There was not a lot of good that came out of the Syracuse University football program's last-second, 37-34, victory over Tulane University Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Orange (4-2, 0-1 Big East) blew a 31-14, second-quarter lead, but was able to pull out the win with a 21-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Ross Krautman, who's kick split the uprights as time expired.
Yes, there was a bunch of low lights in the win, but the one bright spot was senior wide receiver Dorian Graham, who finished the game with four catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Graham also carried the ball twice for 22 yards. Earlier in the week, SU head coach Doug Marrone said he was challenging his wide outs to step up and to start making plays.
Well, four a second straight game seniors Alec Lemon and Van Chew were almost invisible -- Lemon had two catches for 32 yards, while Chew had one for 11. But, Graham, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound speedster, showed up and it was obvious that he was the only man, on the offensive side of the ball, on a mission.
In the second quarter, Graham caught a 10-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Ryan Nassib; and then a few possession later he helped SU gain its biggest lead of the evening, 31-14, with a one-yard TD catch with 2:58 to play in the first half. During the Orange's second possession of the fourth quarter, which led to a Krautman field goal, Graham converted two first downs -- the first came off a 15-yard slant, while the other was 10-yard run off a reverse.
Can Graham be the guy to be a play maker not named Anton Bailey? Time will only tell, but Saturday night looked like a good start.
SB Nation New York is blogged the Syracuse vs. Tulane game live. Check back for in-game and postgame updates. Follow along at SBNationNY or Jared_E_Smith. The Syracuse football schedule features the Orange on a bye week, but will host the University of West Virginia on Friday, Oct. 21.