SYRACUSE, NY – With Rutgers leading, 31-27, late in the fourth quarter, Syracuse registered a pair of touchdowns in the final 2:30 for a 41-31 victory this afternoon in a back-and-forth offensive contest at the Carrier Dome. Junior QB Ryan Hart completed 29-of-41 passes for 311 yards and three TD's for the Scarlet Knights (2-2), including a pair to tight end Clark Harris. Tres Moses (10 catches, 109 yards) and Chris Baker (5 catches, 101 yards) both eclipsed the 100-yard mark.
Rutgers fell behind, 10-0, in the second quarter as Syracuse scored its first three points on a Collin Barber field goal (40 yards) and added a 44-yard TD run by Damien Rhodes at the 11:19 mark. The Scarlet Knights then cut the lead to 10-7 when Hart hit Harris with a seven-yard pass tied the game on a 26-yard field goal by freshman K Jeremy Ito. The two teams appeared ready to head into the locker room tied, but Barber hit a 25-yarder at the 2:24 mark to give the Orange a 13-10, halftime lead.
Rutgers took its first lead of the game at the 8:56 mark of the third quarter when Justise Hairston plunged over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown, his first score of the season, but Syracuse took advantage of a Rutgers turnover and, four plays later, Walter Reyes scurried 23 yards down the sideline for a touchdown and another Syracuse lead, 20-17.
The Scarlet Knights bounced back on the ensuing drive, marching 81 yards on 11 plays. The drive was capped by Harris' second TD of the game, an eight-yard pass from Hart, which gave RU a 24-20 lead. Hart completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive, covering 68 yards. Another RU turnover on its next possession opened the door for the Orange once again, which benefited from a 62-yard run by Reyes, setting up the Orange's lone TD pass of the day, an eight-yard completion to Greg Hanoian, which provided Syracuse with yet another lead, 27-24.
The back-and-forth battle continued, as Hart marched Rutgers 80 yards on its next possession for another touchdown, finding Baker in the end zone with a five-yard strike to give Rutgers a 31-27 lead with just under four minutes to play. Hart was 9-for-11 on the drive, including a 21-yard pass to Baker on 3rd-and-10.
Syracuse refused to quit though, as Reyes ran 21 yards for a score at the 2:24 mark and, Rhodes capped the game with a 10-yard TD run with 1:02 left to play.
The Scarlet Knights, playing without fullback Brian Leonard, picked up 130 yards on the ground and 360 through the air, while Syracuse ran for 370 yards, including 237 by Reyes. Defensively, Jason Nugent led RU with nine tackles and one interception, while Piana Lukabu returned to action with two tackles, including a sack for -9 yards.
First Time Two Receivers over 100 Yards Since 1994
With Tres Moses and Chris Baker going for 109 and 101 yards receiving, respectively, vs. Syracuse, it marked the first time since 1994 that RU has had two receiver break the 100-yard mark. On Nov. 12, 1994 WR Reggie Funderburk and tight end Marco Battaglia had 172 and 110 yards, respectively in a 41-34 loss to Virginia Tech.
Hart Eclipses 4,000-yard Passing Mark
Junior QB Ryan Hart became just the fourth quarterback in Rutgers history to eclipse the 4,000-yard passing mark. His 311 passing yards vs. Syracuse gives him 4,290 career yards. Ray Lucas (1992-95) is third on the RU all-time yardage list with 5,896 yards. It was also Hart’s fourth 300-yard passing game of his career.
Moses Extends Reception Streak to 15 Games
With his four-yard reception vs. Syracuse in the first quarter, senior WR Tres Moses extended his reception streak to 15 consecutive games.
Moses Career High in Receiving Yards
Senior WR Tres Moses’ 109 receiving yards vs. Syracuse was a career-high. His previous career high was 90 yards vs. Boston College on Nov. 15, 2003.
Second Consecutive Game with 100-Yard Receiver
Tres Moses’ 109-yard receiving game, coupled with Chris Baker’s 101 yards vs. Syracuse marked the second consecutive game that RU has had a receiver eclipse the 100-yard plateau, coming on the heels of TE Clark Harris’ 6 catch, 108-yard game vs. Kent State on Sept. 18.
Moses Completes First Career Pass
Tres Moses’ 49-yard throw to fellow WR Chris Baker marked the first time he has ever completed a pass.
Porter Records Interception in Third Straight Game
Sophomore CB Joe Porter’s first quarter interception in the end zone on a third down pass attempt was his third interception of the season and was the third straight game he has picked off a pass, having recorded interceptions vs. New Hampshire (also in the end zone) and Kent State, respectively.
Harris Second Career, Third Career TD Receptions
Junior TE Clark Harris, a John Mackey Award Candidate, snared the second TD reception of his career and his second in as many games (19-yard TD pass vs. Kent State), a seven-yarder in the second quarter vs. Syracuse. He also grabbed a six-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
The Following Firsts were Accomplished vs. Syracuse:
Medley First Career Reception
Senior FB Ishmael Medley’s 12-yard second quarter reception vs. Syracuse was his first career reception.
Linton First Career Carries
True freshman RB Dmitri Linton’s five-yard gain in the first quarter was his first career carry. He finished with 25 yards on seven carries. As a senior at Northeast HS in Oakland Park, FL, he led all of Broward County in rushing with 1,674 yards, 31 touchdowns and 190 points. Linton has seen extensive time this season on special teams.
Beljour First Career Reception
True freshman fullback Jean Beljour had his first career reception in the second quarter vs. Syracuse. Beljour, who has seen extensive action on special teams, gained 12 yards on the play which gave RU a first and goal and helped lead to a seven-yard TD pass from Hart to TE Clark Harris.
