SU Loses in Historic Regular Season Finale
By Jared Barton
PITTSBURGH, PA– This afternoon’s regular season finale between Syracuse and Pittsburgh turned into an offensive slugfes for the ages.
The 76-61 loss was the most points ever allowed by a Syracuse team. The combined 137 points was the highest point total ever scored in FBS history.
Grad transfer Amba Etta-Tawo took the spotlight for Syracuse after catching five touchdown passes on the afternoon. That is the new single game touchdown record for any SU player. His 14 touchdowns from this year is good enough to tie the record for the most in a single season.
Zack Mahoney tossed 5 touchdowns, which tied the record for the most TDs thrown in a single game for a Syracuse player.
The Orange kept the game close throughout the first quarter, but the trio of Nate Peterman, James Conner and Quadree Henderson provided the offensive outburst that led the Panthers to victory. Pitt scored 35 points by halftime and took a seven point lead into the half. Pittsburgh would add 21 and 20 points in the 3rd and 4th quarter to seal the team’s eighth win.
James Conner led Pitt in rushing with 115 yards and two scores. The junior would also add two more receiving touchdowns before the game ended.
Quadree Henderson used the jet sweep to the advantage rushing for 103 yards and a score.
The first year of the Dino Babers Era is now in the books with the loss. SU fell to 4-8 overall after the loss successfully eliminating the team from bowl contention. This is the third straight season that the Orange will not participate in postseason play. The last time SU made a bowl game was in 2013 when Scott Shafer and company took down Minnesota in the Texas Bowl.
After the game, Babers was asked about the alleged rumors that he was a prime candidate for the head coaching position at the University of Houston. He denied the rumors and claimed that he is completely committed to Syracuse Football.
Pittsburgh heads into bowl season with an 8-4 overall record. Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers are currently projected to play in the Pinstripe Bowl against Northwestern.