Shrader’s late TD pass lifts Syracuse past Purdue 32-29

Purdue v Syracuse
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Garrett Shrader connected with Oronde Gadsden II on a 25-yard touchdown with seven seconds left to lift Syracuse to a 32-29 win over Purdue on Saturday.

“They threw a corner route, completed it in the corner against man-to-man coverage. It was in the end zone and they scored on it,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “They did a good job of executing.”

That touchdown capped a wild fourth quarter of dramatic lead changes. Syracuse led 10-9 after three quarters and outscored the Boilermakers 22-20 in the final period. The Orange improved to 3-0, its best start since 2018. Purdue fell to 1-2.

“This is a spiritual-type game here,” said Syracuse coach Dino Babers, who compared the end of the game to a rollercoaster ride. “To win a game like that, to have the scoreboard go back and forth from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, through the highs and lows. . there were turns, there were deep valleys and then there were big climbs.”

Aidan O'Connell‘s 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Payne Durham with 51 seconds left in the game gave the Boilermakers a 29-25 advantage and seemed to seal it for Purdue.

O’Connell, who completed 38 of 54 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns in the game, threw for two fourth quarter scores to rescue the Boilermakers from a 10-point deficit.

But before those O’Connell heroics, Syracuse scored two touchdowns within nine seconds and led 25-15 midway through the fourth quarter.

A scrambling 46-yard touchdown pass from Shrader to Gadsden on a fourth-and-one play gave Syracuse an 18-15 advantage after Shrader ran for a 2-point conversion. That touchdown happened with 8:17 left in the game.

On Purdue’s next possession, SU’s Jatius Geer wrapped up O’Connell as the Purdue QB attempted a pass. The ball wobbled into the hands of Orange defensive end Caleb Okechukwu, who trotted 17 yards into the end zone.

“Just trying to get back there,” said Okechukwu, who believed Geer would sack O’Connell. “He threw the ball and I just caught it and scored.”

Syracuse led 25-15 at that point, but O’Connell hooked up with favorite receiver Charlie Jones for a 55-yard touchdown that moved the Boilermakers within 25-22 with 6:41 left. A missed 41-yard field goal by Mitchell Fineran with 2:54 left could have tied it.

The teams had met only once before, when in 2004 Purdue beat the Orange 51-0 at Ross-Ade Stadium.

THE TAKEAWAY

Purdue: The Boilermakers were without running back King Doerue, who is nursing a calf injury. Doerue rushed for 68 yards on 18 attempts with three touchdowns in Purdue’s first two games. Without him, the Boilermakers struggled to get much going on the ground, but typically got plenty in the air from O’Connell. The Purdue quarterback had lots of time in the first half and threw for 175 yards on 21 of 27 attempts. Syracuse applied more pressure on him in the second half, but O’Connell still managed to successfully throw deep. Jones, a transfer from Iowa, caught 11 passes for 188 yards, both career highs.

Syracuse: Shrader had been one of the nation’s most accurate passers through his first two games this season (38-48, .792), but Purdue put sustained pressure early on him, forcing Shrader to scramble and mostly abandon an air attack. He completed 4 of 10 passes for just 35 yards in the first half. He was much more effective in the second half, completing 9 of 19 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Purdue locked up SU running back Sean Tucker, who rushed 18 times for 42 yards after starting the season with a pair of 100-yard games.

UP NEXT

Purdue hosts Florida Atlantic on Saturday night.

Syracuse continues a four-game homestand when ACC foe Virginia visits on Friday night.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”