We have seen Syracuse win various ways this season.
The Orange turned to their running game to do the damage against Temple on Friday afternoon. Syracuse overcame a sluggish start to pull away in the second half for a 38-20 win in the final Big East game in school history. Running back Jerome Smith went over 1,000 yards on the season, Adonis Ameen-Moore had two rushing touchdowns and Prince-Tyson Gulley added another as the Orange ran for 260 yards in their regular-season finale.
Receiver Alec Lemon also went over 1,000 yards on the season, giving Syracuse its first 1,000-yard rusher/receiver combination since Michael Owens and Rob Moore back in 1989. Moore is now the receivers coach for the Orange.
This was not a crisply played game on either side, as both teams had several fumbles and way too many costly penalties. Temple jumped out to a 10-0 lead and then led again 20-17 early in the third quarter. But Ameen-Moore and Gulley had back-to-back rushing scores to essentially put the game out of reach.
The most pleasant surprise of the game was the way Ameen-Moore contributed. Going into Friday, Ameen-Moore had 20 carries on the season for 51 total yards. He went over 50 alone against the Owls, showing just how much depth the Orange have at the position. All three rushers will be back next season, too.
Syracuse (7-5, 5-2) ends the regular season with wins in five of its past six games, and their most wins in Big East play since going 6-1 in 2001. The Orange now await their bowl destination.
As for Temple (4-7, 2-5), it was a disappointing end to its first season in the Big East. The Owls end the season with five straight league losses. They had untimely penalties cost them several chances to come back in the second half. Montel Harris ended the season with over 100 yards in three of his four final games, and went over 1,000 yards on the season.
We saw some flashes out of quarterback Clinton "Juice" Granger as well. He made some nice throws to rejuvenate the Temple passing game. But he also threw two interceptions late. Keon Lyn had both, including one he returned 31 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory.