Syracuse leads NC State, 10-3 at halftime, but a few costly mistakes keep it close: ‘We’re throwing away opportunities’

Syracuse, NY — The No. 18 Syracuse football team takes on the No. 15 North Carolina State Wolfpack at 3:30 pm Saturday in the JMA Wireless Dome.

The game will air on ACC Network.

See in-game team and individual stats here.

Note: Refresh this page throughout Syracuse’s game vs. NC State to see the latest updates

Halftime: Syracuse 10, NC State 3

Garrett Shrader was intercepted twice in plus-territory, including in the end zone, to keep this one close at halftime.

The two turnovers, along with a critical pre-snap penalty to kill a potential fourth-down play call, prematurely ended three drives in the first half.

“We’re throwing away opportunities,” Dino Babers said during a brief on-field interview with ACC Network coming off the field at halftime.

NC State has 87 yards of offense. It clearly is having trouble moving the ball against this SU defense without starting quarterback Devin Leary.

But this one is not over by any stretch.

Second quarter

Syracuse drive starts 2:18 at own 23-yard line

Massive punt by NC State pushes SU back to its own 23-yard line. Syracuse has one timeout and a little more than 2 minutes to go in the half.

Oh man. Gadsden, the star of the first half, comes up with the catch of the night. He high-points the 36-yard completion.

Aidan White intercepts Shrader on the very next play. What a swing in momentum. Robert Anae is not happy with where Shrader decided to throw that one.

NC State running clock here to get out of the half still trailing by seven. And Syracuse is not stopping the clock either as the clock winds down under 15 seconds.

NC State drive starts 3:36 at own 20-yard line

The defense continues to shine here. Syracuse calls timeout with 2:47 remaining in the second quarter.

On 3rd-and-10, Chambers rolls right and takes off. His long stride makes this close, but he is ruled just short of the first-down marker at the 30-yard line.

NC State is now 0-for-6 on third down in the half.

Syracuse calls a second timeout with 2:29 remaining.

Syracuse drive starts 7:02 at own 47-yard line

Sean Tucker gets loose for 9 yards off the left side. Garrett Shrader got his hands on Tanner Ingle to give Tucker the time to get by Ingle for a first down.

Shrader pumps and holds off throwing it out wide to Pena, who apparently was going to throw a wide receiver pass with other targets releasing downfield.

Shrader moves the sticks with his legs after faking the toss. A couple plays later, Shrader gets into the open field again and picks up another first down inside the 15-yard line.

Syracuse is averaging 7 yards on the ground.

Shrader, who wants to throw all day, tries to squeeze one into a tight window, and Tanner Ingle intercepts him in the end zone.

Dino Babers, in practice this week, harped on two things: Win the turnover battle, and avoid pre-snap penalties.

Both areas have led the Orange coming up empty on a couple of drives here in the first half.

NC State drive starts at 9:06 at own 20-yard line

MJ Morris in at quarterback. Leon Lowery follows up an illegal motion penalty with a big sack.

Morris’s pass on 3rd-and-long is off the mark, and the Wolfpack is struggling to find an offensive rhythm in the first half.

NC State averaged <3 yards per play.

A holding call on SU on the punt return pushes the ball back across midfield and in SU territory.

Syracuse drive starts at 12:38 at own 40-yard line

Syracuse gets terrific field position after the punt return by Trebor Pena, and Shrader gets to midfield on the quarterback draw.

Shrader, up to 23 yards on the ground, sets up a short third-down call on the outskirts of field-goal range.

Crowd doesn’t like the spot after Tucker’s short run on third down, and that brings up 4th-and-short. The spot will be reviewed. The call stands, and it will be 4th-and-inches.

Babers will go for it: A nice look with SU’s heavy formation will be wasted on the pre-snap motion. The entire left side of the line jumped with Wes Hoeh.

Big penalty. Syracuse will punt. Devaughn Cooper misses a golden opportunity to pin NC State at the 1-yard line. Touchback.

NC State drive starts 14:12 at own 25-yard line

Chambers is locked up by Mikel Jones, and then Garrett Williams comes in and finishes off the play. Williams is down on the field after the play. Williams is hobbling off the field with the help of the training staff and heads for the medical tent.

Meanwhile, NC State starting offensive guard Chandler Zavala is walking into the locker room.

Jason Simmons Jr. with a nice pass break-up to force another three-and-out for the Wolfpack.

SCORE UPDATE: Syracuse 10, NC State 3 with 14:12 remaining in the second quarter

On 3rd-and-5 from the 6-yard line, Shrader dumps it off to Tucker, who is shoved out of bounds short of the goal line.

