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Hot Read: Orange Upset VT

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Syracuse defeats the Hokies 31-17.

1. Early in his tenure, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers gets a statement victory with a 31-17 triumph over 17th ranked Virginia Tech. The Orange got off to a great start with a 17-3 halftime lead, then rallied back with 14 fourth quarter points after the Hokies tied the game. It was a dynamic offensive performance as Syracuse finished with over 560 total yards against one of the nation's top defenses. On third and fourth downs, the Orange were a combined 14-of-26 on the afternoon. The win may go a long way towards helping Syracuse get bowl eligible.

2. Quarterback Eric Dungey had another very productive day. He threw for 311 yards and a touchdown and ran for 106 yards and another score, keeping the Virginia Tech defense off balance. Dungey sets the tone for a Syracuse offense that is fun to watch.

3. The Orange have playmakers. Receiver Amba Etta-Tawo has been one of the nation's best and most productive this season. Against the Hokies, Ervin Phillips had 139 yards receiving, Brisly Estime had 131 and Steve Ishmael added 81. Running back Dontae Strickland recorded a rushing touchdown and a passing score on a beautiful 84-yard trick play.

4. Defensively, Syracuse held Virginia Tech to its lowest point total of the Justin Fuente era, just 17. It was an impressive bend-but-don't break effort, one where the Hokies didn't score more than once in a single quarter. The Orange did a good job of not allowing the big play in rushing game.

5. Virginia Tech will have to bounce back in a hurry with Miami coming to Blacksburg on a short-week. That Thursday night contest will have major ACC Coastal Division implications, with the Hokies still very much in the mix.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports