Dayes, NC State defense lead Wolfpack to win over Syracuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Matt Dayes ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns, and the North Carolina State defense held Syracuse to 218 yards in a 35-20 victory on Saturday.
Ryan Finley was 20-of-29 for 340 yards and one touchdown for the Wolfpack (5-5, 2-4 ACC). Kelvin Harmon had 101 yards receiving and one touchdown and Bra'Lon Cherry had seven receptions. Dayes scored on runs of 7, 20, and 13 yards.
The Wolfpack defense held the Orange, 113th nationally in rushing, to just 28 yards on the ground and 190 yards passing.
Syracuse (4-6, 2-4) played without sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey, who was hit in the head/shoulder area during the first quarter of a 54-0 loss to No. 3 Clemson last weekend. Dungey, third in the ACC and 16th nationally in passing yards, was replaced by junior Zack Mahoney. Dungey practiced during the week but was not cleared by the team's medical staff.
The Orange was also without starting wide receiver Steven Ismael who dressed but not play. Ishmael has 41 receptions this season.
Mahoney, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship before the 2016 season, led the Orange to a touchdown on their first drive. He was 5-of-6 passing, including a 12-yard completion to Erv Philips on fourth down. But the Orange offense bogged down the rest of the half, managing just a 48-yard field goal by Cole Murphy.
Mahoney finished 13-of-24 for 190 yards, a touchdown and interception. Amba Etta-Tawo caught three passes for 84 yards and one touchdown.
NC State: The Wolfpack is poised for a trip to a post-season bowl with games against Miami and UNC-Charlotte on its schedule.
Syracuse: With the status of Eric Dungey uncertain, the Orange will have a tough time getting to six wins with games against Florida State and at Pitt.
NC State: The Wolfpack returns home for a contest against Miami on Saturday.
Syracuse: The Orange has its work cut out for it with a matchup against the No. 19 Florida State on Saturday.