse redshirt-junior linebacker Tyrell Richards would pressure Jurkovec whose pass would fall incomplete to bring up a 4th-&-12 situation from the Syracuse 12-yard line.
Boumerhi would end his drought, making his 34-yard attempt at the start of the fourth quarter, ending Boston College's second drive of the second half with three points, giving them a 13-6 lead with 14:56 to go in the game.
Morgan would be sacked twice for a total loss of 12 yards on the team's second possession of the second half, punting the ball away from deep in their own territory on a three-and-out.
Special teams gave Syracuse a positive despite the three-and-out when redshirt-senior punter Nolan Cooney punted the ball 63 yards downfield and Richards took redshirt-sophomore punt returner Jaelen Gill down after a mere four-yard gain, forcing Boston College to start from their own 20-yard line.
Orange senior defensive end Kingsley Jonathan took Levy to the ground on 2nd-&-3 to bring up 3rd-&-1. Sophomore linebacker Geoff Cantin-Arku would then stop Jurkovec short on a quarterback keeper to put the Eagles in a 4th-&-inches situation on their own 29-yard line, with the Orange defense forcing a punt thanks to thwarting the run, giving them the ball down seven, 13-6.
Nykeim Johnson would return this punt 24 yards from his own 22 all the way up to almost midfield, at the Syracuse 46-yard line.
The offensive drive to follow, however, would end on an interception thrown by Morgan, when he took a chance at a wide receiver by the sideline, throwing a jump ball where there were three defenders in the area. Redshirt-sophomore cornerback Jason Maitre would reel in the interception, Morgan's first interception thrown of his collegiate career.
On the drive after Morgan's interception, Tucker fumbled the ball away, giving Syracuse two turnovers on consecutive drives, this fumble placing Boston College on the Syracuse 18-yard line, forced and recovered by Boston College graduate defensive tackle Luc Bequette.
The Eagles would come away with their third field goal of the contest when Boumerhi ended the drive from 22 yards out to make it 16-6 Boston College with 2:05 to play.
On Syracuse's final drive of the game, and their fifth drive of the second half, Morgan would roll out right and then jump-through to the end zone, finding senior tight end Aaron Hackett for a one-yard score to bring the Orange within a field goal, 16-13, with 21 seconds remaining. This was Morgan's first touchdown of this game and second career collegiate touchdown, both passing; it came on a drive where he went 4-for-7. Morgan also had a 14-yard run right before the touchdown pass that moved Syracuse from the Boston College 15 all the way to the one-yard line.
The Eagles stayed with what they trust, the run, with junior running back David Bailey carrying the rock three times, gaining a first down that would allow Boston College to take a knee with six seconds to go, securing their fifth victory of the season, moving them to 5-3 overall and back to a winning record in the ACC at 4-3.
With this loss, the Orange are now 1-7 on the season, including 1-6 in the ACC, and have now lost five straight, with four of those fifth-straight losses coming at home in the newly-renovated Dome.
Jurkovec went 20-for-29 (69%) for 208 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, while Morgan finished 19-for-30 (63.3%) for 188 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in his first career collegiate start.
Boston College held onto possession for 38:49 of the game, shortening the game with a successful rushing attack, gaining 191 yards on 47 attempts (4.1 yards per carry). Bailey surpassed 100 yards rushing against the Orange defense, netting 125 yards on 25 carries (five yards per carry).
Syracuse, on their side, gained 52 yards on 21 carries in the contest, amounting 2.5 yards per carry.
The Orange had the ball for almost 20 minutes less than the Eagles, with their time-of-possession being 21:11.
On third down, Boston College went 10-for-19 while Syracuse ended the match-up 3-for-11.