SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For the second straight year, the University of Maine hung with Syracuse University for a half.
And, for the second year in a row, the Orange’s Bowl Championship Subdivision contingent dominated the second half. This time, the result was a 38-14 victory over the Black Bears at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse (2-1) dominated from about the 10-minute mark of the second quarter. The defense shut down UMaine (1-2) in all facets, while quarterback Ryan Nassib and his wide receivers tore apart the Black Bears’ defense.
Nassib efficiently completed 19 of 28 passes for 260 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, with Alec Lemon accounting for two of the scoring receptions. Van Chew had seven receptions for 113 yards.
The Orange scored on six of seven possessions at one juncture. The 38 points were the most scored by the Orange since they tallied 41 against the Bears last season.
Meanwhile, UMaine mustered only 195 yards, 128 of which came in the first half.
Jared Turcotte of Lewiston was among a few bright spots for the Bears, gaining 56 yards on the ground on 13 carries and catching four passes for 36 yards.
Warren Smith completed 20 of 27 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown and was not intercepted. He was shaken up on a hit late in the game and was replaced by Chris Treister.
Donte Dennis and Dominic Cusano made six tackles each for the Bears.
The Bears were very much in the contest at halftime, trailing 17-14. However, the Orange had clearly seized the momentum.
The Carrier Dome crowd celebrated the lead by honoring former Orange star Floyd Little, who recently was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Syracuse scored twice in the last 4:19 of the second quarter to get the Carrier Dome fans back into the game.
UMaine had taken a 14-7 lead on a six-yard pass from Smith to a wide-open Justin Perrillo with 10:06 to play in the first half. It was all Orange from that point on.
Syracuse put together its first sustained drive of the night, moving to the UMaine 15 on nine plays. Ross Krautman kicked a 32-yard field goal to trim the Bears’ lead to 14-10 with 4:19 to play.
The Orange got the ball right back, as Doug Hogue sacked Smith and forced a fumble on the second play of the ensuing drive at the UM 24, with 3:53 on the clock.
The hosts eventually scored on fourth-and-goal from the 4 when Jose Cruz made a sideline grab on a low pass from Nassib with 27 seconds remaining. Krautman’s PAT sent Syracuse into the locker room with a three-point edge and plenty of confidence.
SU outgained UMaine 129-128, but the Bears held a three-minute edge in time of possession. The Orange incurred 10 penalties for 86 yards.
The Orange forced UMaine to punt and take over on their own 33 at 12:36 of the third.
Syracuse blended the run and pass well on its next possession and marched down the field. Ryan Nassib’s 20-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Alec Lemon made it 24-14 Syracuse with 5:16 to play in the third quarter.
UMaine was stymied on its first try, after Smith was stripped for a 24-yard loss on a fumble. The Bears wound up punting.
Troy Russell’s sack of SU quarterback Nassib stopped the hosts on their first series of the second half.
Syracuse scored on its last two possessions of the half. Ross Krautman kicked a 32-yard field goal with 4:19 remaining in the half to get the hosts within 14-10, then the Orange caused a fumble on the next possession and cashed in with a 4-yard pass from Nassib to Cruz with 27 seconds left in the half, giving Syracuse a 17-14 halftime lead.
Maine put together a 14-play drive in the first quarter capped by a 10-yard run up the middle by Smith on a third-and-goal for the game’s first TD. Brian Harvey’s PAT made it 7-0 Bears with 4:25 left in the first quarter.
MAINE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
It was a hurry-up-and-wait kind of day Saturday for the University of Maine football team.
With a scheduled 7:15 p.m. kickoff, the Black Bears, along with their coaches, staff and travel party, spent most of the day at the Doubletree Hotel in East Syracuse.
The players went through their usual game-day routine, which included breakfast, morning meetings, a pregame meal at 3 p.m. and then more meetings prior to heading to the Carrier Dome.
Some UMaine fans staying at the hotel tried to keep tabs on the University of Massachusetts team, which was playing at 20th-ranked Michigan. The Minutemen of the Colonial Athletic Association forged a 17-10 lead, but the Wolverines scored twice in the last 1:16 to take the lead for good.
Michigan won 42-37.
In other CAA action, Rhode Island knocked off New Hampshire 28-25 and Richmond topped Elon 27-21.