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Virginia Tech loses another heartbreaker: Syracuse rallies for 41-36 win

virginia tech logoDamien Alford hauled in a 45-yard TD pass from Garrett Shrader with 19 seconds left to complete a Syracuse comeback in a 41-36 win at Virginia Tech on Saturday in Blacksburg.

Tech (3-4, 1-2 ACC) led 36-27 with 5:25 left after a 47-yard TD run on a third-and-1 by Malachi Thomas.

A 51-yard Trebor Pena kickoff return set up the Orange (4-4, 1-3 ACC) at the Hokies 45, and Shrader led a quick scoring drive that culminated with a 12-yard TD pass to Courtney Jackson that cut the margin to two with 2:23 to go.

The Syracuse defense then got a stop on the next Tech offensive series, the key play being a Rob Hanna sack of Braxton Burmeister on third-and-7, to get the ball back with 1:04 left.

‘Cuse had to convert a fourth-and-4 to keep the drive alive, with Shrader finding Sean Tucker for 13 yards to get the ball into Tech territory.

The next play was the TD pass to Alford to cap a day for Shrader, who was 16-for-34 passing for 236 yards, and had 174 yards on 22 rushing attempts, with three TDs on the ground.

The loss was the third in a row and fourth in five games for Virginia Tech, which was ranked in the Top 25 after its season-opening win over North Carolina.

The three-game losing streak has all come at home. The Hokies had lost 32-29 to Notre Dame two weeks ago, blowing an eight-point lead in the final three minutes, before getting blown out, 28-7, by current Coastal Division leader Pitt last week.

Tech finishes with four of its last five on the road.

Story by Chris Graham