Syracuse keeps No. 1 Clemson within reach but falls 37-27

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 14, 2015 at 7:29 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Zack Mahoney ran into nothing but open space as a crowd of 36,736 roared as loud as it boo’d only minutes before. An extra point away from tying the game, it took the Orange less than 10 minutes to erase a fate that seems all but certain only moments after kickoff.The first play, a 64-yard deep ball to Charone Peake, who was a step ahead of Cordell Hudson.The second, an 11-yard handoff to Wayne Gallman. Thirty-three seconds in, 7-0.The third was a fumble from Mahoney and one minute and 23 seconds later it was a two-touchdown lead for the No. 1 Tigers.Syracuse overcame the first hurdle with two touchdowns of its own. But after that, Clemson (10-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast) flexed its top-ranked muscles to a 37-27 win over Syracuse (3-7, 1-5). Watson, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, threw for 360 yards. Syracuse’s 242 yards on the ground weren’t enough to keep it close down the stretch. Syracuse plugged away, with the Dome rocking to a team that had forgotten its 3-6 reality.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Mahoney, two Clemson turnovers on two straight possessions boosted the Syracuse comeback. But just three minutes later, Clemson had retook the lead. Then it happened again to start the third quarter.Syracuse wasn’t out of the game, but didn’t feel in it either. It started with the ball at the outset of the second half. After one first down, George Morris was brought down four yards behind the line of scrimmage. He got one back on the next play but two more penalties and a dropped Steve Ishmael pass forced an SU punt.Its chance to get back in the game was fading. Facing a fourth-and-11 from its own 2-yard line, Mahoney fired a 30-yard strike as he was being tackled back into SU’s end zone. The ball hit a leaping Ishmael, and another 70 yards in the next five plays put the Orange within one score.Clemson would only tack on two field goals the rest of the way. It’s offense moving the ball but the Orange defense showing timeliness in the second half that it hasn’t all season.It was one of Syracuse’s best halves of the season in the best played, coached and executed game this season. But it still ended the same as the six before it. Down 10 on forth and long following a dropped pass from Josh Parris, Riley Dixon came on to punt.He didn’t unleash a downfield toss like he had in the first half. His punt was deep, but only aided in Clemson bleeding the clock. Each first down, more fans walked out. Each tackle came with a fainter roar.Syracuse lived in the moment of big-time college football game on the national stage. But the end of the fourth quarter brought reality back. Syracuse lost its seventh straight game. Commentslast_img

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