SU Football Hindered by Penalties, Loses 16-10 to NC State
By Nick Kuzma
CitrusTV Football Reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — Syracuse Football was down by six points to NC State with time dwindling down in the fourth quarter. The Orange got the ball with 1:48 left in the game, looking for a miracle win on the road. However, two false start penalties against the offense caused Syracuse to run out of time as the penalties resulted in two 10-second runoffs.
The Orange had trailed the entire game and couldn’t pull of the steal in the end as NC State (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated Syracuse (3-3, 0-2 ACC) 16-10 on Thursday.
After the game, SU head coach Dino Babers seemed disappointed that his team never had a chance to take one final shot in the end zone with the second false start happening with less than 10 seconds on the clock.
“I just gotta send it in and I’ll let you know what they say, but I can’t talk about it,” said Babers on the penalty calls against his team’s final drive.
The Orange had 12 penalties during the game, pushing them back 59 total yards. Those penalties included the controversial false starts and two intentional grounding calls against DeVito. The Wolfpack only had four penalties called against them on offense.
“You ever see the movie “Remember the Titans?” Babers quipped, referring to the movie scene where one team was heavily favored by the refs.
Beyond just the penalties, the SU offense could not get anything going for most of the game. For Quarterback Tommy DeVito, the issues couldn’t be blamed on the rambunctious crowd of over 55,000 at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“I don’t think there were a lot of communication mistakes. I guess you could say they were loud, but nothing we couldn’t handle,” said DeVito.
Syracuse had a miserable first half, capped off by Andre Smyzt’s first missed field goal of the season. So, Babers rallied his troops at halftime.
“[I told them] to keep fighting, it’s gonna happen, you gotta stay in there and sometimes that’s hard,” said Babers. “The definition of faith is belief without evidence and we didn’t have the evidence, but we needed the faith to be able to have an opportunity to even win that game in the second half.
The Orange played better in the second half, tripling their first down total from seven at the half to 21 by the end of the game. SU’s ability to move the chains was a key reason why Syracuse had any chance at coming out on top.
The biggest question coming into Thursday’s matchup was DeVito’s health, and his more timid play reflected he was not fully recovered. However, the redshirt sophomore insisted he was fine.
“I was good physically going into it, just a little bumps and bruises. I was definitely not limited,” said DeVito.
SU will need their QB at 100 percent and their offense refocused as they are still in search of their first ACC victory of 2019. The Orange could get that chance on Friday, October 18th when Syracuse hosts Pittsburgh (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) in the Dome. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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