Orangemen put an end to Tech streak
By Jimmy Robertson
October 27, 2001

Syracuse put an end to Tech's 16-game home field winning streak by winning the battle of special teams and throttling Tech's rushing attack en route to a 22-14 win over the Hokies in front of a sellout crowd of 53,662 fans at Lane Stadium.

The win - Syracuse's seventh straight - snapped the Orangemen's four-game losing streak at Lane Stadium. The win marked Syracuse's first in Blacksburg since 1987 and avenged an embarrassing 62-0 loss on their last visit to Blacksburg. The loss snapped the Hokies' nine-game winning streak and leaves Tech at 6-1 on the season, 3-1 in the BIG EAST.

"I think you give Syracuse credit," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "Syracuse did what it needed to do. They didn't turn the ball over and they made some plays. And we helped them.

"When you do as many things as unsharp as we did, it goes back to coaching. We didn't have these kids ready to play."

The Orangemen started early in this one. The Orangemen held the Hokies to three-and-out and Tech's first possession, forcing the Hokies to punt. Syracuse punt returner Jamel Riddle fielded the punt at the Syracuse 49 and went virtually untouched down the middle of the field for a 51-yard touchdown. The extra point gave the 'Cuse a 7-0 lead less than to minutes into the game.

The Orangemen added to it minutes later, thanks in large part to a fumble by Tech freshman Kevin Jones. Quentin Harris recovered the loose ball, giving the Orangemen the ball at the Tech 17. Four plays later, Syracuse tailback James Mungro scored from the 1 and the extra point gave the Orangemen a 14-0 lead with 7:35 left in the first quarter.

Tech's special teams once again falter, this time late in the half. Forced to punt with 12 seconds left in the first half, Tech punter Vinnie Burns dropped the snapped and that allowed David Tyree to block the punt. Syracuse's Walter Reyes recovered at the Tech and Syracuse immediately took advantage as kicker Collin Barber booted a 26-yard field goal with four seconds left in the half. Syracuse took a 17-0 lead into the locker room.

The Hokies cut it to 17-7 in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by tailback Keith Burnell. But the Hokies failed to stop Syracuse on the Orangemen's next possession and the Orangemen added a field goal to take a 20-7 lead with 12:25 left in the game.

Tech got closer when quarterback Grant Noel connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Witten with 5:19 left. But Tech's defense again failed to stop Syracuse as the Orangemen ran down the clock and a punt by Mike Shaffer landed at the Tech 4, leaving the Hokies 96 yards away from a win with 2:31 left. Syracuse ended up sacking Noel for a safety to account for the final margin.

Tech finished the game with 252 yards of total offense, but just 90 on the ground. Syracuse ran for 168 yards against the nation's best rush defense, with tailback James Mungro rushing for 102 yards on 23 carries.

Tech takes on Pittsburgh next Saturday in Pittsburgh. Kickoff is slated for noon.