GAMEDAY College Football

Syracuse 24, Liberty 21

Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Andre Szmyt kicked the game-winning 35-yard field goal with no time on the clock as Syracuse used a late turnover to defeat Liberty 24-21.

The Syracuse defense came up with the only turnover of the game just when the Orange needed it most. After forcing Liberty quarterback Malik Willis into fumbling the ball with just under four minutes remaining, Szmyt converted the turnover into the game-winning field goal seven plays later.

Szmyt's kick was the Orange's first game-winning field in a game's final minute since 2015 and handed the Flames (3-1) their first loss this season.

The Syracuse defense couldn't stop Willis for most of the game. Willis had shredded Syracuse for 205 yards passing and three touchdowns. He had rallied the Flames from a 21-7 third-quarter deficit to knot the contest at 21-all less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

After Liberty had stopped Syracuse for its third consecutive 3-and-out, the Flames looked primed to claim the victory after taking possession at their own 27-yard line with just over four minutes remaining.

But Syracuse defenders Cody Roscoe and Marlowe Wax forced Willis to cough up the ball as he rolled out to pass and the Orange took over on the Flames' 30-yard line.

Syracuse maneuvered the ball into position, eating up the clock as well as all of Liberty's timeouts.

After Syracuse's Garrett Shrader gained 10 crucial yards on 3rd down quarterback keeper to get the ball to the 16-yard line, Orange coach Dino Babers let the clock tick down to 1 second before calling timeout and sending Szmyt onto the field.

Syracuse was able to kick the field goal for the win after Liberty coach Hugh Freeze elected to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal on fourth down at the Syracuse 2-yard line with 8 minutes left in the game.

Syracuse stuffed Willis on a run off-tackle, keeping the game tied at 21.

Liberty would get the ball back, but Willis' fumble put it right back in the Orange's hands again.

In a surprise move, Babers had inserted Shrader, a transfer from Mississippi State, as the starting quarterback. Veteran Tommy DeVito had started each of SU's first three games this season.

Shrader only completed six of his 15 pass attempts, but he ran the ball 15 times and scored two touchdowns.

But Syracuse's offense rode on the broad shoulders of second-year running back Sean Tucker. Tucker took the ball 32 times for 169 yards and one touchdown.


Scoring Summary
Second Quarter LibSyr
Syr TD 13:40 Garrett Shrader 1 yard TD run (Andre Szmyt Extra Point) 0 7
Syr TD 9:51 Sean Tucker 27 yard TD run (Andre Szmyt Extra Point) 0 14
Lib TD 1:33 Shedro Louis 7 yard TD pass from Malik Willis (Alex Barbir Extra Point) 7 14
Third Quarter LibSyr
Syr TD 9:46 Garrett Shrader 10 yard TD run (Andre Szmyt Extra Point) 7 21
Lib TD 2:57 CJ Daniels 23 yard TD pass from Malik Willis (Alex Barbir Extra Point) 14 21
Fourth Quarter LibSyr
Lib TD 14:31 Demario Douglas 33 yard TD pass from Malik Willis (Alex Barbir Extra Point) 21 21
Syr FG 0:00 Andre Szmyt 35 yard field goal 21 24
Team Stats
  Liberty Syracuse
First downs 22 21
  Rushing 11 13
  Passing 7 5
  Penalty 4 3
3rd Down Efficiency 5-12, 42% 4-13, 31%
4th down efficiency 0-1, 0% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 41-150 51-225
Passing Yards 219 77
Return Yards 61 0
Completions-Attempts-Int 16-21-0 6-15-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 6-31 1-7
Punts 5 7
Fumbles Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties - Yards 7-69 5-37
Liberty Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
M. Willis 14 19 205 3 0
C. Daniels 1 1 13 0 0
J. Bennett 1 1 1 0 0
Syracuse Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
G. Shrader 6 15 77 0 0
Liberty Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
S. Louis 9 59 6.6 0
M. Willis 17 49 2.9 0
T. Green 9 32 3.6 0
J. Mack 4 10 2.5 0
D. Douglas 1 2 2.0 0
Syracuse Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
S. Tucker 31 168 5.4 1
G. Shrader 15 51 3.4 2
A. Adams 2 10 5.0 0
C. Jackson 1 4 4.0 0
T. Harris 1 0 0.0 0
Liberty Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. Daniels 4 86 21.5 1
D. Douglas 7 62 8.9 1
N. Frith 2 29 14.5 0
T. Sibley 1 22 22.0 0
M. Willis 1 13 13.0 0
S. Louis 1 7 7.0 1
Syracuse Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
S. Tucker 2 27 13.5 0
T. Harris 2 20 10.0 0
D. Alford 1 19 19.0 0
A. Adams 1 11 11.0 0
Liberty Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Syracuse Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Liberty Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
M. Morgan 5 220 44.0
Syracuse Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Williams 7 301 43.0
Liberty Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Douglas 4 39 9.8
Syracuse Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Liberty Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
S. Louis 2 22 11.0
Syracuse Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Liberty Missed FG
Player Length
A. Barbir 36
Syracuse Missed FG
Player Length
A. Szmyt 52




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