Andre Szmyt hits the short field goal.

Tim Hasselback questioning Dino Babers’ decision to kick the short field goal instead of going for it on fourth down. Reasoned NC State would have had to drive 95 yards with Chambers/MJ Morris starting in the teeth of the student section.

First quarter

END OF FIRST QUARTER: Syracuse 7, NC State 3

Syracuse drive starts 3:11 at own 25-yard line

Payton Wilson flagged for a facemask for an early first down.

Gadsden then with a bad drop after a nice adjustment on the ball. Hits him right in the hands and stomach. Shrader goes back to him on the next play, and Gadsden makes the catch for a chunk gain and another first down.

Tucker off the right tackle gets another chunk run, then takes a big hit late to the helmet. Payton Wilson came in the lead with his shoulder. This could be targeting, but no flag for a late hit, and no review for targeting.

Shrader moves on and goes back to Gadsden for his fourth reception of the quarter. He’s got four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown early, and the Orange is inside the 10-yard line on the keeper by Shrader.

Tucker is back on the field at the end of the quarter.

SCORE UPDATE: Syracuse 7, NC State 3 with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter

NC State drive starts at 10:25 at own 49-yard line

Freshman Max Von Marburg with a short punt to set up NC State near midfield for its second series.

Marlowe Wax covers up Thayer Thomas on the wide receiver screen to bring up another third down. NC State comes up a yard short after the short completion from Chambers to Cedd Seabrough.

Dave Doeren will go for it: Jordan Houston with a burst up the middle to move the sticks for the first time this afternoon. Big push up front by the Wolfpack O-line.

Wax misses a sack, and Chambers scampers for an 8-yard gain to set up another first down just outside the red zone.

Derek McDonald in on the pressure, but a well-timed screen to Houston sets NC State up inside the 10-yard line after the 18-yard gain.

On 3rd-and-goal, Steve Linton’s pressure gets Chambers to pull the ball down early and take off. He’s met by Leon Lowery, and SU’s defense comes up with a red-zone stop.

Chris Dunn’s short field goal is good.

Syracuse drive starts at 11:13 at own 20-yard line

Tucker is back in the game and gets thrown back for a loss of 6 on the first play of the drive.

Shrader looking for Damien Alford downfield on 3rd-and-16. There was contact by the defender before the ball arrived, but no flag came out.

Syracuse will punt.

NC State drive starts at 12:56 at own 25-yard line

Jack Chambers gets the start for the Wolfpack.

A couple early run calls by OC Tim Beck brings up a 3rd-and-3. On the first third-down play of the game, NC State gets flagged for presnap movement to make it a 3rd-and-8. That’s a crowd penalty.

Jordan Houston drops the wide pass by Chambers, and the Wolfpack go three-and-out.

SCORE UPDATE: Syracuse 7, NC State 0 with 12:56 remaining in the first quarter

Syracuse drive 15:00 at own 35-yard line

NC State won the coin toss and deferred possession until the second half. Syracuse will get the ball first. The opening kickoff goes out of bounds.

Shrader with a couple completions over the middle to Devaughn Cooper and Oronde Gadsden to pick up an early first down and advance the ball to midfield.

Sean Tucker then breaks a tackle after bursting through a big hole off the left side. Tucker is a little gimpy coming off the field after the 38-yard gain. Tucker moved past Floyd Little for sixth on the school’s career rushing list.

Shrader then goes back to Gadsden on the free play and hooks up with his No. 1 target for the 12-yard touchdown.

Pregame

Syracuse, off to its best start to a season in 35 years, is seeking bowl eligibility with a win Saturday afternoon against NC State.

The Orange is coming off a bye week, and Dino Babers adjusted the practice schedule as a change-of-pace to guard against the letdown that occurred after last year’s off week.

SU should be well rested but will be thin along the defensive line in the wake of Terry Lockett and Denis Jaquez’s season-ending injuries. Chase Simmons is in a walking boot on the sideline and will not play.

Linebacker Derek McDonald is dressed and participating in pregame warm-ups. McDonald has missed the previous two games because of an undisclosed injury.

The Orange will also be without reserve defensive players Anwar Sparrow and Eric Coley.

The build-up to Saturday’s game could not be higher.

Three hours before the game, SU announced that tickets have sold out. The tailgate lots are jammed on a sun-splashed and picturesque fall Saturday in October.

We’re kicking off our live game thread early with sights and sounds from campus:

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