BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Garrett Shrader rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two, including one to Damien Alford with 19 seconds left, to lift Syracuse to a 41-36 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Orange (4-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored 14 points in the final 2:28 to snap a three-game losing streak. Shrader’s 45-yard scoring toss to Alford, who beat Virginia Tech’s Dorian Strong, was the difference.
Syracuse cut a 36-27 deficit to 36-34 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Shrader to Courtney Jackson with 2:28 remaining. The Orange’s defense then stopped the Hokies on the ensuing possession, leading to Shrader’s winning toss to Alford.
Shrader threw for 236 yards and rushed for 174, accounting for 410 of Syracuse’s 550 yards of total offense. Sean Tucker added 112 yards rushing and a score.
Malachi Thomas paced Virginia Tech (3-4, 1-2), which has lost three straight games, with 151 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The Hokies finished with season highs in total yards (437) and rushing yards (260).
Syracuse: The Orange finally won a close game after losing three straight by three points each. Shrader was magnificent the entire game, and between him and Tucker, the Orange have a potent offense. The defense came up with a big stop on the Hokies’ penultimate drive, leading to a huge road win for coach Dino Babers.
Virginia Tech: This might be the game that leads to the end of the Justin Fuente era at Virginia Tech. After Syracuse’s winning score, the Hokie faithful started chanting “Fire Fuente” and have seen enough after the Hokies lost their third straight game at home. The Hokies are in danger of a third losing season in the past four years.
Syracuse: The Orange play at home Saturday against Boston College.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies play at Georgia Tech on Saturday.
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