Krautman's FG gives SU 33-30 OT win over Toledo
(AP Photo/Steve Jacobs)
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Toledo had just pounded the ball for more than 10 minutes, going 75 yards on 22 plays and scoring on the game's first possession, and Syracuse was reeling.
Four plays after Ryan Casano's 20-yard field goal had given the Rockets the early lead, Orange center Macky MacPherson snapped the ball when quarterback Ryan Nassib wasn't looking and T.J. Fatinikun recovered for Toledo at the Syracuse 30.
Three plays later, Morgan Williams scored on a 21-yard run off a direct snap from center for a 10-0 lead and Syracuse appeared to be in a for a long afternoon.
Unfortunately, for the Rockets, the Orange don't seem to mind playing a little longer than usual.
After Casano kicked a 20-yard field goal for Toledo on the final play of regulation to send what turned into a see-saw game into overtime, Syracuse cornerback Kevyn Scott made an interception in the end zone on the first play of the extra period and Ross Krautman kicked a 27-yard field goal to give Syracuse a 33-30 victory on Saturday.
"Before that (bungled snap), we knew that we could move the ball on these guys," said Nassib, who had touchdown passes of 25 yards to Nick Provo and 18 yards to Alec Lemon. "We knew we had to come back. We had no other choice."
This comeback wasn't nearly as dramatic as the Orange's 32-29 overtime win over Wake Forest in the season-opener - they rallied from 15 points behind with under 12 minutes left in regulation. It was just as important, though, because it sends Syracuse (3-1) into Big East play next week at home against Rutgers with some momentum.
"We didn't win the game as we wanted to," Nassib said. "At the end of the day, we won the game."
After Nassib's pretty pass to Lemon in the back of the end zone gave Syracuse a 29-27 lead with 2:07 left in regulation, Krautman, who had four field goals in the game, appeared to miss the extra point. Officials reviewed the kick and allowed it to stand despite a replay that showed it was just wide.
"I don't know other than what they tell me in the box, and it looked like it was a little off to the left," Toledo coach Tim Beckman said. "When you come into these games, I think we've learned as a football team, and as a coaching staff, it's us against the world. We've got to make sure we don't give the touchdown up so they could kick the PAT."
Big East coordinator of officials Terry McAulay later released a statement saying the replay officials made the wrong call on the PAT.
"After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling," the statement said. "In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
"Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted. We are confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence."
It was the third straight loss to a BCS team for Toledo (1-3), which lost 27-22 at Ohio State and a week ago gave No. 4 Boise State fits for three quarters in a 40-15 setback.
"It's a learning experience," Toledo quarterback Austin Dantin said. "We know what kind of team we have. But at the end, we didn't do it."
The Rockets almost did.
With time running out in the fourth, Dantin drove them deep into Syracuse territory, hitting tight end Danny Noble for 30 yards on third down. A face mask penalty against the Orange gave Toledo a first-and-goal at the 9 with just over a minute left, but they were unable to punch it in.
"Obviously, we're excited to be 3-1," Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said. "I give credit to the kids. They kept playing and kept fighting until the end."
The Rockets were burned in the extra period when they gambled on first down and Scott wrestled Dantin's pass away from receiver Bernard Reedy in the right corner of the end zone.
"I was not seeing much action ... the whole game," Scott said. "I was hoping he would throw that ball. I saw it was coming, and it was like a baby seeing candy. I was ready for it."
Both teams were hurting physically. Toledo lost leading tailback Adonis Thomas with a broken arm suffered in the first quarter and was missing four starters on defense. Syracuse was without leading tackler Shamarko Thomas, standout defensive end Chandler Jones, and starting middle linebacker Marquis Spruill was on the bench at the start because of nagging injuries.
Toledo wideout Eric Page didn't score, but he made Syracuse defenders dizzy with 13 catches - the most by a Syracuse opponent and one off his career high - for a career-high 158 yards.
Nassib finished 16 of 24 for 213 yards, and Provo had three catches for 54 yards and one touchdown for the Orange.
Dantin played most of the game and finished 22 of 32 for 258 yards passing and gained 42 yards rushing. The interception was the only turnover of the game for the Rockets.
The Orange took a 23-20 lead on Krautman's 29-yard field goal with 12:37 left in the fourth, but the Rockets quickly rallied to regain the lead.
Dantin hit Page over the middle for 32 yards, gained another 12 on a keeper, and Williams scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 61-yard drive that took just four plays and gave the Rockets a 27-23 lead with 10:54 left.
David Fluellen caught a 29-yard scoring pass late in the third that gave the Rockets a 20-13 lead.
Syracuse tied it in four plays. Nassib hit Jarrod West for a 39-yard completion over the middle on a third-and-11 play. It was West's first career reception and Antwon Bailey scored on a 29-yard run on the next play.
Krautman had field goals of 33 and 31 yards to give the Orange a 13-10 lead late in the second. With one chance to tie it before the break, the Rockets did just that on freshman Jeremiah Detmer's 52-yard field goal as time expired.
It was Detmer's first career field-goal attempt and just 3 yards shy of the school record set in 2001 by Todd France.
Toledo cornerback Desmond Marrow was injured midway through the third quarter in a helmet-to-helmet hit with Bailey. He was taken from the field on a stretcher, evaluated at a local hospital and released, the team said.
Updated September 24, 2011