The Syracuse University football program hasn’t been a player on the national landscape since the days when Don McPherson and Donovan McNabb were under center in the late ’80s and ’90s respectively.
Recently, the Orange’s aspirations seemed no higher than reaching a obscure bowl game, something they haven’t done since 2013. Over the past 15 years, the program has finished with a winning record only three times.
After last night’s shocking 27-24 over the No.2-ranked and undefeated defending national champion Clemson Tigers, as Biggie Smalls was fond of saying, things done changed.
Clemson vs. Syracuse: Orange QB Eric Dungey tossed three TDs in an entertaining 27-24 victory over #2 Clemson. Tigers QB Kelly Bryant left the game with a concussion. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/Oqg3iE The ACC Digital Network (theACCDN) is a joint venture between Stadium, and Raycom Sports, a long-time television producer and partner of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
‘Cuse quarterback Eric Dungey threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns in a game that smashed the glass windows through which the mid-season playoff rankings were being viewed. Clemson had won 12 consecutive games on the road and 11 straight overall, the longest active winning streak in the nation.
Syracuse came into the game as a heavy underdog. But inside their locker room, head coach Dino Babers had long been saying that this day would one day come.
Close your eyes and visualize this, Babers said during his introductory press conference upon being named the head coach in 2015. Youre in the Carrier Dome and the feeling is electric You have a defense that is relentless (and) you have an offense that will not huddle. And you have a game that is faster than you have ever seen on turf.
Open your eyes, he continued. That is going to be a reality. That is going to be Syracuse football.
Dino Babers outlined a vision for Syracuse football that would turn the Carrier Dome into a buzzing atmosphere every Saturday. Babers plans to turn that vision into a reality by channeling the lessons learned from his many coaching stops and embracing the Orange’s history of success.
The Orange offense accumulated 440 yards against Clemson’s ferocious defense. Dungey was at the helm of a formidable unit that produced one big play after another. He hit Dontae Strickland for a 23-yard score which capped off a 10-play, 72-yard opening game drive. He then connected with Ervin Philips for 66-yard touchdown to put Syracuse in front 14-7. In the third quarter, Dungey completed a 30-yard scoring pass to Steve Ishmael to break a 17-17 tie.
“Quick show of hands. Who thought we were going to win tonight?” Dungey asked reporters during the postgame interview session. “That’s exactly what we’ve been saying. It’s just us. Nobody believes in us except us.”
That belief starts with Babers, who was widely recognized as one of the top young head coaching candidates in the country after changing the cultures and fielding excellent teams during his previous stints at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green.
Highlights from Syracuse’s 27-24 win over No. 2 Clemson at the Carrier Dome.
In both of his years at Eastern Illinois in 2012 and 2013, he led the Panthers to the FCS playoffs. In 2015, in only his second year at Bowling Green, he led them to the Mid-American Conference championship.
Now, in only his second year at Syracuse, he’s got the Carrier Dome rocking and the program humming with a signature win that no one else saw coming. But if you heard him at his opening news conference, he certainly did.