Syracuse handles Northeastern for first victory of season

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Doug Hogue gained 100 yards and scored two touchdowns, Curtis Brinkley ran for 145 yards and another score, and Syracuse held off Northeastern 30-21 on Saturday for its first win of the season.

Syracuse, which had lost its first three games by a combined 127-51, finally found an obliging opponent in Northeastern (0-3), a member of the Football Championship Subdivision.

Still, it wasn't easy for a team that's 8-31 in Greg Robinson's three-plus years as head coach. Northeastern converted 10 of 14 third downs, gained 383 yards on offense and never seemed out of the game against one of the worst defenses in the nation, even after falling behind 27-14 early in the fourth quarter.

Anthony Orio gained 49 yards rushing and was 23-for-37 for a career-high 293 yards and two touchdowns.

Cam Dantley complemented his running tandem, who each notched career highs rushing, by completing 14 of 17 passes for 167 yards and one TD in his third straight start for the Orange.

The game turned in Syracuse's favor when the Huskies committed a costly turnover.

After Hogue caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Dantley to cap the first possession of the second half and extend the Orange's slim halftime lead to 17-7, free safety Randy McKinnon made an interception.

Linebacker Derrell Smith began the decisive play by deflecting Orio's third-down pass at the line, and it caromed off the hands of defensive end Andrew Lewis to McKinnon.

Dantley then converted a pair of third downs, hitting Marcus Sales for 16 yards and Tony Fiammetta for 7 to set up Brinkley's 3-yard scoring run and a 24-7 lead.

The Huskies struck back quickly, going 80 yards in five plays. Orio hit Chris Plum for a 54-yard TD pass over the middle on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 24-14.

Orio drove the Huskies to another score, keying a 62-yard drive with runs of 10 and 6 yards to set up Broomfield's 1-yard run that made it 27-21.

But the Huskies' defense couldn't stop the Syracuse ground attack, and Shadle's 21-yard field goal with 1:52 left secured the victory.

Hogue's 9-yard run up the middle gave Syracuse a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Shadle made it 10-0 with a 46-yard field goal early in the second.

After Syracuse punt returner Ryan Howard decided not to field a kick and watched it roll dead at the Orange 2, Dantley directed the Orange downfield again. But Owen fumbled after a catch, and Chris Byrne recovered for the Huskies at the Northeastern 20.

Orio then got his offense rolling despite a holding penalty that forced the drive to begin at the 10. Orio gained 10 yards on a keeper and hit Greg Abelli for another 10 and a critical first down.

Tight end Greg Mandeville then made a nice 16-yard catch over the middle after a Northeastern challenge of what appeared to be a 25-yard sideline reception by Tony Lott was denied.

Orio kept the drive alive with a hook-and-lateral play on third-and-10, throwing a short pass in the left flat to Lott, who lateraled to Broomfield for a 10-yard gain and a first down.

After hitting Lott for another 11 yards, Orio, with no pass rush to worry about, found Abelli in the left side off the end zone at the goal line for a 27-yard TD pass with 25 seconds left in the half.