Student Reporting Archive

Women’s Basketball Opens Season With Win Against Ohio  

November 9, 2019

Story by Maria Trivelpiece, Photos by Tze Kiu Wan   SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Head Coach Quentin Hillsman knew that the Ohio University Bobcats were going to be a tough matchup for his team. “That’s why we scheduled them,” he said. After the first quarter, it looked as if the Syracuse Women’s basketball team may be […]

Read Article »

Story by Maria Trivelpiece, Photos by Tze Kiu Wan

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Head Coach Quentin Hillsman knew that the Ohio University Bobcats were going to be a tough matchup for his team. “That’s why we scheduled them,” he said.

After the first quarter, it looked as if the Syracuse Women’s basketball team may be starting their season 0-1. After ten minutes of play, they trailed 22-10. They were only four-for-18 from the floor and had nine turnovers.

“Ohio had an urgency that they come up with at the beginning of the game,” said Coach Hillsman. “We didn’t have that same sense of urgency.”

Between quarters, Hillsman addressed this and the Orange came out with the urgency they lacked in the first. They outscored the Bobcats 21 to eight in the second, shooting 62.5% from three-point range and snagging eleven rebounds. To end the half, Taleah Washington made a shot to put Syracuse up by one.

“I give my kids a lot of credit,” said Hillsman. “They fought hard.”

They carried their fight into the second half, outscoring Ohio 35-24. They shot 14-for-32 from the floor and had 27 rebounds. Kiara Lewis notched 12 points in the half and 17 total on the night. Even with the tough-fought battle against a hard-nosed opponent, the Orange still have some work to do.

They had 18 turnovers and only shot fifty percent from the free-throw line.

“I’m not going to let them settle,” said Hillsman.

The team agreed, taking accountability for their individual downfalls in the game.

“I had six of the turnovers myself,” said Kiara Lewis, a redshirt junior guard. “That can’t happen. We have to get better and we’re going to get better.”

Syracuse will be home again Tuesday, Nov. 12 to take on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at 8:00 pm.

Syracuse Defense Struggles Against Boston College

November 9, 2019

Story By Maria Trivelpiece, Photos By Nicholas D’Alessandro Syracuse headed into their game on Saturday with hopes of picking up their first ACC win, and it initially seemed as if they might get it. After each team’s opening drives, the Orange led 7-3. The rest of the first quarter was a series of lead changes. […]

Read Article »

Story By Maria Trivelpiece, Photos By Nicholas D’Alessandro

Syracuse headed into their game on Saturday with hopes of picking up their first ACC win, and it initially seemed as if they might get it. After each team’s opening drives, the Orange led 7-3.

The rest of the first quarter was a series of lead changes. Boston College scored on a 29-yard run from David Bailey. The next Eagles’ drive resulted in a fumble recovered by Andre Cisco that eventually led to an Andre Szmyt field goal.  

Boston College fumbled again on their next possession, but this time the Orange converted with a touchdown. Heading into the second quarter, Syracuse leads, 17-10.

Syracuse’s defense started to collapse as thirty-eight seconds into the second quarter, Boston College quarterback Dennis Grosel found Koby White for a 64-yard touchdown. The Orange responded with a field goal of their own, but it was one of the last times they would score.

Boston College scored touchdowns on their next three possessions on a pass from Grosel to Zay Flowers, a 51-yard run by AJ Dillon, and finally a pass from Grosel to Miranda.  At the end of the first half they led the Orange 44-20. 

Trishton Jackson, celebrating.

Syracuse’s final score of the game was an 85-yard pass from DeVito to Trishton Jackson toward the end of the third. Dillon ran for two more touchdowns, one in the third and another in the fourth, with a final score of 58-27. 

Dillon ran for a season-high of 242 yards and David Bailey followed closely behind with 172. As a team, Boston College rushed for 511 yards.

“Our defense just got tired of hitting Dillon,” said Head Coach Dino Babers. “Obviously I’m extremely disappointed about the outcome of the game. I think they played really hard, but the score didn’t show it.”  

The Orange have a bye-week and will then head to Duke. Babers said that going into their break, the team has to, “dig deep and find something out” about themselves.

Pittsburgh’s Defense Stifles Syracuse, Orange Remain Winless in Conference

October 24, 2019

Story by Nicholas Ursini, Photo by Noah Lowy SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a slow start for both Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but it was Pittsburgh’s defense that recorded nine sacks en route to their fourth-straight victory. The Panthers knocked off the Orange 27-20 inside the Dome. Four punts to start the game before Pitt (5-2, 2-1 […]

Read Article »

Story by Nicholas Ursini, Photo by Noah Lowy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a slow start for both Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but it was Pittsburgh’s defense that recorded nine sacks en route to their fourth-straight victory.

The Panthers knocked off the Orange 27-20 inside the Dome.

Four punts to start the game before Pitt (5-2, 2-1 ACC) finally got their offense rolling. The Panthers moved the ball down the field for 52-yards on seven plays and broke the tie with a 47-yard field goal from Alex Kessman.

Syracuse (3-4, 0-3 ACC) got some momentum going after Maurice Ffrench muffed a punt return and Cameron Jordan recovered it. A sack and a penalty forced the Orange to kick a 28-yard field from Andre Szmyt to tie the game with 3:07 left in the first quarter.

Ensuing Panthers possession, quarterback Kenny Pickett threw a 43-yard touchdown strike to Aaron Mathews off a flea-flicker trick play to put Pitt up 10-3 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

To start the second quarter, Syracuse was driving deep into Pittsburgh territory.

The Orange had first-and-goal from the four-yard line, but could not find the end zone and settled for a Szmyt 20-yard field goal.

Pittsburgh got the ball on Syracuse’s 39-yard line after forcing a punt deep in Orange territory.

The Panthers took five plays to go 39-yards, capped off by an A.J. Davis 5-yard touchdown rush putting Pittsburgh up 17-6 with 4:53 left in the first half.

Syracuse goes three-and-out and next Pittsburgh possession, they score once more. Pickett connected with Ffrench from 14-yards out with 23-seconds left on the clock in the second quarter.

That touchdown sent Pitt to halftime with the 24-6 lead.

TOMMY DEVITO INJURED, IN COMES CLAYTON WELCH:

After both Syracuse and Pitt punted, Clayton Welch entered the game for an injured Tommy DeVito at the 12-minute mark in the third quarter. DeVito took a hit to the shoulder after he escaped the pocket. He left the game with no return.

On third-and-eight, Welch dropped a dime to Taj Harris who shrugged off the cornerback for a 94-yard touchdown reception.

Welch’s first career touchdown pass cut into Pittsburgh’s lead. Syracuse was down 24-13 with 11:12 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Syracuse had a third-down and two-yards to go, Welch was sacked and the 49-yard field goal attempt by Szmyt was hooked left.

Pitt added a 34-yard field goal with 7:03 remaining, extending their lead by two touchdowns.

Welch led Syracuse on a 15 play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a Welch to Aaron Hackett four-yard reception, Hackett’s fourth touchdown of the season.

Syracuse could not stop Pittsburgh on a third-and-two and the Panthers ran out the clock, securing the 27-20 victory.

HEAR FROM DINO:

Head Coach Dino Babers saw Welch play the most football he ever has in an Orange uniform and said he could not be more proud.

“It was good to see him finally get out there as a senior,” Babers said. “It might be his last time playing football.”

After giving up nine sacks, no team has given up more sacks this season than Syracuse as their season total climbs to 35.

Through seven games, Syracuse’s offensive line is exposed and Coach Babers says it’s time for a reevaluation.

“Everyone’s job is in jeopardy,” said Babers. “It’s not fair to keep playing the same guys if the results do not change. There are certain guys in the game that are not doing good enough.”

This is the second game in a row that DeVito has exited with an injury. DeVito finished the night 11-for-23 with 101 yards.

Coach Babers said Tommy wanted to go back out.

“You have done enough,” said Babers. “Those guys are like my stepsons and that hit was enough for me. I did not need to see him go through that again.”

Seven games into the season and Syracuse is 3-4, remaining winless in the conference. Syracuse will now travel south to Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles.

For Syracuse, the clock is ticking with five games left, they need to win three to become bowl eligible.

Coach Babers would not say who he would start as quarterback against Florida State. He said it is all about how guys heal.

Kickoff at Doak Campbell Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m.

Esports Class Visits NYC to see Tournament

October 7, 2019

Story by Kyla Wright, Photos by Olivia Stomski BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In Fall 2018, Syracuse held its first “Esports and Media” class, taught by Olivia Stomski, Director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center, and Chris Hanson, an assistant English professor at the University. In the same semester, the class visited ESL One New York for […]

Read Article »

Story by Kyla Wright, Photos by Olivia Stomski

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In Fall 2018, Syracuse held its first “Esports and Media” class, taught by Olivia Stomski, Director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center, and Chris Hanson, an assistant English professor at the University. In the same semester, the class visited ESL One New York for its third annual Counter-Strike Global Offensive tournament.
Last month, Stomski and Hanson returned with their new class of students to experience “the biggest esports event on the East Coast.” They watched eight teams battle for the grand prize of $200,000.

