EDS: Syracuse 20, Buffalo 12.
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Doug Hogue and Mike Williams scored in the final minute of the first half to break open a tie game and Syracuse beat Buffalo 20-12 on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.
It was the last nonconference game of the season for Syracuse (2-6) and ended a two-game winning streak for Buffalo (3-5).
Syracuse quarterback Andrew Robinson, who entered the game with minus-31 yards rushing on the season, mainly because of 29 sacks, gained 62 yards on nine carries and was 15-for-28 for 265 yards and two interceptions passing.
Williams, a native of the Buffalo area, had seven catches for 113 yards and Taj Smith had three catches, also for 113. Hogue finished with 83 yards rushing as Syracuse, which entered the game averaging an anemic 58.4 yards per game, finished with 179.
Syracuse, which had lost its first four home games by a combined 176-60, averted what would have been devastating loss for a proud program that is trying to find its way out of the prolonged slump it's been in since Greg Robinson took over as head coach before the 2005 season.
Robinson is 7-24 since taking over, and two of those victories have been against the improving Bulls, whose quest for a signature victory began slipping away in the closing seconds of the first half.
With the game tied at 3-3, Syracuse finally got untracked after a brilliant punt by Buffalo's Ben Woods pinned the Orange inside their own 1-yard line.
Andrew Robinson hit Smith for a 60-yard gain down the right side, Williams caught a 9-yard pass, and Hogue gained 23 yards on three carries to give Syracuse a first down at the Buffalo 6.
Hogue, who replaced Curtis Brinkley in the second quarter after Brinkley was hurt, scored on the next play to make it 10-3 with 52 seconds left in the half.
Terrell Jackson fumbled the ensuing kickoff after a hit by Jeremy Sellers, who recovered at the Buffalo 26. Robinson took off on a 15-yard keeper on first down, and after two incompletions hit Williams on an 11-yard TD pass in the left corner with 15 seconds left for a 17-3 halftime lead.
A.J. Principe kicked field goals of 31, 33, 29 and 32 yards for Buffalo. The third one came after Buffalo converted two fourth-down plays early in fourth quarter, including a 15-yard diving catch by Brett Hamlin at the Syracuse 15.
Patrick Shadle kicked field goals of 32 and 22 yards for the Orange as Syracuse foiled the strategy of Buffalo coach Turner Gill, who twice opted for field goals to stay within eight points of the Orange.
Principe's final field goal came with 4:44 left, but the Orange held on to the ball for the remainder of the game.