5. Ryan Nassib passes Marvin Graves for the Syracuse record for career passing yards
This moment happened in the first quarter of the game at Missouri on November 17th. Nassib was just six yards shy entering the game, and passed the mark early on in the game. This was a significant moment because despite all of the criticism and scrutiny Ryan Nassib faced throughout his career for the Orange, he stared adversity in the face and overcame all of the difficulties thrown at him in the past five years. It was great to see Nassib set the record because he earned every accolade that he has received this season, and really has proven all of his doubters wrong with his incredible numbers this season. Nassib has thrown for 3,619 yards, with 24 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Incredibly enough, a majority of interceptions were not even Nassib’s fault, as multiple passes have been intercepted this season that have hit receivers dead in the hands. That is part of the game, but the play of Ryan Nassib this season has been nothing short of remarkable.
4. Durell Eskridge’s blocked punt against USF in the third quarter
The Orange were having a terrible day in the first half against the South Florida Bulls on October 27, trailing 23-3 heading in to the final two quarters. Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to Jarrod West to begin the comeback, but the fans really seemed to start believing on the following drive. After six plays and on a fourth down, Durrell Eskridge got enough of a rush to block the Bulls’ punt attempt, giving the Orange great field position on the South Florida 45 yard line. This really was the turning point in the game, and helped spark the eventual Orange comeback.
3. Syracuse has a huge second quarter in a winning effort against undefeated Louisville
This was probably the best quarter of football we’ve seen this football team play all season. The Orange blew the game wide open by halftime, after playing to a 10-10 draw at the end of the first quarter. Syracuse started the second quarter by capping off a 13 play, 92 yard drive that put the Orange ahead by a touchdown. Following a Louisville punt, the Orange then went 70 yards down the field after Ryan Nassib completed a 37 yard pass to Alec Lemon for a touchdown. This put the Orange up two scores, and put the Louisville Cardinals’ backs against the ropes. Syracuse then forced another punt, and went 63 yards on 3 plays including a Prince-Tyson Gulley touchdown which made it 31-10. Louisville found a way to get a field goal just before the end of the half, but it was too little too late. The Orange then cruised for the rest of the game en route to handing Louisville their first loss of the season.
2. Ryan Nassib throws to Alec Lemon with 3 seconds left to complete comeback against South Florida
In what absolutely will be looked at as one of the multiple games that saved the Orange season this year, Ryan Nassib led Syracuse right down the field before scoring a go ahead touchdown with 3 seconds left to beat the South Florida Bulls. The touchdown capped the largest comeback in Syracuse football history, overcoming a 20 point deficit. This was the game that many fans (myself included) had doubts on the ability of the Orange to pull out a victory, and the team did just that. Nassib threw the go ahead touchdown to Lemon, but this game was much more than that. The offensive was as productive as it has been all season in the second half, but this game was a complete team effort. This win included key defensive stops late in the game to go along with solid special teams play. The clutch pass brought the Orange to .500 for the first time on the season, and Syracuse never looked back.
1. Tell me if you’ve heard this before: Nassib to Lemon in the fourth quarter brings Syracuse a win on the road from behind
The Syracuse Orange became bowl eligible in dramatic fashion in a win at Missouri on November 17th. The 21 point fourth quarter was capped when Ryan Nassib converted a fourth down with under a minute left, followed by a touchdown pass to Alec Lemon with 20 seconds left to push the Orange past the Tigers for their seventh win of the season. The win was yet another come from behind victory for Syracuse, and took the pressure off the Temple game in the team’s efforts to become bowl eligible. The win snapped Missouri’s 18 game home non-conference streak, which dated all the way back to 2005.