Scores

Final

Syracuse 10

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Northwestern 30

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN2

12:00 PM ET, August 30, 2008

Ryan Field, Evanston, IL

1 2 3 4 T
SYR 3 0 7 010
NW 0 9 14 730

Top Performers

Passing: C. Bacher (NW) - 215 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: T. Sutton (NW) - 21 CAR, 144 YDS

Receiving: T. Sutton (NW) - 4 REC, 41 YDS, 1 TD

Resurgent Sutton rushes for 144 yards as Wildcats crush Orange

Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Tyrell Sutton showed his old form, running for 144 yards while C.J. Bacher threw three scoring passes to lead Northwestern to a 30-10 victory over Syracuse in the opener on Saturday.

With their star running back healthy and a seasoned Bacher at quarterback, the Wildcats are aiming for their first bowl victory since the 1949 Rose Bowl after going 6-6 a year ago. They looked ready, despite a few glitches.

A 1,000-yard rusher as a freshman and sophomore, Sutton carried 21 times and turned in his 13th 100-yard rushing performance after being limited to 522 yards in seven appearances because of an ankle injury last season.

His fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the second half gave Syracuse the ball on the Northwestern 9 and set up a 2-yard run by Curtis Brinkley that put the Orangemen ahead 10-9, but Sutton quickly made up for it. He connected with Bacher on a 12-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to make it 16-10 midway through the third, and the Wildcats pulled away from there.

Brendan Smith intercepted a pass from Andrew Robinson and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown that made it 23-10 with 2:13 left in the quarter, and Bacher hit tight end Josh Rooks with a 2-yard scoring pass midway through the fourth that made it a 20-point game.

Bacher, who averaged a Big Ten-leading 304.7 yards last year, settled down after a shaky start and was 23-for-35 with 215 yards and one interception. The senior got picked off on the first drive and had two passes broken up on the second after throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns (19) last season.

Syracuse got a 36-yard field goal from Patrick Shadle on the opening possession, but it was more of the same for a program coming off a 2-10 season.

They managed just 225 yards on offense -- just 68 in the second half -- compared to 484 for Northwestern.

Robinson was 14-for-28 for 103 yards and an interception. He was also called for an intentional grounding in the end zone early in the second quarter, resulting in a safety that made it 3-2, and he had little help from what should be an improved running game that should be better now that Brinkley and Delone Carter are healthy.

The Orangemen managed 122 yards on the ground -- 62 in the first quarter. Not a good start for a team that gained an embarrassing two yards per carry and 753 in all last season.

Brinkley broke off a 28-yard run on the first possession that set up Shadle's field goal. But he finished with 49 yards on nine carries after missing the final four games with a broken leg.

Carter carried six times for 45 yards after sitting out last year with a dislocated hip.

He fumbled on his first attempt after a 2-yard gain early in the second quarter. Syracuse recovered at its own 5, but Robinson was called for intentional grounding with Quentin Davie bearing down on him in the end zone.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SYR
NW
1st Downs1125
Total Yards225484
Passing103215
Rushing122269
Penalties5-366-65
3rd Down Conversions3-145-11
4th Down Conversions0-00-0
Turnovers12
Possession28:4231:18

Passing Leaders

SyracuseC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Robinson14/281033.701
NorthwesternC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bacher23/352156.131

Rushing Leaders

SyracuseCARYDSAVGTDLG
Brinkley9495.4128
Carter6457.5032
NorthwesternCARYDSAVGTDLG
Sutton211446.9025
Conteh12715.9020

Receiving Leaders

SyracuseRECYDSAVGTDLG
Davis4389.5018
Lobdell22211.0013
NorthwesternRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brewer6488.0012
Sutton44110.3112

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSYRNW
FG10:33Patrick Shadle 36 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 63 yds, 4:27
30
SECOND QUARTERSYRNW
SF12:22Andrew Robinson Tackled By Quentin Davie In End Zone 32
TD03:20Jeremy Ebert 16 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick) 39
THIRD QUARTERSYRNW
TD13:22Curtis Brinkley 2 Yd Run (Patrick Shadle Kick) 109
TD08:14Tyrell Sutton 12 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick) 1016
TD02:13Brendan Smith 26 Yd Interception Return (Amado Villarreal Kick) 1023
FOURTH QUARTERSYRNW
TD08:18Josh Rooks 2 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick) 1030