Hairston First TD of Season
Sophomore RB Justice Hairston’s one-yard TD plunge in the third quarter was his first TD of the season.
Foster Career Highs in Receptions, Yards
Sophomore WR Willie Foster had career highs in receptions (3) and yards (45) vs. Syracuse.
Baker Career Highs in Receptions, Yards
Senior WR Chris Baker had career highs in receptions (5) and yards (101) vs. Syracuse.
Junior DE Piana Lukabu saw his first action of the season vs. Syracuse after sitting out the first three games. Lukabu played in all 12 games last season, with five starts. Junior DB Manny Collins saw his first action of the season vs. Syracuse. Collins suffered an elbow injury in pre-season camp. Sophomore LB Ken Gillespie saw the first action of his career vs. Syracuse as a member of the kickoff return unit in the second quarter.
Cunningham Gains Start
Senior LB Brad Cunningham gained his first start of the season. For Cunningham, it was his first start since the season finale vs. Syracuse on Nov. 29, 2003.
Longest TD Drive
Rutgers’ 12-play, 86-yard third quarter drive was the Scarlet Knights’ longest TD drive of the season (previous longest TD drive was a nine-play, 80-yard drive vs. Kent State on Sept. 18) and matched RU’s longest scoring drive of the season. Against Michigan State in the season opener on Sept. 4, Rutgers had an 86-yard drive that culminated in a 24-yard Jeremy Ito field goal.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Rutgers............. 0 10 14 7 - 31 Record: (2-2,0-1) Syracuse University. 0 13 7 21 - 41 Record: (3-2,1-0) Scoring Summary: 2nd 13:15 SYRACUSE - BARBER, Collin 40 yd field goal, 12-47 3:39, RUTGERS 0 - SYRACUSE 3 11:19 SYRACUSE - RHODES, Damien 44 yd run (BARBER, Collin kick), 2-69 0:14, RUTGERS 0 - SYRACUSE 10 07:48 RUTGERS - HARRIS, Clark 7 yd pass from HART, Ryan (ITO, Jeremy kick), 11-70 3:37, RUTGERS 7 - SYRACUSE 10 05:40 RUTGERS - ITO, Jeremy 26 yd field goal, 5-19 2:02, RUTGERS 10 - SYRACUSE 10 02:24 SYRACUSE - BARBER, Collin 25 yd field goal, 6-78 3:16, RUTGERS 10 - SYRACUSE 13 3rd 08:56 RUTGERS - HAIRSTON, Justi 1 yd run (ITO, Jeremy kick), 12-86 6:04, RUTGERS 17 - SYRACUSE 13 05:37 SYRACUSE - REYES, Walter 23 yd run (BARBER, Collin kick), 4-57 1:20, RUTGERS 17 - SYRACUSE 20 01:18 RUTGERS - HARRIS, Clark 8 yd pass from HART, Ryan (ITO, Jeremy kick), 11-80 4:19, RUTGERS 24 - SYRACUSE 20 4th 10:45 SYRACUSE - HANOIAN, Greg 4 yd pass from PATTERSON, P. (BARBER, Collin kick), 9-90 2:57, RUTGERS 24 - SYRACUSE 27 03:58 RUTGERS - BAKER, Chris 5 yd pass from HART, Ryan (ITO, Jeremy kick), 16-80 6:47, RUTGERS 31 - SYRACUSE 27 02:24 SYRACUSE - REYES, Walter 21 yd run (BARBER, Collin kick), 5-75 1:03, RUTGERS 31 - SYRACUSE 34 01:02 SYRACUSE - RHODES, Damien 3 yd run (BARBER, Collin kick), 1-3 0:05, RUTGERS 31 - SYRACUSE 41 RUTGERS SYRACUSE FIRST DOWNS................... 28 20 RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 42-130 40-370 PASSING YDS (NET)............. 360 131 Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 50-30-0 25-11-2 TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 92-490 65-501 Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0 Punt Returns-Yards............ 3-13 3-8 Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-90 4-100 Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-7 0-0 Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-36.8 3-52.0 Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-3 2-2 Penalties-Yards............... 11-88 15-120 Possession Time............... 35:38 24:22 Third-Down Conversions........ 11 of 19 3 of 11 Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 1 0 of 0 Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 5-7 4-5 Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-10 1-7 RUSHING: Rutgers-FACYSON, Markis 14-43; HAIRSTON, Justi 16-34; LINTON, Dimitri 7-25; HART, Ryan 3-13; MOSES, Tres 1-9; KANE, Orlando 1-6. Syracuse University-REYES, Walter 19-237; RHODES, Damien 10-102; PATTERSON, P. 6-28; HANOIAN, Greg 2-11; TEAM 3-minus 8. PASSING: Rutgers-HART, Ryan 29-49-0-311; MOSES, Tres 1-1-0-49. Syracuse University-PATTERSON, P. 11-25-2-131. RECEIVING: Rutgers-MOSES, Tres 10-109; BAKER, Chris 5-101; HARRIS, Clark 5-51; FOSTER, Willie 3-45; MEDLEY, Ishmael 3-17; HAIRSTON, Justi 2-21; BELJOUR, Jean 1-12; FACYSON, Markis 1-4. Syracuse University-JONES, Jared 3-32; BEMBO, Landel 2-17; HANOIAN, Greg 2-12; FONTENETTE, A. 1-43;KOWALEWSKI, Joe 1-14; REYES, Walter 1-11; BROWN, Quinton 1-2. INTERCEPTIONS: Rutgers-NUGENT, Jason 1-7; PORTER, Joe 1-0. Syracuse University-None. FUMBLES: Rutgers-HAIRSTON, Justi 2-2; HART, Ryan 1-1. Syracuse University-FERRI, Diamond 1-1; REYES, Walter 1-1. Stadium: Carrier Dome Attendance: 40153