PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Freshman Ross Krautman kicked a 24-yard field goal with 1:07 to play and Syracuse defeated Rutgers 13-10 to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2004.
Krautman also had a career-long 48-yard field goal for the Orangemen (7-3, 4-2 Big East), who have turned things around in two seasons under coach Doug Marrone. Ryan Nassib also threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Antwon Bailey, who had runs of 14 and 15 yards on the game-winning drive.
Freshman Jeremy Deering ran for a career-best 166 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown for Rutgers (4-5, 1-3). The Scarlet Knights have lost three straight, all since defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury on Oct. 16 that has left him paralyzed from the neck down.
San San Te hit a 26-yard field goal for Rutgers, but he also missed from 47 and 45 yards, with the second miscue coming on the possession prior to Syracuse’s 11-play, 66-yard march to victory.
Rutgers, which needs to win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible for a sixth straight season, seemed to be in position to win the game late in the fourth quarter after Deering went around right end for 22 yards to the Syracuse 17.
However, halfback Kordell Young lost a fumble out of bounds at the 25 on the next play and Tom Savage was sacked on third down setting up the long 45-yarder. A seemingly bad snap led to a low line drive by Te that never reached the uprights.
After getting the Orangemen a first down at the 36 with a 1-yard run, Bailey ran 14 yards to the Rutgers 49 and Nassib followed with an 11-yard pass to Marcus Sales.
Runs of 7 and 15 yards by Bailey on consecutive plays and an 8-yard run by Delone Carter set up Krautman for his game winner.
Rutgers, which got most of its offense with Deering running out of the wildcat, had taken a 10-7 lead early in the third quarter on Deering’s 18-yard run. The drive also featurd passes of 13 and 34 yards by Savage to Mark Harrison.
Savage, who started the year at quarterback, replaced freshman Chas Dodd at the start of the second half.
Krautman tied the game late in the third quarter, capping a 12-play, 58-yard drive.
Neither offense did much in the first half with the defense setting up the scores that gave Syracuse a 7-3 lead.
One play after Rutgers safety Joe Lefeged recovered a fumble by Syracuse tight end Nick Provo at the Scarlet Knights’ 36, cornerback Mike Holmes of the Orangemen recovered a fumbled pitch by Young at the Rutgers 32.
A third-down pass interference penalty and a 12-yard pass to Van Chew gave Syracuse a first-and-goal at the 5. Nassib got all day on third down and eventually found Bailey all alone for the touchdown.
Rutgers scored with 4:38 left in the half on Te’s 26-yard field goal.
Safety Khaseem Greene, LeGrand’s roomate, set up the score, intercepting Nassib at the Syracuse 40. The play, right in front of the Orangemen’s bench, was initially ruled out of bounds, but it was overturned on replay.
A 12-yard run by Mohamed Sanu and a 6-yard run by Deering – both out of the wildcat – got Rutgers in range.