|Posted on October 15, 2022 at 6:55 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange came out of the bye week undefeated at 5-0 with a top-18 match-up on the horizon at the Dome versus Atlantic Division foe N.C. State Wolfpack inside of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
N.C. State landed in Syracuse, New York, as the 15th-ranked team nationally in the AP Poll and 13th in the Coaches' Poll.
The Orange entered ranked 18th in both the AP and Coaches' Polls.
With bowl eligibility on the line for both squads, the Wolfpack deferred to the second half, giving the Orange the ball to begin the game.
Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers has been taking the ball first when the team has won the toss this season, so this is where you would imagine the team wanted to be, in position to strike first.
And strike first they did.
Orange junior quarterback Garrett Shrader completed his first two passes of the game, the first to redshirt-senior wide receiver Devaughn Cooper and the second to sophomore wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II, the latter leading to a first down.
The next play would be a delayed hand-off from Shrader to sophomore running back Sean Tucker who would go toward the left side, take contact, and break away for a 38-yard gain, moving the Orange to the Wolfpack 12-yard line.
After a quarterback keeper on the next play for no gain, Shrader would send the ball to the end zone to Gadsden who held and touched his feet dowb for a 12-yard score, giving Syracuse a 7-0 advantage just over two minutes into the contest, at the 12:56 mark.
The Orange defense would force a quick three-and-out in their first action of the day, sending the ball back to their offense, but the Orange would punt it right back to the Wolfpack on their second drive of the game.
N.C. State would take their second drive through the uprights with a 20-yarder from graduate kicker Christopher Dunn that gave the Wolfpack their first points of the match-up, 7-3, at the 3:11 mark of the opening quarter.
Syracuse would take their third drive of the day into the beginning of the second quarter, and all the way to the N.C. State four-yard line, where redshirt-senior kicker Andre Szmyt would connect from 22 yards away, bringing the score back to a seven-point lead for Syracuse, 10-3, with 14:12 remaining before halftime.
The Orange defense would see starting cornerback Garrett Williams come off the field to follow, but the defense would band together to force the Wolfpack's second punt of the game.
Syracuse would need less than a yard after Tucker's run on 3rd-&-1 was called just shy of the first-down marker. Shrader went forward but a false start was called before his run, and Syracuse would have to replay fourth down after losing five yards, resulting in a punt from the N.C. State 39-yard line.
Orange redshirt-freshman linebacker Leon Lowery would sack freshman quarterback M.J. Morris for a seven-yard loss back to his own 11-yard line, setting up 3rd-&-19, where Morris would sail the ball over his intended receiver and the Wolfpack would punt it away for the third time in the first half.
On the following Syracuse drive, a member of the N.C. State defensive line seemingly moved before the snap but no flag was thrown, so play continued and Shrader was interecepted in the end zone by junior free safety Tanner Ingle, giving the Wolfpack an opportunity with 3:36 to go in the second quarter, from their own 20 after the touchback.
The Orange defense would prevent a score yet again, with the Wolfpack punting for the fourth time in tbe opening half.
After Garrett Williams came off the field earlier in the second quarter, fellow starting cornerback, sophomore Duce Chestnut, would limp off the field following the special teams' return attempt by sophomore wide receiver Trebor Pena.
On second down from the Syracuse 23-yard line, Shrader would send the ball to Gadsden who would leap up and reel in the ball from over the head of his defender for a 36-yard gain to the N.C. State 41.
However, Shrader would toss his second interception of the game, both in the second quarter, on the very next play, this time to sophomore cornerback Aydan White on his own 15-yard line.
The Wolfpack would run the clock to zeroes and the Orange would take a touchdown lead into the break, 10-3, with N.C. State to receive the ball coming out of their rest period.
At the half, Syracuse had 12 first downs to four by N.C. State.
The Orange out-gained the Wolfpack on the ground 105 yards to 56, rushing for 6.6 yards per carry as opposed to the Wolfpack's 2.9 yards-per-carry average.
Syracuse also led N.C. State in passing yards, 111 to 31.
Both teams combined to be 2-for-11 on third down, Syracuse at 1-for-4 and N.C. State 1-for-7.
The Wolfpack punted four times to two by the Orange, but the Wolfpack did not turn the ball over, while Shrader had his two aforementioned interceptions.
N.C. State would take almost eight minutes off of the third-quarter game clock on the opening drive of the second half, but Syracuse fans would get into the high levels of decibels and N.C. State would lose 12 yards on a fumbled snap, followed by a false-start. This total loss of 19 yards brought Dunn out for his second field-goal attempt of the game, a 42-yarder to bring the Wolfpack closer, down 10-6, with 7:07 remaining in the third quarter.
The Orange would respond with a touchdown by Shrader on the ground, but hold that. Gadsden was flagged for holding, erasing the score.
However, a few plays later, Gadsden was seen by Shrader wide open on the left side of the end zone. Shrader tossed it and Gadsden came down with his second score of the contest, a 17-yard touchdown, that made it 17-6 Syracuse with 1:28 to play in the third quarter, giving the Orange points on their only drive of the third quarter. This catch by Gadsden gave bim a new single-game career high in receiving yards with 126, passing his former personal best of 112 yards versus the Purdue Boilermakers of the Big Ten Conference, also at home in the Dome.
On their second drive of the second half, and first of the fourth quarter, N.C. State graduate quarterback Jack Chambers somehow got the ball out before being sacked, completing to junior running back Jordan Houston for a five-yard gain to the Syracuse 12, setting up 3rd-&-1.
Chambers would keep the ball for a two-yard gain and a new set of downs, moving the Wolfpack to the Orange 10-yard line.
A false-start penalty would move N.C. State back to the Syracuse 13-yard line for a 3rd-&-13 attempt and Syracuse would follow with a sack on Chambers to tack on another loss, this being six yards, thanks to redshirt-freshman defensive end Jatius "JT" Geer and redshirt-junior defensive Caleb Okechukwu.
As a result, Dunn would attempt his third field goal of the game, sending this one through from 36 yards out to bring the Wolfpack deficit to eight, 17-9, with 6:58 to play.
On 3rd-&-14, Shrader would elude the N.C. State defense once again, giving himself time, which gave his receivers time to get open, and he found sophomore wide receiver Damien Alford for a 34-yard gain to the N.C. State 24.
After Shrader lost a yard on a keeper, Tucker would get all 25 yards needed on one run he took to the left sideline and up with a burst into the end zone for his sixth rushing touchdown of this season, rolling the Orange out to a 24-9 advantage with 2:20 to go.
The defense would make sure that score remained the same as Syracuse advanced to 6-0, becoming bowl eligible with half of their season to play.
With the win, the Orange are 3-0 in the ACC and 5-0 at home.
The Wolfpack move to 5-2 with the loss, 1-2 in the ACC and 1-2 on the road this season.
Tucker ended the game with 98 yards on 14 carries, averaging seven yards per carry, with one rushing touchdown.
Gadsden added to his single-game career high, finishing with 141 yards, coming on eight catches, two of which were for touchdowns.
Shraded finished 16-for-25 (64%) for 210 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Chambers led the Wolfpack on the ground with 58 yards on 20 carries (2.9 yards per carry), followed by Houston's 44 yards on 12 carries (3.7 yards per carry).
Junior wide receiver Keyon Lesane led N.C. State with 39 yards, coming on four catches.
Chambers was 18-for-30 (60%) for 160 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Look for the Orange to move up the polls from 18th as the Wolfpack were above them in both the AP (#15) and Coaches' (#13) Polls.