|Syracuse RB Adonis Ameen-Moore rushed for two touchdowns in Friday's 38-20 win over Temple. (US Presswire)|
For a vaunted Syracuse offense that had averaged more than 35 points per game heading into its final regular season game as a member of the Big East, it was an inauspicious start to Friday's matchup at Temple.
The Orange lost two fumbles in the opening 10 minutes, struggled to contain Temple RB Montel Harris and quickly fell behind. From there, the Syracuse running game took over.
Syracuse pounded the ball between the tackles with seldom-used sophomore RB Adonis Ameen-Moore, compiled 260 rushing yards and rallied for a 38-20 win over the Owls after overcoming an early 10-0 deficit. With the victory, the Orange (7-5, 5-2 Big East) remained in contention for the conference title and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
Ameen-Moore, a bruising 244-pound sophomore, entered the game with just 20 carries for 51 rushing yards. But with junior RBs Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley nursing minor injuries, the Orange turned to Ameen-Moore early in the second quarter.
Ameen-Moore's 18-yard run up the middle gave Syacuse its first lead of the game at 14-10. Ameen-Moore also gave the Orange the lead for good on a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:32 left in the third quarter. Despite the injuries, Smith and Gulley combined for 179 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries.
Temple (4-7, 2-5 Big East) received a stellar performance from Clinton Granger through the first three quarters before the Owls' starting quarterback tossed two back-breaking interceptions in the final three minutes. Granger finished 16 of 23 for 173 yards and a touchdown through the air. The Owls' junior added 61 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Syracuse DB Keon Lyn's 31-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:37 left clinched the win for the Orange.
The Orange need losses by Rutgers in each of their final two games and a defeat by Louisville against Connecticut on Saturday to gain a share of the conference title. Syracuse, which has won three straight, forced four turnovers and recorded three sacks in the victory.
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