The Orange played a quality third quarter, out-scoring the Bulls 21-3. Syracuse has cut into the South Florida lead, but still trail 26-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
Syracuse started the second half strong, scoring on their first three possessions of the half. The first drive ended with a Ryan Nassib 31-yard touchdown pass to Jarrod West, while Alec Lemon punched in a four-yard touchdown run for the second score.
Bulls running back Demetris Murray fumbled the football on the first play from scrimmage following Syracuse's second touchdown, giving the Orange strong field position for a chance to go ahead. Nassib and the offense capitalized on the strong field position, with Nassib tossing a five-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Sales to give the Orange their first lead at 24-23 with 6:10 to go in the third quarter.
South Florida drove down the field after the third Syracuse touchdown of the quarter, as kicker Maikon Bonani booted his fourth field goal of the day, a 41-yard field goal that put the Bulls ahead 26-24.