North Carolina State too much for Syra­cuse

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Mark Frank

Af­ter sev­eral tough losses, in­clud­ing an over­time heart­breaker against No. 3 Clem­son, North Carolina State is now poised to go to a bowl af­ter a 35-20 vic­tory over Syra­cuse at the Car­rier Dome.

Af­ter sev­eral tough losses, in­clud­ing an over­time heart­breaker against No. 3 Clem­son, North Carolina State is now poised to go to a bowl.

All they need is one more win.

Matt Dayes ran for 108 yards and three touch­downs, and the NC State de­fense held Syra­cuse to 218 yards in a 35-20 vic­tory on Satur­day.

“The re­siliency of our foot­ball team, los­ing four of our five games by a pos­ses­sion, they’ve been able to stick to­gether. I’m re­ally proud of them to­day,” Wolf­pack coach Dave Do­eren said. “This gets that car­rot in front of their nose for the bowl op­por­tu­nity. You want to feel the plea­sure of your work and you can’t do that by al­most win­ning. This gives them the sat­is­fac­tion of the grind and they needed that to­day.

“I feel very con­fi­dent about our bowl chances,” added de­fen­sive end Bradley Chubb. “We have two op­por­tu­ni­ties and need just one more win.”

Ryan Fin­ley was 20-of29 for 340 yards and one touch­down for the Wolf­pack (5-5, 2-4 ACC). Kelvin Har­mon had 101 yards re­ceiv­ing and one touch­down and Bra’Lon Cherry had seven re­cep­tions. Dayes scored on runs of 7, 20, and 13 yards.

The Wolf­pack de­fense held the Orange, 113th na­tion­ally in rush­ing, to just 28 yards on the ground and 190 yards pass­ing.

Syra­cuse (4-6, 2-4) played with­out sopho­more quar­ter­back Eric Dungey, who was hit in the head/ shoul­der area dur­ing the first quar­ter of a 54-0 loss to No. 3 Clem­son last week­end. Dungey, third in the ACC and 16th na­tion­ally in pass­ing yards, was re­placed by ju­nior Zack Ma­honey. Dungey prac­ticed dur­ing the week but was not cleared by the team’s med­i­cal staff.

“Ob­vi­ously, we were at a dis­ad­van­tage with­out Eric Dungey be­ing able to par­tic­i­pate,” said Syra­cuse coach Dino Babers. “Be­fore the Clem­son game, I think he was ranked in the top 10 quar­ter­backs in the country. Ob­vi­ously, we missed him a great deal out there. There would’ve been a lot of things that we could’ve taken ad­van­tage of.”

The Orange was also with­out start­ing wide re­ceiver Steven Is­mael who dressed but not play. Ish­mael has 41 re­cep­tions this sea­son.

Ma­honey, a walk-on who was awarded a schol­ar­ship be­fore the 2016 sea­son, led the Orange to a touch­down on their first drive. He was 5-of-6 pass­ing, in­clud­ing a 12-yard com­ple­tion to Erv Philips on fourth down. But the Orange of­fense bogged down the rest of the half, man­ag­ing just a 48-yard field goal by Cole Mur­phy.

Ma­honey fin­ished 13-of24 for 190 yards, a touch­down and in­ter­cep­tion. Amba Etta-Tawo caught three passes for 84 yards and one touch­down.

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