Saturday, November 11, 2023

Syracuse Football Continues Yankee Stadium Tradition With Win Over Pitt


Syracuse's Jayden Bellamy intercepting a pass to the right of the on-field ad before he ran it in for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Syracuse Orange played the Pitt Panthers on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium in homage to the 100th anniversary of their meeting at the original ballpark in 1923.

Syracuse won that one on October 20, 1923, by the score of 3-0, and they had the same result today, as they came back to win 28-13.

Overall, Syracuse is 8-3 in games played at Yankee Stadium and now 3-2 at the current Stadium. They played here last December in the Pinstripe Bowl, in which they came up short against Minnesota, 28-20.

The Orange improved to 5-5 on the season, so it's quite possible they end up back here in around six weeks for their fourth Pinstripe Bowl appearance. Pitt's tough season continued, as they fell to 2-8.

In a throwback, Syracuse won this game with an attack that was nearly exclusively on the ground, as they rushed for 382 yards as a team. Tight end Dan Villari led the way with 154 yards on 17 carried and one rushing touchdown. Running back LeQuint Allen had 28 carries for 102 yards, while quarterback Garrett Shrader ran it 14 times for 96 yards and a rushing RD, and RB Juwuan Price had five carries for 28 yards.

Syracuse jumped out to an early lead in this one, as Shrader connected on a five-yard touchdown pass to Maximilian Mang (what a name) at the 10:17 mark of the first quarter. That capped an opening drive that went four minutes and 43 seconds. Interestingly enough, that was the only completed pass for Shrader, as he only made two passing attempts in the game.

Maximilian Mang hauling in the opening touchdown. Photo by Jason Schott.

After Pitt had a quick drive, Syracuse was going down the field until Shrader fumbled at their 46-yard line. The Panthers then had a six-play, 20-yard drive that resulted in a Ben Sauls 35-yard field goal with 1:19 left in the opening frame.

Syracuse then punted on their next three possessions in the second quarter, while Pitt did on two of theirs. Then, suddenly, Pitt broke the logjam with a four-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 10-yard pass from Christian Veilleux to Konata Mumpfield that put them up 10-7.

After Syracuse followed with a three-and-out, Pitt went on a six-play, 41-yard drive that led to a 33-yard field goal from Sauls to put the Panthers up 13-7 at halftime.

Pitt received the ball to open the second half, and their seven-play, 27-yard drive was extinguished when Veilleux fumbled at the Syracuse 48-yard line at 10:56 of the third quarter.

The Orange offense turned a corner, as they went on a nine-play, 52-yard drive capped by a 21-yard run from Shrader at the 7:24 mark of the third that put them up 14-13.

Pitt then went three-and-out before Syracuse had another extended drive of eight plays and 61 yards over three minutes and 44 seconds, but that was halted when Shrader was halted at the one-yard line on a fourth-and-goal from the Pitt 2-yard line with 2:30 left in the third.

Pitt stopping Garrett Shrader before he hit the pylon and the end zone late in the third quarter. Photo by Jason Schott.

Then, on the second play of Pitt's ensuing drive, Veilleux fired one to the right side of the field, and Jayden Bellamy caught it at the 23 yard line and ran it in for a pick 6 that put the Orange up 21-13. (Photo essay of the interception at the end of this report)

The Syracuse defense struck again soon after, as they forced Veilleux to fumble on a quarterback keeper at their 34-yard line.

Two plays into Syracuse's ensuing drive, Villari ran in a touchdown from 27 yards out that put the Orange up 28-13 and essentially iced the game.

Sryacuse celebrating Dan Villari's late TD. Photo by Jason Schott.

PHOTO ESSAY: The Thrill of Jayden Bellamy's Pick 6:

Photos by Jason Schott

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