Rubin Wright, a senior in the esports class, attended the tournament both years and has noticed growth within the year. Wright took the class not only due to his interest in video games but also because he knows esports is a field that’ll potentially rival the sports industry in 10-15 years.

“Believe it or not, video games and tech are becoming up to par with actual sports,” said Wright.

Syracuse alum, Sunghwan Kim ‘14, is a Junior Account Executive for Brand Partnerships at ESL. He works with brands and agencies to educate them on esports and help them figure out how to best approach esports from a marketing opportunity perspective with ESL. Kim gave a tour to the class before Sunday’s tournament. The tour was Wright’s favorite part of the day’s events, because he appreciated the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of the tournament.

“I liked being able to witness the production side,” said Wright. “From seeing producers work to getting the product to an online streaming platform.”

Kim showed the students backstage aspects from lighting and cameras, to the press area and production trucks. He additionally gave a tour of the concourse where students saw brand activations with a variety of ESL’s partners such as Pepsi, Sony, Intel and ASUS.

“ESL has been running some of the largest esports competitions all over the world for close to two decades,” said Kim. “For us to use an amazing venue like Barclays Center, provides a great opportunity and challenge to fit our scope of work in a multi-purpose facility.”

As a fellow Orangeman, Kim credits Syracuse for its strong network and relationships while he was a student and in his post-graduate career – an inspiration behind creating this experience for the class.

“If there are any opportunities to provide insight, make connections, then I want to give back in the same way that I received,” said Kim.

 

Orange Winless Since Holy Cross

October 7, 2019

Story by Kienan Dixon, Photos by Julianna D’Urzo SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Tommy DeVito and the Orange haven’t gained a win since they beat Holy Cross 41-3, over a month ago. DeVito showed poise against Holy Cross, pitching four touchdown passes for 269 yards. The redshirt sophomore was 19-31 through the air, with a late pick […]

Read Article »

Story by Kienan Dixon, Photos by Julianna D’Urzo

SYRACUSE, N.Y. Tommy DeVito and the Orange haven’t gained a win since they beat Holy Cross 41-3, over a month ago.

DeVito showed poise against Holy Cross, pitching four touchdown passes for 269 yards. The redshirt sophomore was 19-31 through the air, with a late pick on an underthrown pass.

DeVito left the fourth quarter with an apparent elbow injury.

The QB’s main targets were Taj Harris, who he found for 6 receptions and 107 yards. Harris was also one of four beneficiaries of a DeVito dime that found the end zone, as the Orange showed diversity in their offensive threat through the air. Joining Harris in the touchdown column were Aaron Hackett, Triston Jackson and Luke Benson.

The defense held strong, sacking Holy Cross quarterback Connor Degenhardt five times and holding the Crusaders to just 138 yards of offense. They also held Holy Cross to 18 yards on 32 attempts.

Andrew Armstrong led the Orange’s defense with eight tackles, including three for a loss. Brandon Berry got to Degenhardt often, sacking him 2.5 times with five total tackles.

On the downside, Syracuse did not record an interception for the first time in 17 games, which was the longest current record in the country. On the upside, the Orange continued its takeaway streak with one fumble recovered. The streak gets pushed to 19 games, the third-longest in the country.

The  fumble set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from DeVito to Jackson.

The most impressive play of the day was a 47-yard catch and run for a touchdown by Taj Harris in the third quarter. Harris caught a pass ten yards downfield, then reversed field to beat every Crusader to the end zone.

The Orange’s losing streak began at NC State where the score was 10-16.

DeVito is the Future of Orange Football

September 25, 2019

Story by: Darron Wallace, Photo by: Michelle Knezovic SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Nearly three weeks into the 2019 season, Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and has a 30.9 QBR. This was supposed to be the year that head coach Dino Babers gave DeVito the keys to the Porsche. So far, the […]

Read Article »

Story by: Darron Wallace, Photo by: Michelle Knezovic

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Nearly three weeks into the 2019 season, Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and has a 30.9 QBR. This was supposed to be the year that head coach Dino Babers gave DeVito the keys to the Porsche. So far, the Porsche is driving more like a hooptie. Coach Babers came to Syracuse with a reputation of coaching teams with fast-paced and high-scoring offenses. This year’s offense has been far from that. Though there have been some injuries and adjustments made to the offensive line in addition to former QB Eric Dungey graduating, this year’s offense was expected to pick up where they left off. After last weekend’s 41-6 defeat to Clemson, it may be time to look at the man under center and wonder what’s going on.

