Syracuse routs Duke 49-6, snaps 4-game slide

Syracuse's Moe Neal (21) dives towards the goal line during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Duke in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Neal's run was ruled just short of the goal line. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Tommy DeVito threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another, and Syracuse routed Duke 49-6 on Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Andre Cisco returned an interception 48 yards for a TD to help the Orange (4-6, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) earn their first win against a power-conference team. Syracuse, a 10-point underdog, pulled away by turning three second-half takeaways into touchdowns and outscored Duke 35-0 after halftime.

“I’m really excited that they have the experience of winning again,” coach Dino Babers said.

Moe Neal rushed for 115 yards and a 2-yard score, Jarveon Howard also finished with 115 yards rushing with a 28-yard TD and the Orange had a season-best 286 yards on the ground. Syracuse had only one 100-yard rusher in its first nine games, with Neal gaining 123 in the victory over Western Michigan on Sept. 21.

“We didn’t expect that coming in,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said.

DeVito was 6 of 15 for 105 yards with an 18-yard scoring pass to Trishton Jackson and a 22-yarder to Luke Benson to go along with his 1-yard scoring run.

Perhaps more importantly for DeVito, Syracuse — which allows an FBS-worst five sacks per game — was sacked only once.

AJ Reed kicked field goals of 31 and 51 yards for the Blue Devils (4-6, 2-4), who lost their fourth straight.

THE TAKEAWAY

Syracuse: Everything that went wrong during the past few weeks suddenly went right for the Orange. They protected DeVito, found a way to run the ball and showed marked improvement on defense under interim coordinator Steve Stanard, who took over when Brian Ward was fired. If nothing else, this team won’t match Greg Robinson’s forgettable 2005 Big East squad — the program’s last to finish a season without a conference victory.

Duke: The Blue Devils have been in a total free fall ever since that failed jump pass in the closing seconds at North Carolina. Duke has lost its last two by a combined 87-13 and this largely listless performance was reminiscent of a 59-7 loss to Wake Forest on Senior Day 2018. This was one the Blue Devils probably had to win to have a realistic shot at bowl eligibility. No more wiggle room: Either beat the Demon Deacons and Miami or spend the holidays at home.

UP NEXT

Syracuse: Plays at Louisville on Saturday.

Duke: Visits instate rival Wake Forest on Saturday.