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posted: 9/1/2012 3:52 PM

Northwestern tops Syracuse 42-41 on Fields'

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  • Northwestern's Christian Jones reacts after scoring against Syracuse during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012.

      Northwestern's Christian Jones reacts after scoring against Syracuse during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012.

 
Associated Press

Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian hit Demetrius Fields for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left and Northwestern held on to beat Syracuse 42-41 Saturday in the teams' season opener.

Siemian, subbing for starter Kain Colter, drove the Wildcats 75 yards in 10 plays, taking advantage of a critical personal foul against Syracuse defender Keon Lyn for a late hit out of bounds on the previous play.

The decisive score in the sweltering Carrier Dome came after Ryan Nassib had engineered a stunning comeback for the Orange, throwing for four second-half touchdowns. Nassib finished 44 of 65 for 470 yards. His completions obliterated the school record of 29 he'd shared with Marvin Graves and Andrew Robinson.

Nassib threw a pretty 20-yard TD to Christopher Clark in the left corner of the end zone with 2:40 left in the game for the go-ahead score with 2:40 left and Prince-Tyson Gulley ran in the two-point conversion to give the Orange a 41-35 lead after having trailed 35-13 in the third quarter.

Nassib also hit Marcus Sales for a 7-yard touchdown and combined with Jeremiah Kobena on scores of 50 and 7 yards, the latter with 6:42 left in the fourth to move Syracuse within 35-33.

Syracuse was still in it at halftime despite the heroics of Northwestern star Venric Mark, who scored twice and accumulated 203 all-purpose yards in the first half.

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