SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Trill Williams stole the ball from Wake Forest receiver Kendall Hinton and returned it 94 yards for a touchdown in overtime, and Syracuse beat Wake Forest 39-30 on Saturday.
Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman throws a pass from the pocket against Syracuse during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Andre Szymt had given the Orange the lead in extra time with a 40-yard field goal and Williams sealed the victory when he wrestled the ball away from Hinton inside the 5 and raced down the left side untouched.
Szmyt’s 49-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the fourth broke a 27-all tie, but Nick Sciba connected for Wake Forest from 43 yards out with four seconds left to force overtime.
Syracuse (5-7, 2-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) got a 13-yard touchdown run up the middle by Moe Neal midway through the fourth quarter to break a 20-all tie. Clayton Welch set up the go-ahead score with a pair of 26-yard completions to Trishton Jackson, who finished with 10 catches for 111 yards.
The Demon Deacons (8-4, 4-4) tied it just over four minutes later on Sam Hartman’s scoring pass to Hinton on fourth-and-goal from the 2.
Welch started at quarterback for Syracuse in place of injured Tommy DeVito, who was hurt in practice, and Welch gave the Orange an early boost. He threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to Jackson in the first quarter and a wide-open Luke Benson for 29 early in the second to stake Syracuse to a 17-3 lead.
When Welch was hit hard early in the third, DeVito relieved him and completed an 18-yard pass to Nykeim Johnson to set up the Orange at the Wake Forest 2. The Wake Forest defense stopped three straight running plays inside the 1 and Syracuse settled for Szmyt’s 20-yard field goal.
Donovan Green’s 75-yard catch-and-run on Wake Forest’s next play from scrimmage knotted the score at 20-all late in the third.
Wake Forest starting quarterback Jamie Newman was 6 of 13 for 71 yards and an interception and rushed for 23 yards before getting shaken up in the second quarter and did not return. Sam Hartman took over and was intercepted twice before the break, but his 23-yard completion to Steven Claude set up Sciba’s second field goal of the game as time expired.
Hartman, who finished 25 of 42 for 350 yards, hit Donavon Greene for 27 yards on the first possession of the second half and Cade Carney scored on a 19-yard run after a nice delay at the line as Wake Forest closed to within 17-13.
Welch was 21 of 36 for 234 yards passing.
The first half featured six turnovers, with Wake Forest suffering three interceptions and a lost fumble. The Orange gained a 10-3 lead in a first quarter that featured three turnovers in a span of just over four minutes. Orange sophomore safety Andre Cisco intercepted Newman at the Wake 37, his fifth pick of the season and 12th of his career, but that was negated when Welch was intercepted three plays later by Wake Forest defensive lineman Manny Walker. Syracuse got the ball right back when Cisco recovered a fumble by Newman and the Orange capitalized on Szmyt’s 24-yard field goal. Syracuse defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu had a key pick in the end zone, wrestling Hartman’s throw from Waydale Jones with just over four minutes left in the second. Chris Fredrick’s pick for the Orange was negated by an interception by Wake’s Ja’Sir Taylor in the final minute before halftime and the Deacons capitalized with Sciba’s second field goal.
Sciba entered the game with an NCAA record 32 straight field goals after hitting four last week against Duke. He gave the Demon Deacons a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter with a 43-yarder and kicked a season-long 45-yarder as time expired in the second. That made him a perfect 23 of 23 for the season, but the streak of 34 in a row ended when he missed a 48-yard attempt early in the fourth.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have a real threat with Newman, a redshirt junior who has three 400-yard games in his career, if he takes care of the ball, and a capable backup in Hartman.
Syracuse: The Orange began the season ranked No. 22 after finishing last season with 10 wins and a No. 15 ranking. Defense became an Achilles heel and defensive coordinator Brian Ward was fired after an embarrassing home loss to Boston College in early November. Coach Dino Babers said that will be addressed in the offseason.
Wake Forest awaits bowl selection Sunday to find out which Tier 1 game it will play in.
Syracuse’s season is over.