Turnovers, really bad turnovers
Through three games, DeVito has thrown four interceptions and two of them were particularly puzzling. While playing Maryland, DeVito rolled to his right but unable to find a receiver, forced him to pass down the field — apprearing as if it was intended for the defensive back. Against Clemson, he threw a pick that was similar to the one against Maryland and it came at the absolute worst possible time. Chris Fredrick picked off Trevor Lawrence and set the Orange up inside the 10. During the next play, a pick was thrown to a Clemson defender with no Syracuse receiver in a ten yard radius. If the Orange would’ve found a way to come away with a touchdown then it would’ve been a different ball game.
“I was disappointed that it kind of happened in the same place in the same situation and I talked to him about that,” said Babers in reference to the similar plays. “It was one of those reactionary things and I didn’t think I would be talking about it again, but I really don’t believe it’s going to happen again. I really think that that’s it and that we’ll grow from it.” Those sort of mistakes from DeVito pose the question if he’s capable of leading a high-powered offense, but Coach Babers is adamant that he is the guy.

Indecision
Another one of DeVito’s apparent struggles was his indecisiveness in the pocket. Potentially due to offensive line instability or lack of confidence; when standing tall and stepping into his throws, DeVito looked his greatest. Though the Orange didn’t score any touchdowns, they looked their best when their leader looked confident. Throughout the night, the signal caller was throwing off his back foot or flat footed, resulting in off-target or mistimed throws. If Taj Harris catches the slant route in the first quarter, could that have changed the way DeVito played the rest of the game? Maybe. Regardless, for an offense that’s fast-paced and based on timing, stepping up in the pocket and making timely throws are crucial to an offense operating on schedule. If DeVito can make that adjustment, perhaps he can look like the DeVito that fans sparatically saw last season. If not, there won’t be much to be excited about for the rest of the season.

No one knows what other SU quarterbacks have to offer. Clayton Welch checked into the end of the game, but it didn’t mean much. Other than that, no one can say that there’s an answer outside of DeVito. It’s his team. This team will live and die by the play of Tommy DeVito.

What Happens Next?
It’s important to see growth from DeVito after the last few games. The recent game against Western Michigan was a great opportunity to see how the young quarterback could bounce back from a lackluster performance, albeit against one of the top defenses in the nation. Syracuse won comfortably, meaning there is still hope for an 8 or 9-win season.
The Clemson game was winnable. After Fredrick’s interception, if Syracuse would’ve found the end zone after that play, it could’ve been a 17-13 game.
“It is just a lot of growing, just trying to get better every game moving forward,” said DeVito. “I am just trying to be the best leader possible and try to move the offense down the field.”
It is imperative that DeVito corrects his mistakes from the first three weeks and helps turn the offense back into the high-paced production that it was last year. It’s too early to write the Orange off and this small homestand comes at the right time. If the offensive line can get back on track and the defense continues to give opposing teams fits, we could see Syracuse fighting for a bowl game, but the team can only go as far as DeVito can carry them.

Orange get spark back after defeating Western Michigan

September 25, 2019

Story by Racquel Stephen, Photo by Kris Wan SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a much-needed win for Syracuse as the Orange defeated Western Michigan 55-42 after a crushing loss to Clemson (41-6) at home the previous weekend. The Orange’s running game dominated the first quarter with a 60-yard rush by quarterback Tommy DeVito placing Syracuse […]

Read Article »

Story by Racquel Stephen, Photo by Kris Wan

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a much-needed win for Syracuse as the Orange defeated Western Michigan 55-42 after a crushing loss to Clemson (41-6) at home the previous weekend. The Orange’s running game dominated the first quarter with a 60-yard rush by quarterback Tommy DeVito placing Syracuse in the red zone on the second play of the game. SU’s star running back, Moe Neal, completed the drive, rushing into the endzone scoring the Orange’s first touchdown only 1:30 into the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, WMU loses their star receiver, Dwayne Eskridge after suffering a collar bone injury when colliding with defense on a deep pass. The Broncos were forced to rearrange their offensive strategy, while SU managed to score another TD with 5:29 left in the quarter.
The Orange’s defense only allowed one 4th down conversion of five attempts. The offense remained unstoppable in the second quarter with a 36-yard TD by DeVito on the first drive of the 2nd quarter, putting SU ahead 21-0.
As the Broncos began to utilize their star running back, Levante Bellamy, he finally put points on the board for the away team with nine minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Bellamy was later sidelined in the 3rd quarter with an injury.
With two offensive juggernauts out of the game, the Bronco’s offense took a big hit while DeVito made magic with Trishton Jackson (WR) and Aaron Hackett (TE) in the final half connecting with both players six times for 189 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jackson was named ACC receiver of the week for his performance in Saturday’s game.
“I thought that they were extremely focused, and maybe even a little embarrassed about some of the things that had happened recently,” said Orange Head Coach, Dino Babers. “They thought about the Orange in front of their chest and not their names on the back.” He said about the offensive spark that carried the team this week.
SU’s record is even again, at 2-2 going into their match up with Holy Cross on Saturday.

