Minnesota Hands Syracuse 1st Pinstripe Bowl Loss
|Posted on December 29, 2022 at 5:35 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
On a warm-for-winter temperature day of 47 degrees with the sun shining and no precipitation, the Syracuse Orange entered into Yankee Stadium for their third Pinstripe Bowl opportunity, the most of any college football team since the bowl's first game in 2010, a contest that the Orange also competed in.
After defeating the Kansas State Wildcats of the Big 12 in 2010 by a score of 36-34 and historic rival West Virginia Mountaineers of the Big 12 in 2012 by the score of 38-14, Syracuse faced off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten this time around, with Minnesota playing in the Pinstripe Bowl for the first time ever for the program.
Minnesota came into this contest leading Syracuse in their all-time series 3-2, with the Orange winning the first match-up, which was in 1995 in the Dome, 27-17.
The Gophers won the next three outings: 35-33, 23-20, and 17-10.
Syracuse was victorious the last time the two teams met, which was in the Texas Bowl in 2013, where the Orange defeated the Gophers 21-17 under then-Head Coach Scott Shafer.
The game began with multiple first downs by the Golden Gophers on their opening drive, but a fumble would end that drive after Minnesota recovered the ball, but were faced with fourth down.
Orange junior quarterback Garrett Shrader would begin the game 4-for-4 in pass attempts, but the team would come up five yards short on a 3rd-&-9 completion from Shrader to true freshman running back LeQuint Allen, Jr., resulting in Syracuse punting the ball right back to Minnesota.
Freshman linebacker Kadin Bailey would end the Gophers' second drive in a punt after sacking redshirt-freshman quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis for a loss of nine yards to force 4th-&-13.
Shrader would endure his first incompletion of the game on the second drive for the Orange and also slip on the field as others did early on, with the Orange punting back to the Gophers once again.
On the third drive of the game for Minnesota, Kaliakmanis completed the ball to redshirt-junior wide receiver Dylan Wright for a 11-yard gain that placed the Gophers inside the Orange redzone at the Orange 16-yard line right before the end of the first quarter; this was the first trip by either team to the redzone in the game.
The drive would end at the 13:39 mark of the second quarter after nine plays for 62 yards over 4:33 with a touchdown run by sixth-year running back Mohamed Ibrahim for a three-yard score to make it 7-0 Minnesota.
Syracuse's third drive would end with Head Coach Dino Babers electing to go for it on 4th-&-3. Shrader would complete the ball to sophomore wide receiver Trebor Pena who was hit immediately for a loss of two yards, resulting in a turnover on downs at the Minnesota 38-yard line with 10:41 left in the first half.
With 9:15 remaining in the first half, Kaliakmanis went down and sixth-year quarterback Tanner Morgan came in. He would send the ball downfield in single-coverage to junior wide receiver Daniel Jackson who would make an incredible grab by reaching him arms around his defender and reeling the ball in as he fell into the end zone. The 20-yard score was reviewed and confirmed, leading to a 14-0 advantage by the Gophers at the 6:39 mark.
This drive was nine plays for 62 yards over 4:02, meaning both scoring drives by Minnesota were each nine plays, 62 yards, and over four minutes.
With a shorter distance to a first down on the next possession, Babers would elect to punt instead of going for it on 4th-&-1 from Syracuse's own 49-yard line.
Minnesota's fifth drive of the contest would end in their third punt of the half. But, this drive would have a silver lining because Ibrahim, on a 10-yard carry, would pass Darrell Thompson's 4,654 career rushing yards record, making Ibrahim the all-time leading rusher in Gopher history, with 4,661 career rushing yards at the time.
Shrader's back-to-back completions to redshirt-senior wide receiver Devaughn Cooper, the first for 21 yards and the next for 31 yards, would give the Orange life late in the first half, putting the ball on the Gophers' 34-yard line. He would complete his next two passes, the first for four yards to Allen and the second for 29 yards to sophomore wide receiver Damien Alford. Alford's catch and run was originally ruled a touchdown, but after review, Alford's knee was ruled down at the one-yard line.
With one yard to go, Shrader kept it himself, running the ball in for the first score by Syracuse on the day, bringing the score to 14-7 Minnesota with eight seconds remaining in the first half. In total, this scoring drive for the Orange saw them accumulate 86 yards on five plays in just 47 seconds, with Shrader going 4-for-4 on this possession.
