Tale of 2 quarterbacks, more takeaways from SU’s double overtime win over UNC

first_img Published on October 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Syracuse (5-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) clawed back against North Carolina (1-5, 1-3) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, forcing overtime and eventually winning, 40-37, in the second overtime.The Orange triumphed, clawing its way back from a touchdown deficit late in the fourth quarter with backup quarterback Tommy DeVito at the helm.Here are three reactions from the win.Working overtimeTwo weeks after losing in overtime to Pittsburgh, Syracuse once again needed more time to finish a football game.This Saturday, however, SU didn’t turn it over on its first offensive play. Receiving the ball first, DeVito quickly hit a strike to Jamal Custis for a back-corner touchdown. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter UNC responded with a touchdown of its own and was forced to settle for a field goal, SU had a chance to do what it couldn’t two weeks ago: win the game.DeVito opened with a completion to Nykeim Johnson, then Dontae Strickland bruised his way to the six on a pitch. DeVito took the next play for two yards.On second down and goal, Syracuse ran the tight end pop pass it loves to go to in short-yardage situations. DeVito dropped back and hit Ravian Pierce for his second catch of the day on the last play of the game as SU walked it off.A tale of two quarterbacksWith 5:07 left in regulation, and his team trailing by a touchdown, Dino Babers needed to do something about his team’s withering offense.Enter: DeVito.On his first play from scrimmage, DeVito dropped a 50-yard bomb to Jamal Custis down the right sideline. That drive ended in a failed fourth-down inside the UNC 10.The next drive, DeVito moved Syracuse quickly to the UNC 42 yard line. He took a shotgun snap, worked through his reads and flipped a dime to Johnson walking into the endzone for the game-tying touchdown with 1:39 left.He’d go on to lead two touchdown drives in overtime, including passing for the game-winning touchdown.He was in the game because Eric Dungey couldn’t get the offense going. Dungey finished Saturday’s game 17-for-33 for 225 yards and no passing touchdowns. In his last three games combined, the senior has completed 54 percent of his passes and thrown three interceptions to one touchdown.Secondary strugglesNorth Carolina entered Saturday with the 82nd ranked passing offense in the country. With SU’s recently porous run defense, the expectation was that UNC could ride its running backs against Syracuse. Instead, Tar Heels quarterback Nathan Elliott completed 34 of 52 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Elliott stood confidently in the pocket all afternoon, finding soft spots in the Orange’s coverage the whole game.Early on, Elliott and the Tar Heels attacked the sidelines, finding open receivers against SU’s corners and safeties. As the game progressed, the playbook opened up for UNC as Elliott stood in the pocket and started hitting targets down field.The Tar Heels’ passing attack was also aided by injuries to SU’s secondary, as both Chris Fredrick — who did not return — and Trill Williams received medical attention at different points in the game. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img