’02 Howard Chen Returns to SU

September 24, 2019

Story and Photo by Kyla Wright SYRACUSE, N.Y. – ESPN International Producer Howard Chen returns to the place where his sports journalism career began – the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. A 2002 broadcast journalism graduate, Chen knew that he’d be in the industry, whether it was in front of or behind the camera. Chen […]

Read Article »

Story and Photo by Kyla Wright

SYRACUSE, N.Y.  ESPN International Producer Howard Chen returns to the place where his sports journalism career began – the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

A 2002 broadcast journalism graduate, Chen knew that he’d be in the industry, whether it was in front of or behind the camera. Chen discussed negotiation skills, the media industry, his Newhouse experience and his career with current undergraduate and graduate students.

Growing up in Canada and eventually moving to Texas, Chen fell in love with hockey among other sports, but quickly realized he wouldn’t play them professionally, so he decided to find another way to enter into the sports realm: journalism.

As a student, Chen was active in WAER, Z89 and UUTV (now CitrusTV). He credits being on staff for these outlets for setting him a part from his competition upon graduation. Chen worked at NBC and FOX affiliate stations before reporting for Comcast SportsNet Houston, which landed him his current position at ESPN.

While at ESPN, Chen has been allowed numerous opportunities such as traveling to the ESPYs, NBA Finals and All-Star Game, US Open and at least two NBA games a week.

“I get to do all this big picture stuff, I never imagined myself doing and I get to see all my friends while in all these cities,” Chen said.

Though he is now primarily behind the camera, it was important for Chen to spend time in his career in front of it. He always dreamt of  inspiring others who look like him, as there aren’t a lot of Asian sports broadcasters.

“I knew I could do more good and influence more people if my face was on a screen,” said Chen.

Chen also advised students to learn at least one other language and to be open to all opportunities.

“Be willing to go to small markets, sleep on the couch,” Chen said. “I look back and I have no regrets – you’ll definitely have your ups and downs and you can’t help but wonder, ‘am I stuck here forever?’”

Chen attributes a lot of his successes to Newhouse and his friends for pushing him to be better. As all other Newhouse alumni, Chen is a part of the coined, “Newhouse Mafia.” Some alumni don’t particularly care for the name, but Chen doesn’t feel the same, he feels it makes up a piece of who he is.

“I don’t hate it, I love it,” said Chen. “I take pride in it.”

Revitalized Maryland offense rolls over Syracuse

September 24, 2019

Story by: Brady Williams  Photos by: Aaron Kassman COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The No. 21 Syracuse Orange are suddenly underdogs again, losing on the road to the University of Maryland Terrapins 63-20. Coming off their best season in recent memory, the Orange (1-1) entered this season ready to impress the NCAA. Instead, the Terps throttled […]

Read Article »

Story by: Brady Williams 

Photos by: Aaron Kassman

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The No. 21 Syracuse Orange are suddenly underdogs again, losing on the road to the University of Maryland Terrapins 63-20. Coming off their best season in recent memory, the Orange (1-1) entered this season ready to impress the NCAA. Instead, the Terps throttled ‘Cuse from the very first snap.

The Orange overwhelmed

Maryland scored 21 points in a first quarter dominated by Maryland’s blitzkrieg offense. Following a quick three-and-out on Syracuse’s opening drive, Maryland’s junior transfer quarterback Josh Jackson threw for 63 yards in a commanding march downfield that ended in a touchdown for tight end Tyler Mabry.

The drive set the tone for most of the game. The Orange’s defensive line provided a decent push throughout the game, but the Terrapins relied on quick passes, play action, and a vast array of weapons to neutralize the rush.

In addition to their struggle to keep up with Maryland’s versatile offense, Syracuse simply failed to execute in several areas. On Syracuse’s second drive, the offensive line began to collapse, forcing quarterback Tommy DeVito to rely on his legs. As he took off on the fourth play of the drive, Keandre Jones forced DeVito to fumble, resulting in a turnover on the Syracuse 32-yard line.

The turnover was Maryland’s 14th straight game with a forced turnover — the fifth-longest streak in the NCAA — right behind SU with 15.

Jackson continued to spread the ball around with ease as the Syracuse secondary struggled to cover Terp receivers. When throwing didn’t work, the Terps handed the ball off and found great success on the ground, with rushing touchdowns from Anthony McFarland Jr. and Javon Leake in the first quarter.

Syracuse managed to score one touchdown doing what they do best. DeVito showed on one drive that he can perform well when he stands tall in the pocket and delivers quick strikes. With 3 passes for 71 yards, he managed to net Trishton Jackson his first of two touchdowns on the day.

‘Cuse crumbles

The second quarter highlighted Syracuse’s inability to execute on what few opportunities they had. Maryland’s first drive was put to a halt thanks to the Orange’s stellar defensive front. Their pressure forced two incomplete passes, which were followed by a great sack from redshirt sophomore Curtis Harper.

After the punt, failed blocks forced DeVito to leave the pocket and throw on the run. Maryland safety Jordan Mosley intercepted the wild pass attempt. Maryland responded with a 20-yard rushing touchdown through an enormous hole in the defense by McFarland.

Tempo is everything with Syracuse’s offensive style, and they showed flashes of that again with a 39-yard pass to Jackson and a 15-yard touchdown reception by Sean Riley. Even after that, the Orange failed to follow through on their successes as Andre Szmyt missed the first extra point of his career.

Syracuse let the clock run out, ending the half with a score of 42-13.

Defense dominates 3rd quarter

Maryland opened the second half with a 64-yard rushing touchdown by Javon Leake. Despite the early slip, the ‘Cuse defense that saved the Liberty game returned to strong play in the 3rd.

DeVito again connected with Jackson for a 52-yard touchdown reception. Unfortunately for the Orange, Maryland’s defense also showed up for the second half, and the touchdown was Syracuse’s last.

On Maryland’s answering drive, Andre Cisco intercepted his second pass of the year. The two teams held each other for another set of drives, giving Syracuse the ball.

Two more for the Terps

The Orange’s first drive of the final quarter ended on another failed fourth-down conversion with three yards to go. Maryland took the ball back and began working to run the clock out.

The Terrapins handed the ball off to Tayon Fleet-Davis for seven consecutive plays. On those plays, he ran for 58 yards and a touchdown. ‘Cuse failed another fourth-down conversion, allowing Maryland running back Jake Funk 92 yards and a touchdown on three plays.

The Orange substituted the second team for a final failed drive. With 63 points to Syracuse’s 20, Maryland took a knee.

Family focus moving forward

Maryland dominated today. With 650 total yards of offense, 296 yards passing to eight different receivers 2 or more catches and 354 rushing yards, the Terrapins mounted an attack that the Orange could neither anticipate nor match pace with.

The loss was nothing if not a culture shock. In his post-game press conference, Dino Babers conceded that the outcome was certainly a piece of “humble pie.” He suggested many of his team’s struggles were a result of poor game film for Maryland due to their 79-0 blowout against Howard.

Babers said his focus is on the team as a family, and how they can improve and prepare to face Clemson next in the Carrier Dome.

Currently No. 1 in the country, Clemson arrives in Syracuse on Sept. 14 for a highly anticipated match between the ACC foes.

Orange defense shines, offense struggles to find rhythm vs. Liberty

September 24, 2019

Story by: Maria Trivelpiece Photos by: Alyssa Lyons LYNCHBURG, Va. – Coach Dino Babers is known for his aggressive and successful offense, but in Syracuse football’s season opener it was the defense that sealed the Orange’s 24-0 victory over the Liberty Flames. Tommy DeVito and the offense started shakily with a three-and-out on the opening drive. […]

Read Article »

Story by: Maria Trivelpiece

Photos by: Alyssa Lyons

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Coach Dino Babers is known for his aggressive and successful offense, but in Syracuse football’s season opener it was the defense that sealed the Orange’s 24-0 victory over the Liberty Flames.

Tommy DeVito and the offense started shakily with a three-and-out on the opening drive.

“They were playing a very unique defense,” Babers said. “These guys had not seen this on tape so we had to make game-time adjustments.”

Syracuse struggled to make any meaningful changes in the first quarter. The best they could do was squeeze a 25-yard-field goal out of kicker Andre Szmyt.