That score would hold for the half, with the Orange receiving the ball following the break.
Syracuse concluded the first half with their first score of the game and began the second half with another score, a 40-yard field goal by redshirt-senior kicker Andre Szymt on a nine-play drive that went 65 yards 4:34 off of the third-quarter clock, bringing the game to 14-10 Minnesota with 10:26 left in the quarter.
Minnesota would not answer Syracuse, punting the ball away on their first drive of the second half.
However, shortly after Allen had a 29-yard rush and the Orange were rolling downfield, Shrader was intercepted by freshman defensive back Coleman Bryson who, after a blown tackle attempt, went 70 yards to paydirt for the pick six, moving the Gophers further ahead, 21-10, with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Syracuse responded with another field goal by Szmyt, this from 38 yards away, to move the score to 21-13 Minnesota, at the 1:38 mark.
The Orange special teams and defense to follow would both struggle to tackle the Gophers. Redshirt-freshman wide receiver Quentin Redding would return the kickoff by true freshman kicker Brady Denaburg 72 yards, with Denaburg finally getting Redding down.
Two plays later, Morgan aired out to Daniel Jackson once again, this for 25 yards, for Jackson's second touchdown reception of the day, giving the Gophers a 28-13 advantage right before the close of the quarter.
Shrader would throw an interception on Syracuse's fourth drive of the second half, but an offsides penalty on redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Jah Joyner would erase the pick, keeping the ball with the Orange for 3rd-&-5 on their own 43.
The Gophers, however, would make up for the penalty by sacking Shrader on the very next play, with Joyner getting in on it with teammate Mariano Sori-Marin, a fifth-year linebacker, for a loss of nine yards that led to a punt.
Redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Elijah Fuentes-Cundiff, a native of the Bronx, prevented redshirt-junior running back Trey Potts from gaining a yard on 3rd-&-2, resulting in Minnesota punting the ball to Syracuse by 11 minutes remaining, with Syracuse down by 15.
The next drive by the Orange would end with their second turnover on downs of the contest, with the last four happenings of the drive being a holding penalty by redshirt-senior offensive lineman Dakota Davis, followed by back-to-back incompletions by Shrader, and Shrader being sacked on 4th-&-16 by Joyner.
Babers would take his final timeout of the half after a one-yard run up the middle by Allen with 3:51 remaining.
Fifth-year defensive lineman Thomas Rush would force Shrader to fumble, knocking the ball out of Shrader's right hand with his right arm, coming from behind. Sori-Marin would grab the ball and return it from the Minnesota 11 to the Syracuse 28-yard line.
Adding penalty to insult, redshirt-junior wide receiver D'Marcus Adams was flagged for a horse-collar tackle on Sori-Marin during Sori-Marin's fumble return, giving the Gophers another 15 yards, placing them at the 13-yard line of the Orange with 3:22 to play, ahead 15.
Minnesota had 12 men on the field so the fumble, fumble recovery, and horse-collar penalty were erased and Syracuse got the ball on the Minnesota 18.
In all my years of covering sports professionally, which is over 19 years, I had never witnessed so many things being scratched from history on one single play.
On 4th-&-8, Shrader danced around for awhile, eventually giving it a go for the end zone, and finding it, for an eight-yard touchdown run to make it 28-20 Gophers with 2:30 to go.
Denaburg attempted an onsides kick. Minnesota recovered and Syracuse was flagged, resulting in the Gophers having possession at the Orange 42-yard line to start their drive.
Syracuse stopped Potts for no gain but sophomore defensive back Alijah Clark was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving Minnesota 15 yards and the first down they needed to run out the clock en route to a 28-20 victory.
The win elevated the Gophers to an overall record of 9-4, while the Orange fell to 7-6.
Minnesota is now 1-0 in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Syracuse's loss is their first in the Pinstripe Bowl, after coming in 2-0.
The Orange never led once in the contest, a game that the Orange played without back-to-back 1,000-yard running back Sean Tucker, starting linebacker and quarterback of the defense Mikel Jones, and starting cornerbacks Garrett Williams (injury) and Duce Chestnut (transfer portal).
But there are no excuses.
It is next man up.
Today, the Gophers were simply better than the Orange.
They never once looked rattled or shaken.
It was their game to lose, and they never let go of the reins.
Not... even... once.
Categories: Syracuse Orange Football, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA