College Football: Depleted Clemson Escapes an Upset Against Syracuse

Image
Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray racked up 432 yards and six touchdown passes in a rout of Baylor.CreditCreditAlonzo Adams/Associated Press

By The Associated Press

Sept. 30, 2018

With its new starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence knocked out of the game, the reserve Chase Brice — who was about sixth on the depth chart last January — guided a 94-yard, fourth-quarter scoring drive that ended with Travis Etienne’s 2-yard touchdown run with 41 seconds left to give No. 3 Clemson a 27-23 victory against visiting Syracuse on Saturday.

“I’ll never forget this one,” Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said. “Some might say it’s the fifth game of the year, but it’s more than that. I saw a team that didn’t quit.”

Etienne finished with three touchdowns and a career-high 203 yards rushing to bail out the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who went from having one too many starting-caliber quarterbacks earlier in the week to not enough by the second half against the Orange (4-1, 1-1).

Lawrence left his first career start late in the second quarter with a possible concussion. Swinney had promoted Lawrence to starter quarterback earlier in the week, prompting the senior Kelly Bryant, who had started the first four games and led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff last year, to leave the team.

That left Brice, a one-time third-stringer, to lead the comeback, and it looked bleak when Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey bulled his way in for a 1-yard score with 12 minutes 58 seconds remaining to give the Orange a 23-13 lead.

Etienne’s 26-yard touchdown run with 11:08 to go cut Clemson’s deficit to 3 and Brice, a redshirt freshman with just eight career passes, directed a 94-yard scoring drive that included a 20-yard completion on fourth-and-6 to keep things going.

When Etienne went in for the go-ahead score, most of the crowd of 80,122 at Memorial Stadium roared in celebration.

Dungey was sacked twice by freshman Xavier Thomas on Syracuse’s final drive. The Orange were trying for their first 5-0 start since 1987. Dungey finished with two rushing touchdowns. He was 26 of 41 passing for 250 yards and an interception.

1 Alabama 56, Louisiana-Lafayette 14

Jaylen Waddle returned a punt for a touchdown and caught two scoring passes, including a 94-yarder, in Alabama’s rout of visiting Louisiana-Lafayette.

Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts staked the Crimson Tide (5-0) to a 49-0 halftime lead over the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-3) en route to the defending national champions’ latest blowout.

Then third-teamer Mac Jones got into the act with his 94-yarder to the freshman Waddle late in the third quarter. It tied for the second-longest touchdown catch in Alabama history.

Alabama has scored at least 45 points five games in a row for the first time in program history.

2 Georgia 38, Tennessee 12

D’Andre Swift ran for two touchdowns, including a late 14-yarder to seal the game, as host Georgia used a smothering defense to overcome a sluggish offensive start against Tennessee.

The freshman quarterback Justin Fields scored on runs of 12 and 15 yards, and Isaac Nauta had a 31-yard touchdown on a fumble return. The Bulldogs led by only 12 points early in the final quarter before pulling away.

Georgia (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) scored touchdowns on its last drive of the first half and opening possession after halftime but otherwise struggled to find a consistent rhythm on offense.

Jake Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 185 yards while sharing time with Fields.

Tennessee (2-3, 0-2) was held to 209 yards. The Vols finally scored on Jarrett Guarantano’s 37-yard pass to Josh Palmer late in the third quarter. Guarantano’s 35-yard scoring pass to Ty Chandler with about four minutes into the final quarter cut Georgia’s lead to 24-12.

6 Oklahoma 66, Baylor 33

Kyler Murray sat out the Sooners’ first offensive series then came on to pass for 432 yards and six touchdowns to help host Oklahoma defeat Baylor.

Austin Kendall opened the game, but Murray entered on the second possession and played nearly flawless football. His passing touchdown total tied for second-best in university history behind Baker Mayfield’s seven against Texas Tech in 2016. Oklahoma would not say why Murray didn’t start.

Murray, who completed 10 of 11 passes for 192 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, also ran for 45 yards and a score for the Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12).

Charlie Brewer passed for 400 yards and two touchdowns. Denzel Mims had 11 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Bears (3-2, 1-1).

12 West Virginia 42, 25 Texas Tech 34

Will Grier threw for 370 yards with three touchdown passes, Keith Washington thwarted a rally with 51-yard interception return for a score and visiting West Virginia held on for a win against Texas Tech.

Marcus Simms had nine catches for a career-high 138 yards — all in the first half — for his third straight 100-yard game. The Mountaineers (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) scored 28 points in the first quarter.

The Texas Tech freshman Alan Bowman, the nation’s leading passer coming in, did not return after getting injured in the first half when he was sandwiched on hits by Ezekiel Rose and Washington as he threw a pass.