But defensive coordinator Brian Ward’s guys remained tough. Kendall Coleman picked up his first sack of the season at the start of the second quarter.

“The defense was great,” Babers said.

And great they were, holding Liberty to negative net rushing yards.

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS

Towards the end of the second quarter, the offense started to make adjustments. Abdul Adams bulldozed his way into the end zone and Szmyt made the extra point to give the Orange a 10-0 lead. DeVito threw his second interception of the game right before halftime, but it caused no harm.

By the start of the third quarter, Syracuse showed the Flames signs of why they are nationally ranked. Andre Cisco made a key interception with about seven minutes left in the third quarter that led to a score from Jarveon Howard. Coleman also snagged another sack.

SOLID START

By the fourth quarter, the Orange had fully settled in. Senior running back Moe Neal ran for a 42-yard touchdown and Szmyt made the extra point.

“I’m happy we got the win,” Babers said. “We are 1-0 and we have a chance to be 2-0 next week.”

The Orange head to College Park next Saturday to take on the University of Maryland at 12 pm. The Terrapins won their matchup today against Howard University 79-0.

Jason Smorol Keeps Hitting it out of the Park as Syracuse Mets GM

September 24, 2019

Story and Photo by: Nicholas D’Alessandro  SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It is a Thursday night game in the dog-days of summer as the nearly .500 Syracuse Mets take on the Pawtucket Red Sox. The lines at NBT Bank Stadium are overflowing with fans buying dollar hot dogs and two dollar beers. This weekly promotional occurs every Thursday […]

Read Article »

Story and Photo by: Nicholas D’Alessandro 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It is a Thursday night game in the dog-days of summer as the nearly .500 Syracuse Mets take on the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The lines at NBT Bank Stadium are overflowing with fans buying dollar hot dogs and two dollar beers. This weekly promotional occurs every Thursday since Mets General Manager Jason Smorol pioneered it during his days in Auburn, bringing it to Syracuse. Six years into his role, the North Syracuse native has already begun leaving a lasting impression within the organization.

 

Back in Syracuse

Donald F. Johnston, better known as “Donnie Baseball,” is the lively and dynamic press box manager for the Mets, ready to greet visitors with a handshake and the lineup for the day. He met Smorol in 2003 while he was attending SUNY Cortland and Smorol was an adjunct professor. Johnston assisted Smorol, with the Auburn’s Minor League Baseball Team, the Doubledays, and they’ve kept contact since then. Johnston credits Smorol as being an advertising and public relations savant, propelling the Syracuse baseball franchise back to profitability.

“There would not be baseball in Syracuse today, had it not been for Smorol,” said Johnston.

According to Smorol, the team was $1 million in the hole when he took over in 2013. He said the Mets were close to not being able to fulfill its debts which would have resulted in the team being taken over by Minor League Baseball.

Smorol credits many of his former staffers for keeping the team in Syracuse and members of the Chiefs First Group  who helped to finance the team out of debt.

Jason Smorol worked in baseball from 1993 to 2003.

 

A break from the sport 

At the end of the 2003 season, Smorol got married and had two children, but wanted more of a work-life balance. In the Fall of 2003, began working as an account manager at Hilti, a company that manufactures and sells tools for manual laborers and manufacturers in the construction industry.

He worked at Hilti for ten years until the former President of the Syracuse Chiefs, Bill Dutch, sent him a friend request.

Soon after, Smorol said he was on the phone with Dutch who offered him the job as the General Manager of the Chiefs.

He discussed the opportunity with his wife, and just like that, he was back in baseball.

 

Minor league mentality

Smorol said that they have turned the Mets into a profitable team by embracing the, “minor league mentality of fun.”

Since his start with the team, Smorol has been proudest of their engagement with the community and their charity work. With Smorol on board, the Mets have raised hundreds of thousands for Challenger Baseball, a baseball program for special needs children and adults.

As a minor league GM, Smorol isn’t involved with player development and transactions. Instead, he is in charge of several aspects of the game.

Though he’s in a demanding role with no set routine, Smorol has still been able to thrive.

Dave Smolnycki and Marty Nave are season ticket holders and have been attending Mets games in Syracuse since the early 1960s. They both agree that customer service is Smorol’s greatest asset.

“Smorol is a good public relations man who brought family fun back to the stadium,” said Smolnycki.

Smorol did this by adding more on-field entertainment, talking to fans about their ideas, and solving fan problems.

Additionally, Smorol has shown hospitality by checking in with players’ companions, assuring their comfortability.

