Syracuse lost its seventh game in a row on Saturday as it dropped a 36-29 thriller to NC State in particularly crushing fashion. The Orange trailed by a touchdown in the final minute as quarterback Rex Culpepper orchestrated an impressive drive into NC State territory that ended in disaster.
With the Orange on the NC State 7-yard line with a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, Culpepper took a sack back at the 18-yard line. With no timeouts remaining, the Orange offense hurried back to the line of scrimmage to try and get one more play off before the clock expired.
Culpepper got the snap with a second left, but instead of lifting a pass toward the end zone, he used Syracuse's final play to try and spike the football. The only problem was that his spike came on fourth down. So even if there had been any time left after the spike, NC State would have taken over possession.
Making matters worse for Syracuse: it led by nine points in the third quarter before the Wolfpack closed the game on a 16-0 run. The win improved NC State to 7-3 (6-3 ACC) ahead of the Wolfpack's final regular season game next week against Georgia Tech. But the loss merely extended Syracuse's misery. The Orange's only win this season came Sept. 26 against Georgia Tech, and Saturday was probably their last real chance for a win as their regular-season finale comes next week on the road against No. 2 Notre Dame.