SYRACUSE A single comeback, on the first night in September, may have set up the Syracuse University football team for another winning campaign.
The Orange's 36-29, overtime victory over Wake Forest Thursday in the Carrier Dome saw the hosts overcome a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit and a blocked field goal that may have won the game in regulation.
After closing the book to a 2010 season that culminated with a 36-34 win over Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl, SU was looking to add a new chapter as, for the first time in the program's history, it Orange would play a Thursday night game at home.
SU met Wake Forest, who went 3-9 a year ago, so it appeared to be an easy mark. However, since 1996 the Orange had gone 1-17 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams, 0-8 at home. Luckily for SU, the numbers would turn around here.
The Demon Deacons grabbed a 3-0 lead and held it through the first quarter. SU struggled throughout the period on offense as it could not even get a first down, going three-and-out in all three of its possessions.
Getting the ball back in the second quarter after another Wake field goal made it 6-0, the Orange
went three-and-out for the fourth straight time, but pinned the Deacons deep in its own end and forced a punt.
Off that, SU finally got some production, as on Wake's 20-yard line Ryan Nassib threw a short pass to Nick Provo, who broke a tackle and made his way into the end zone. The extra point briefly pushed SU ahead, 7-6.
Just as things looked to turn around, a mere 10 seconds later the Deacons would answer. Tanner Price stepped back in the pocket, used a play-action fake and launched the ball to Michael Campanaro for a 60-yards TD, and Wake led again 13-7.