There was not much for Syracuse to brag about after its 28-17 win over Stony Brook, but at least the Orange picked up their first victory of the season after tough losses to Northwestern and USC.
This team may have been feeling the effects of playing No. 2 USC down to the wire last week. The Orange came out flat and uninspired. The offensive fireworks of the first two weeks were missing for most of the game, although Syracuse did end up with 549 total yards. Meanwhile, the defense struggled to contain Stony Brook on offense and there were several costly special-teams mistakes, including two missed field goals by Ross Krautman.
The result: Stony Brook led 17-14 at halftime. But the Orange were able to generate enough in the second half to pull out the win, though there was some cause for concern. Twice in the second half, Syracuse faced fourth-and-goal -- once from the Stony Brook 3 and once from the Stony Brook 1 -- and decided to go for it. Both times, the Orange failed to punch the ball in.
Despite those failures, Jerome Smith had a career day, with 95 yards rushing. Ryan Nassib also had his third consecutive 300-yard game, going 22-of-35 for for 335 yards with three touchdown passes. His two second-half touchdowns came in the third quarter. The first, to Jarrod West, gave Syracuse the lead for good. He added another to Marcus Sales, who ended up with 117 yards on five receptions.