The SU football team outran a gritty NC State squad for their first ever ACC victory, winning 24-10.
The first quarter was uneventful on the scoreboard, as the teams traded punts amidst penalties several times.
The action livened up early in the second though, as SU took over on their own 23 and started driving. On the first play of the drive Terrel Hunt hit Ashton Broyld for 39 yards to get into NC State territory. NC State forced a third down on third own 18, but Hunt came up big, rushing for 17 yards to the NC State one-yard-line. Jerome Smith punched it in to give the Orange the touchdown advantage.
NC State then went 13 plays and 71 yards down the field, but the Orange defense stopped the Wolfpack on the 8-yard-line for a turnover on downs.
SU gave it right back though, as Terrel Hunt threw an interception to Jack Tocho, which he returned to the Syracuse 27-yard-line.
The SU defense came up big once again, as just four plays later, Durell Eskridge intercepted Pete Thomas, getting to the SU 46-yard-line. For the third time in as many possessions, the ball was intercepted, as once again Hunt was intercepted by Tocho, who once again returned the ball to the Syracuse 27-yard-line.
With less than four minutes to go, NC State used the field position to their advantage, and Pete Thomas hit David Grinnage for a 21-yard touchdown to tie the game at seven heading into the half. The Orange held a 127 to 70 yard advantage on the ground at the half. But nearly doubled the Wolfpack in penalty yardage 42-25.
The second half started with NC State driving the ball to the Syracuse 30 yard line, but a John Raymon sack on Thomas forced fourth down. Niklas Sade missed a 51-yard field goal attempt, keeping the score knotted at 7.
In a similar way, via a big 29 yard Terrel Hunt run on a draw play, the Orange drove down the field on the Wolfpack defense. Ryan Norton lined up a 44-yard field goal attempt, but a Delay of Game put the Orange out of range, forcing a punt.
After an NC State 3-and-out, Prince-Tyson Gulley opened the next SU possession with a 55-yard run to the NC State 3-yard-line. But, the Wolfpack defense would hold, and the Orange would only come away with a Norton 19-yard field goal, making the score 10-7 SU with less than six minutes to play in the third quarter.
But in the fourth quarter, behind a 38-yard run by Thomas, the Wolfpack would tie the game with a 27 yard field goal. After the teams exchanged some punts, the running game took over once again for the Orange. Jerome Smith first broke through for a 57 yard gain, followed by a Prince-Tyson Gulley 18 yard touchdown of the very next play. A botched extra point snap made the score 16-10 with less than seven minutes to play in the fourth.
The SU defense forced a 3-and-out, and once again the rushing attack came alive. Gulley broke out for a 48 yard gain to the NC State five-yard line, followed by a gritty Terrel Hunt run into the end zone for the touchdown to give the Orange a two touchdown lead late in the fourth, which brought Syracuse their first ACC win with the 24-10 victory.
Smith finished with 140 yards, Gulley with a 132 and Hunt also chipped in 92 yards of his own. Each rushed for a touchdown as well. In the losing effort, Thomas went 17-35 for 151 yards and a touchdown, along with that interception. The Wolfpack played four different players at quarterback.
The Orange stay on the road against Georgia Tech next Saturday for a 3:30 come kickoff on NBC3.