Syracuse gets sympathy after crushing loss: Clemson can ‘thank the umpires’ (so they say)

Syracuse, NY – Syracuse football is 6-1 after a 27-21 defeat in Clemson on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

In a instant classic that will leave fans simmering, make training decisions after the fact and discuss penalties for decades, this one makes the short list for excruciating losses in program history.

Before kick-off, the stars of Orange brazen booty carriedthen seemed ready to meet the moment and finally exorcise the Tigers nearly toppled the ACC juggernaut four years ago at the same venue.

As SU built a 21-10 lead in the second half, the stars aligned in all the ways that come to lay the groundwork for such opportunistic, game-changing wins in college football.

Syracuse was plus-four in the rotation margin when they relegated Clemson’s starting quarterback to the bench. He matched Clemson in explosive plays.

He had a freshman quarterback dead in the water late in the third quarter, chasing him to the sideline well short of the first down scorer on a 3-and-25 play before the lineman Reserve defensive Elijah Fuentes-Cundiff is flagged for a late hitting out of bounds.

The penalty extended the drive and the Tigers scored the first of 17 unanswered fourth quarter points to clinch the Atlantic Division title for a berth in the ACC Championship Game.

Thereafter, Dino Babers was short and to the point in his post-match responses.

There was so much to explain.

Why did Sean Tucker, the star player on the team around whom the school built a preseason Heisman campaign, only get five runs in the game?

Why did Babers let almost 30 seconds pass at the end of the fourth quarter before using his final timeout to freeze the clock?

This ending will haunt SU fans for years, like Chris Gedney getting tackled 3 yards from the end zone by Miami, Will Allen getting flagged for defensive pass interference against Tennessee or Chase Brice converting a 4th-and-6 passes to Tee Higgins on a winning drive, the last time Babers took a worthy challenger to Death Valley, only to see his championship hopes fade wistfully in the Southern sun.

Dabo Swinney’s bold move to bench DJ Uiagalelei for five-star rookie Cade Klubnik surprised the SU defense and recalls Babers’ late-game QB move in 2018, when he traded Tommy DeVito for Eric Dungey for spur a comeback against North Carolina. .

There was a lot more at stake in this one: the inside route to the ACC title game and, perhaps, the college football playoffs. Coming out of a place where visitors have now lost 38 times in a row, carrying the feeling of having accomplished something that will resonate for generations.

These games, the history book tells us, don’t happen very often.

Syracuse was in it until the very end, driving to win the game on the backs of the players who were paramount from the start and those who suddenly got the spotlight.

Remember, Fuentes-Cundiff was a reserve lineman invited to play a bigger role after Terry Lockett’s season-ending injury earlier this season.

Another key third down defensive penalty was called on Isaiah Johnson, the Dartmouth transfer making his first start and playing extended snaps with star corner Garrett Williams with a leg injury.

Chris Bleich’s holding penalty erased a massive 19-yard midfield hold by Oronde Gadsden II on third down early in the fourth quarter.

Four plays later, Will Shipley exploded for a 50-yard touchdown to put Clemson ahead.

Assumptions can be torture.

Here’s the buzz on social media after Syracuse dropped their first game of the season:


Crazy things seem to happen when Syracuse meets Clemson. After this one, Dabo could “sacrifice a goat”

Why did Sean Tucker only do 5 litters? Dino Babers says Clemson defense had a ‘good plan’

Syracuse Bowl prospects after Clemson loss: Root for the Tigers if you want the Orange Bowl

Syracuse-Clemson was full of twists and turns. These turns show how the Tigers won an instant classic

Syracuse’s perfect season ends in Death Valley as they drop Heartbreaker 27-21 to Clemson

Syracuse football box score at Clemson

It’s a whiff: Dino Babers’ clock management costs Orange 25 seconds behind in loss to Clemson

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