Football

Syracuse battles back from early mistakes to take 17-13 halftime lead over Temple

PHILADELPHIA – Syracuse recovered from some early miscues to take a 17-13 lead over Temple at halftime at Lincoln Financial Field.

Temple scored on its first drive of the game, as the Owls drove from its own 27-yard line down to Syracuse’s 30. A 47-yard field goal by Brandon McManus that went straight through the uprights gave Temple the early lead.

Syracuse then started at its own 26, and running back Jerome Smith powered his way through the Owls’ defense to gain 21 yards on two plays. Quarterback Ryan Nassib then found Alec Lemon for a 23-yard pass, and the Orange was in prime position to score on its first drive.

But those ugly turnovers that plagued SU early in the season returned quickly Friday.

Prince-Tyson Gulley ran up the middle for a gain of close to 10 yards, but fumbled the ball and Temple recovered.

Syracuse got the ball back four plays later as cornerback Brandon Reddish stripped the ball from Owls wide receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick. But on the Orange’s ensuing drive, wide receiver Marcus Sales coughed up the ball to kill another possession.

Temple then scored on its following possession on a 12-yard pass by Clinton “Juice” Granger to wide receiver John Christopher. After the extra point, the Owls took a 10-0 lead.

Syracuse answered right back on its next possession. Nassib connected with Marcus Sales for a 24-yard touchdown pass. Sales caught the ball with his back to the end zone, and fell down as he secured it. Officials reviewed the play but the ruling stood and Syracuse pulled to within three to make it 10-7.

The Orange scored again with 9:11 left in the half. Syracuse used its running game to drive down to the Temple 18, and Adonis Ameen-Moore ran through a wide-open hole on the right side for a touchdown run to give the Orange the lead. After the extra point, SU went up 14-10 and the momentum shifted to its favor.

Temple then used its passing attack to drive up the field on its ensuing possession. A 23-yard pass from Granger to Christopher brought the Owls down to Syracuse’s 5, but the Orange’s defense became stout and wouldn’t let Temple punch the ball into the end zone.

A great stop by linebacker Marquis Spruill on Temple running back Kenneth Harper forced the Owls to have to settle for a field goal, making the score 14-13 Syracuse.

Syracuse went three-and-out on its next possession, but Montel Harris dropped the ensuing punt and the Orange recovered to start its drive at its own 47. Red-zone struggles returned, though, as the Orange failed to get into the end zone from Temple’s 15.

Syracuse settled for a 26-yard field goal from Ross Krautman to take a 17-13 lead into the half.

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