Sophomore Jett Duffey had his first career touchdown pass and TD run filling in for Bowman as the Red Raiders (3-2, 1-1) stayed mounted a small rally after trailing by 35-10 at halftime.

18 Texas 19, Kansas State 14

Sam Ehlinger threw for 207 yards and a touchdown pass, D’Shawn Jamison returned a punt 90 yards for another score and Texas held off Kansas State to end a five-game road losing streak to the Wildcats.

Keaontay Ingram churned for a first down with less than three minutes to go, allowing the red-hot Longhorns (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) to run out the clock after blowing much of a 19-0 halftime lead.

Skylar Thompson threw for 96 yards in relief of ineffective quarterback Alex Delton, and he led the Wildcats (2-3, 0-2) to a pair of touchdowns in the second half. But after they got the ball back with 7:12 to go, Thompson threw two incompletions as Kansas State went three-and-out, and Coach Bill Snyder’s offense never got another opportunity with the ball.

21 Michigan St. 31, Central Michigan 20

Brian Lewerke ran for two touchdowns in the first half, and Michigan State overcame a slow start and an underwhelming finish to defeat Central Michigan in East Lansing.

The Spartans entered with the nation’s top-ranked run defense and held the Chippewas to 5 yards on the ground in the first two quarters. Michigan State (3-1) led by 31-3 before letting Central Michigan (1-4) close the gap in the fourth.

Connor Heyward and La’Darius Jefferson also ran for touchdowns for the Spartans.

13 Central Florida 45, Pittsburgh 14

McKenzie Milton threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns and host Central Florida extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with a rout of Pittsburgh.

A week after accounting for six touchdowns in a lopsided victory against Florida Atlantic, Milton also ran for two scores to give the junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, seven scoring passes and five rushing in his past two games.

U.C.F. (4-0) now moves into the heart of its American Athletic Conference schedule, hoping to go undefeated for the second straight year to play its way into consideration for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Pitt (2-3) has had a knack for stunning teams with national title aspirations in recent seasons, however the Panthers were no match for a Milton-led offense that has scored at least 30 points in every game during its program- and A.A.C.-record winning streak.

Running back Adrian Killins, Jr., scored on a 71-yard reception, and Milton tossed touchdown passes of 24 yards to Gabriel Davis, 2 yards to Michael Colubiale and 13 yards to Otis Anderson.

Pitt surprised eventual national champion Clemson on the road two years ago. The Panthers ended a disappointing 2017 season by defeating unbeaten Miami, which at the time had the longest winning streak in the country and was in contention for a playoff berth.

Other News

■ Army mixed in a few big scoring plays with its ground-control offense to defeat previously unbeaten Buffalo, 42-13, in Amherst.

The Black Knights’ triple-option offense gained 281 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns while running up 37 minutes 34 seconds in time of possession. Army (3-2) had four touchdown drives of at least 10 plays and 74 yards.

The Black Knights’ defense slowed a Buffalo that averaged 40.2 points and 428.8 yards through the first four games.

■ Derek Kyler threw three touchdown passes, all in the third quarter, and Dartmouth pulled away from visiting Pennsylvania for a 37-14 victory.

Dartmouth (3-0, 1-0 Ivy League) built a 13-0 lead before the Quakers (2-1, 0-1) narrowed the deficit to 6 points after a 5-play, 48-yard drive that ended when Karekin Brooks scored on a 7-yard run just before halftime.

Peyton Ramsey ran for a touchdown and threw another as Indiana scored on its first four possessions to defeat host Rutgers, 24-17, and send the Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-2 Big Ten) to their fourth-straight loss.

■ Reggie White Jr. took a quick a pass from Kenji Bahar and raced 84-yards for a touchdown with 74 seconds left to cap a rally by Monmouth (3-2) in a 54-47 win against visiting Wagner (1-4). White, who finished with seven receptions for 161 yards an two touchdowns, became the program’s career leader in receptions with 213 on the final scoring play.

■ Kurt Rawlings threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score as Yale (2-1) beat visiting Maine, 35-14.

■ Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder kept the Bearcats (5-0, 1-0 American Athletic) undefeated, throwing for 270 yards and two touchdown passes and running for another score in a 49-7 rout of host Connecticut (1-4, 0-2).

■ David Jones returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown as Cornell scored three times early and went on to defeat visiting Sacred Heart, 43-24, for its first win of the season.

Game summaries by The Associated Press.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page SP2 of the New York edition with the headline: Depleted Clemson Escapes Upset Against Syracuse. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
Site Index
listings & more
news opinion arts living more
Site Information Navigation

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT Doping: White House adds voice to calls for WADA reform