October 28, 2018 / 3:23 AM / 19 days ago

Syracuse edges No. 22 NC State to gain bowl eligibility

EditorsNote: Edit 1: Multiple tweaks throughout

Eric Dungey threw two of his three touchdown passes in a 24-point first quarter and Syracuse held on to defeat No. 22 North Carolina State 51-41 on Saturday night at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

The Orange (6-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) are bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.

N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley threw for three touchdowns and 473 yards. Receiver Kelvin Harmon made 11 catches for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolfpack (5-2, 2-2), which lost for the first time last week at unbeaten Clemson.

Dungey had been pulled late in regulation of a double-overtime victory a week earlier against North Carolina, leading to speculation that Tommy DeVito might draw the start in the next game. The Orange stuck with Dungey, though DeVito played in briefly in the second quarter.

Dungey ended up 27 of 38 for 411 yards.

Dungey directed 14- and five-play touchdown drives in the third quarter, rushing in from 1 yard out on the first one. He threw 31 yards to Taj Harris on the other for a 41-27 lead.

In between, N.C. State’s Brady Bodine had a 1-yard touchdown run.

In the fourth quarter, Reggie Gallaspy II ran in from 1 yard out for the Wolfpack. After an Andre Szmyt 41-yard field goal for Syracuse, a Finley-to-Harmon connection of 12 yards with 7:23 remaining pulled the Wolfpack within 44-41 before a Syracuse punt.

But Finley was intercepted with 2:18 to play. The Orange then benefited from a defensive pass interference penalty before Dontae Strickland’s 5-yard rushing touchdown run on third-and-goal.

Earlier, N.C. State had the first touchdown when Finley threw 67 yards to Emeka Emezie.

Two snaps later, Dungey’s pass to Nykeim Johnson for 82 yards went for a touchdown. The Orange stretched the lead to 17-7 on Jarveon Howard’s 2-yard run.

It was 24-7 when Dungey’s 20-yard toss to Jamal Custis was hauled in for a touchdown.

N.C. State settled for Christopher Dunn’s 25-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Then Finley’s 74-yard connection with Harmon and Dunn’s 29-yard field goal trimmed the hole to 24-20.

Szmyt hit from 45 yards out on the last play of the half for a 27-20 lead.

The Orange had 300 first-half passing yards.

Syracuse had won only one of the previous 11 meetings with the Wolfpack.

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