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(Saturday, October 27)
Final Score: Syracuse 37, South Florida 36
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Syracuse mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback, punctuated by a Ryan Nassib one-yard touchdown pass to Alec Lemon with just six seconds remaining, as the Orange defeated the South Florida Bulls in a Big East showdown at Raymond James Stadium, 37-36.
Nassib finished 27-of-40 passing for 328 yards and four scores and Lemon scored two touchdowns for Syracuse (4-4, 3-1 Big East), which has won back-to- back games. It's the fourth time this season Nassib has eclipsed 300 yards passing. Marcus Sales caught nine passes for 125 yards and two scores, while Jerome Smith carried the ball 28 times for 127 yards.
For USF (2-6, 0-4), Lindsey Lamar rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries to pace a rushing attack that gained 369 yards. B.J. Daniels completed 17-of-30 passes for 183 yards and a score and also rushed for 134 yards. The Bulls have now lost six straight after starting 2-0.
USF struck first early in the opening quarter when a one-yard touchdown run by Demetris Murray capped off a 12-play, 75-yard drive to open the game.
Syracuse drove deep into USF territory later in the quarter but had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Ross Krautman. The Bulls responded with a 35- yard field goal from Maikon Bonani as the first quarter ended with a 10-3 USF advantage.
Bonani added another field goal (32 yards) early in the second quarter. Five minutes later, Lamar ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run to put the Bulls up 20-3.
Bonani hit a 46-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the first half to pad USF's lead.
The Orange scored a much-needed touchdown early in the third quarter when Nassib hooked up with Jarrod West for a 31-yard score to bring their deficit to 23-10. They struck again less than four minutes later when Lemon scored on a four-yard rush.
Syracuse scored its third unanswered touchdown of the second half later in the third quarter when Nassib connected with Sales on a five-yard touchdown pass, giving the Orange their first lead of the game, 24-23.
USF stopped the bleeding with 2:15 to play in the third quarter after a 41- yard field goal from Bonani gave it the lead once again, 26-24.
The Bulls made their lead nine points early in the fourth quarter following a 30-yard touchdown pass from Daniels to Andre Davis.
The Orange would not go away quietly, as Nassib connected with Sales on a 19- yard touchdown midway through the quarter to cut their deficit to just two, 33-31.
Bonani added his fifth field goal of the game (47 yards) with less than two minutes to play to put USF up five.
On the final possession of the game, Nassib orchestrated an eight-play, 75- yard drive, culminating in the game-winning touchdown pass.
The teams combined for 1,072 yards of total offense on the evening.
10/28 00:40:27 ET
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