Syracuse struggles to contain Virginia tailback Taquan Mizzell in triple-overtime loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Antwan Cordy looked back only briefly as he sprinted into the end zone after scooping up a ball that had bounced on the turf.Taquan Mizzell, who entered the game as the nation’s leading receiver among tailbacks and Virginia’s top offensive threat, lay flat with Donnie Simmons on top of him. Cornerback Julian Whigham had wrapped him up, and Simmons’ blow popped the ball loose.The frustration of the first 20 minutes in which Syracuse had missed numerous chances to score had vanquished with its 7-0 lead.“We did our best to contain him,” Whigham said. “… Our idea going in was just to contain him.”Early on, Syracuse was able to do that. Mizzell finished with 69 receiving yards and tacked on 58 more rushing, but had just -1 yard through the first four drives to go along with his fumble. As the clock ticked, he was able to heat up, and so too did Virginia (2-4, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) in its 44-38 triple-overtime win over Syracuse (3-3, 1-1) on Saturday at Scott Stadium.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMizzell told his coaches he would be back in the game mentally after the fumble, and thanked his coaches after the game for sticking with him.“I do think I ran the hardest I’ve ever run today,” Mizzell said. “There were moments today that our offense dreamed of and we just have to build off that.”Whigham said when SU first started watching tape in preparation for the game, Mizzell’s quick and shifty hands stuck out right away. He said that whenever they hit him on screen passes, the goal was to “box it and cage” it. The Orange “tried” to do that, Whigham said.In overtime, though, Mizzell ran in a 13-yard touchdown in the second overtime to put Virginia up 38-31. Then on the first play of the third and final overtime, his 12-yard run up the right side took the air out of any chance Syracuse had to keep the Cavaliers scoreless on their drive.“He is really talented,” SU linebacker Zaire Franklin said. “He definitely has a knack for receiving and he’s a pretty good route runner. I felt like for the most part we did really a good job, by when it came down to the last couple of drives we let up on them.” Commentslast_img