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  Syracuse coach Dino Babers was pleased his team's offense had come out of its shell, but in a game that saw both teams combine for more than 1,100 yards and 85 points, it was the defense that helped seal a 52-33 win for the Orange. Western Michigan (2-2) had rallied from a 21-0 deficit to narrow the margin to 38-33 with a little more than 10 minutes remaining and had a fourth-and-1 from its own 42. Momentum was on the Broncos' side and the Carrier Dome knew it. But Syracuse defensive tackle Kenneth Ruff and safety Evan Foster stopped Davon Tucker about a foot short of the first down. On the subsequent drive, tight end Aaron Hackett caught his second touchdown pass of the game from Tommy DeVito and the Orange (2-2) could exhale. "We treat fourth-down stops like a turnover," Babers said.

"That was a really big deal. I thought the one stop was unbelievable where they originally gave them the first down (on third down). For us to come back and stop them on that series was a really big part of the game." "We have to be able to convert a fourth-and-short," said Western Michigan coach Tim Lester, who served as Syracuse offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2013-2015. DeVito passed for a career-high four touchdowns and ran for one score as Syracuse broke a modest two-game losing streak. "I'm a throw-first guy but definitely can run if I have to," said DeVito, who broke off a career-high 60-yard run. "I thought it was cool that he started the game and finished the game with the same number of interceptions (zero)," Babers said. Hackett had a career day with six receptions. - Syracuse/AP College Football


(DS#49 QB) rSr/2023 QB Tommy DeVitoIllinois
News Source: Syracuse/AP College Football


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