Scores

Final

Maine 24

(2-2, 1-0 CAA)

Syracuse 41

(2-2, 2-1 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 26, 2009

Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY

1 2 3 4 T
MAIN 0 17 0 724
SYR 7 6 14 1441

Top Performers

Passing: W. Smith (MAIN) - 305 YDS, 3 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: D. Carter (SYR) - 19 CAR, 72 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: L. Williams (MAIN) - 6 REC, 102 YDS, 2 TD

Maine's tricks silenced in second half as Syracuse wins

Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Delone Carter scored four touchdowns and Syracuse overcame Maine's bag of tricks to beat the Black Bears 41-24 on Saturday night.

It was the second straight win for the Orange (2-2) and it put them at .500 for the first time in three years, a span of 35 games.

Maine (2-2) made it interesting, though, flawlessly executing two onside kicks and two fake punts, and led 17-13 at halftime. The Black Bears, who were hurt by 17 penalties for 132 yards, failed to score again until the final minute.

Carter caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and scored three times in the second half on runs of 9, 5 and 3 yards to rally the Orange.

Greg Paulus finished 21-for-28 for 270 yards and two touchdowns for Syracuse, including a pretty 17-yarder to Marcus Sales to give the Orange a 27-17 lead late in the third.

Warren Smith was 24-for-35 for 305 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, and Landis Williams had 102 yards receiving, including scoring catches of 56 and 14 yards to lead Maine.

Syracuse began the season with three straight games against the Big Ten, one of the most difficult schedules in the nation, and in this decade, the Orange had played and defeated only two teams from college football's second tier before Maine came to town.

The Black Bears are accustomed to moving up in class -- this is the sixth consecutive season Maine has played an Football Bowl Subdivision team -- and though the Black Bears had yet to win when they entered the Carrier Dome, they had to create quite a stir in the Syracuse locker room after building 17-13 lead and outgaining Syracuse 256-149 in the first half.

Maine coach Jack Cosgrove said his team would have to play its best and hope Syracuse would struggle. He never mentioned trick plays, but the Black Bears caught Syracuse napping twice in the first half and again early in the third quarter.

Maine was shaky at the outset, getting called for four penalties on the first eight plays from scrimmage. Three infractions on their first possession pinned the Black Bears at their 8 and Syracuse's Mike Jones returned a short punt to the Maine 31.

The Orange quickly took advantage as Paulus hit Carter with a scoring pass in the right corner of the end zone. Carter made a juggling catch on his knees after Paulus almost ran out of options on a scramble.

Maine quickly got untracked and stunned Syracuse by scoring twice in an 11-second span, and the Orange were lucky it wasn't more.

The Black Bears had to settle for Jordan Waxman's 35-yard field goal early in the second quarter after they were whistled for a false start on a fourth-and-1 play.

On the ensuing kickoff, Waxman executed a perfect onside kick, recovering it himself at the Maine 44. Smith, a transfer from Iona making his first start for Maine, then took the first snap and hit Williams in stride near the Syracuse 10. Williams outfought Nico Scott for the ball and scored to make it 10-7 early in the second.

Syracuse tied it 10-10 less than 4 minutes later on Ryan Lichtenstein's 28-yard field goal, but the Black Bears kept on tricking.

On a fourth-and-1 play late in the second from his own 26, quarterback Mike Brusko took the snap in punt formation and completed a 35-yard pass to a wide-open Desmond Randall.

Five plays later, Syracuse linebacker Doug Hogue deflected Smith's 14-yard pass as it traveled toward the end zone, but Williams made a sliding catch to give the Black Bears a shocking 17-10 lead.

Hogue secured his revenge late in the third, intercepting Smith and returning it to the Maine 10 to set up Carter's third score.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MAIN
SYR
1st Downs2020
Total Yards430385
Passing340270
Rushing90115
Penalties17-13210-102
3rd Down Conversions3-121-8
4th Down Conversions3-32-2
Turnovers21
Possession31:1628:44

Passing Leaders

MaineC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Smith24/353058.732
SyracuseC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Paulus21/282709.620

Rushing Leaders

MaineCARYDSAVGTDLG
Session9404.4013
Williams22713.5018
SyracuseCARYDSAVGTDLG
Carter19723.839
Bailey5275.409

Receiving Leaders

MaineRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams610217.0256
McDonald16262.0062
SyracuseRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams58016.0025
Provo24723.5024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMAINSYR
TD07:19Delone Carter 2 Yd Pass From Greg Paulus (Ryan Lichtenstein Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERMAINSYR
FG14:55Jordan Waxman 35 Yd 37
TD14:44Landis Williams 56 Yd Pass From Warren Smith (Jordan Waxman Kick) 107
FG10:50Ryan Lichtenstein 28 Yd 1010
TD04:58Landis Williams 14 Yd Pass From Warren Smith (Jordan Waxman Kick) 1710
FG01:01Ryan Lichtenstein 34 Yd 1713
THIRD QUARTERMAINSYR
TD06:08Delone Carter 9 Yd Run (Ryan Lichtenstein Kick) 1720
TD01:30Marcus Sales 17 Yd Pass From Greg Paulus (Ryan Lichtenstein Kick) 1727
FOURTH QUARTERMAINSYR
TD14:55Delone Carter 5 Yd Run (Ryan Lichtenstein Kick) 1734
TD02:23Delone Carter 3 Yd Run (Ryan Lichtenstein Kick) 1741
TD00:10Tyrell Jones 15 Yd Pass From Warren Smith (Jordan Waxman Kick) 2441