SYRACUSE Syracuse football head coach Doug Marrone was asked, at his weekly press conference prior to last Saturday’s game against Stony Brook, if the Orange was venerable to another setback in the wake of season-opening defeats to Northwestern and USC.
Marrone was irritated by the question and became rather defensive in asserting that this idea was not remotely possible. The SU players backed up their coach,readily admitting that they need actual victories, not moral ones.
Saturday inside the Carrier Dome Syracuse overcame a jittery first half and played with a sense of urgency dominating the second half, against the FCS-level Seawolves.
Ryan Nassib connected to tight end Jarrod West for the go -ahead touchdown, Ashton Broyld scored on 22-yard run as SUdefeated Stony Brook 28- 17, snapping a seven-game losing streak dating back to last season.
The Orange overcame the size and weight advantage of the Seawolves’ front line and generated 27 first downs, most of which occurred in the second half, and held Stony Brook to 13 first downs.
In reality, SU should have won the contest by a larger margin if Ross Krautman had not missed two field goals in the first half. In addition, the Orange failed to execute two fourth-down conversions inside the Stony Brook three-yard line.
SU’s line, anchored by Macky Macpherson and Zack Chibane helped protect Nassib as he completed 22 of 35 passes for 338 yards, ending the evening with three TD passes and zero interceptions.
There were certainly other SU star players who played a crucial role. Marcus Sales contributed five catches for 117 yards, which was his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game.
Broyld and Jerome Smith also played a large role in a well-balanced running attack as Smith registered 15 carries for 89 yards and Broyld carried 10 times for 61 yards, including his first TD with the Orange.