SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Punter Riley Dixon threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Moore on a fake field goal in the second overtime, and Syracuse stopped a 2-point try to beat Villanova 27-26 on Friday night.
"I'm an athlete. I'm a competitor," said Dixon, who attended nearby Christian Brothers Academy. "It was pure joy when it went into Kendall's hands. I'm living the dream."
Villanova's John Robertson connected with tailback Gary Underwood for a 9-yard touchdown strike to pull the Wildcats within one in sweltering conditions in the Carrier Dome. Villanova coach Andy Talley went for the victory with the 2-point conversion attempt, and defensive end Robert Welch stopped Robertson at the 4.
"Syracuse is a great team," Robertson said. We played up to them. We played our hearts out and can use this as a learning experience."
The teams traded field goals in the first overtime.
Villanova's Chris Gough kicked a 25-yard field goal to tie it at 17 with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter, then missed a 25-yarder with 12 seconds left in regulation in the opener for both teams.
Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt was ejected for punching linebacker Dillon Lucas after a 6-yard gain late in the first half.
"The NCAA is getting tough. They want integrity in the game," said Syracuse coach Scott Shafer, who indicated there would be no further discipline for Hunt. "It was the right call."
Hunt was 10 of 17 for 94 yards and ran for 25 yards.
"I was trying to make a play on the ball and I guess he didn't like the way I hit him," Lucas said. When I rolled off him I felt a punch. There were no words exchanged, but maybe it was the way our defense kept pressuring him."
Austin Wilson, a sophomore playing his first game for the Orange, was 11 of 17 for 89 yards in relief of Hunt.
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