Facing limited quarterback options and a five-game losing streak, Syracuse rushed for 382 yards Saturday to defeat Pittsburgh 28-13 in Atlantic Coast Conference play at Yankee Stadium in New York.
The Orange (5-5, 1-5 ACC) earned their first conference win of the season by pounding the Panthers (2-8, 1-5), who have dropped four games in a row.
With quarterback Garrett Shrader hobbled significantly by an undisclosed upper-body injury and backup Carlos Del Rio-Wilson out with a lower-body injury, Syracuse had to get creative in this one. On one play, Shrader lined up at wide receiver and did a back flip on the snap while the play went elsewhere.
Tight end Dan Villari and running back LeQuint Allen each took snaps for the Orange, as Shrader was limited to two pass attempts on the day. He completed one of them — a 5-yard TD to a wide-open Max Mang — although he barely reached Mang in the end zone due to the injury.
Villari, who entered the game with two carries for three yards on the season, finished with 17 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown in this one. He also completed 3-of-5 passes for 12 yards.
Allen contributed 102 yards on 28 carries. Shrader was able to carry 14 times for 96 yards, including a 21-yard TD scamper on fourth-and-2 midway through the third quarter that gave the Orange the lead for good.
Later in the third, Jayden Bellamy intercepted Pitt’s Christian Veilleux and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown to give Syracuse a 21-13 lead.
Villari’s 27-yard touchdown early in the fourth put the exclamation point on the win for Syracuse, which finished with 66 carries and only eight pass attempts.
Veilleux completed 13-of-22 for 161 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Rodney Hammond Jr. carried 12 times for 43 yards for the Panthers, while Konata Mumpfield caught a team-high four passes for 29 yards and a score.
–Field Level Media
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