Nave, a member of the Syracuse Chiefs Hall of Fame, echoed that Smorol is great at listening to fans. Smorol has brought groups on the field and gives back to season ticket holders as they receive precedence on bus trips and he threw an all-star game party for them.

Unbeknownst to Nave, Smorol knew that he had been attending games for years. When Smorol became GM, he asked Nave if he would he run a Mets fan club. Although Nave declined, Smorol continued to lean on him for advice.

“He has given a lot to preaching Syracuse baseball. He makes fans like me part of the experience and makes fans engage,” said Nave.

 

Working with Smorol

The Director of Business Operations and Merchandise, Katie Berger, works with Smorol daily to ensure that staffing needs are met for each game and to discuss actions they can take to make the stadium better.

“When someone is upset, people go to him and he is able to resonate and connect with them more than anyone else,” she said.

Tim Leonard, a broadcast assistant for the team, knows Smorol for his positive and energetic spirit.

“It doesn’t matter if it is game seven of a seven game homestand or game one, he is just as excited and passionate,” said Leonard.

He also noted that Smorol goes around the stadium greeting every employee and interacting with fans during the games.

“The real work is customer service and catering to your fans first,” said Smorol.

Matt Park has been a broadcaster for Syracuse Athletics since 2004, but has never worked directly with Smorol.

“He has been a great smile on the franchise,” Park said.  “He has lifted the brand of the team and has made a real effort to talk to fans, be accessible, and make it fun.”

He also said that Smorol has made major gains in engaging the business community.

 

Changing the Game

From local sponsors such as Burdick Mitsubishi and Upstate Orthopedics, to Bud Light and Toyota, the billboards on the outfield walls are full.

“Other GMs aren’t necessarily as forward [about] where they are personally and individually involved. He has found something effective that works,” Park said.

Jason Smorol wants to be here for the long haul.

He said that the Mets are the second-largest attended sporting event in the city of Syracuse by total number of people and he plans on beating out Syracuse University Basketball to make it the first. Contingent on Syracuse Football’s attendance remaining the same, they’ll have to average just over 2,000 more fans per home game in 2019 to beat them out.

Tony DeFrancesco, the manager of the team, said something about Smorol that has remained a common theme,

“I’ve been around him every day for four months and he makes it very enjoyable to be here.”

High Quality is the Name of the Game for Awesome Games Done Quick Production

February 3, 2019

Photo and Story by Keir Chapman Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019 has drawn thousands of attendees, but they are not the only one’s taking in the event. More than 100,000 viewers who couldn’t be there in person, have flocked to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick to watch every single game. AGDQ’s production team works endlessly to ensure the […]

Read Article »

Photo and Story by Keir Chapman

Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019 has drawn thousands of attendees, but they are not the only one’s taking in the event. More than 100,000 viewers who couldn’t be there in person, have flocked to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick to watch every single game. AGDQ’s production team works endlessly to ensure the stream goes on without a hitch.

How It’s Made

Next to the main stage sits a platform with a multitude of screens. This is where production resides. The crew members assume many of the same roles one finds at traditional sporting events. A producer runs the show; an audio technician ensures everything sounds crystal clear, and a video technician takes the live video feed and broadcasts it to Twitch.

According to Aharon Turpie, AGDQ’s technical director, the audio technician’s job is particularly difficult to train for. The audio technician is responsible for mixing game audio, the hosts’ audio, and audio from the players’ and commentators’ headsets. The ever-increasing audio elements are putting a strain on AGDQ’s existing soundboard.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we’ll get this digital mixer with 32 inputs and 16 outputs. We’ll never need to update this mixer again,’” Turpie said. “In two events, we maxed it out.”

Setting the Stage

This epitomizes the ever-changing nature of Games Done Quick’s (GDQ) production setup. Turpie joined the team at a time when there was just a single camera and no interview stage. Today, there are seven cameras, four of which reside on the stage-show set.

The addition of a stage show that plays in between runs has created a new production team, completely independent of the crew that works on the gaming stage. By having an independent production setup, the stage shows can prep while games are going on, making transitions to interviews seamless.

The stage show utilizes a four-camera setup, and each camera takes different shots. When live, the producer makes the call for what shot to take next. The fourth camera is centered on a second, smaller set, used for announcing donation prizes. The latest camera is an addition everyone on the GDQ staff supports. The second set, not so much.

“They found that, overall, the second smaller set didn’t play very well with the natural flow of their skits,” Turpie said. “They like four cameras, but maybe for one set.”

Overcoming Obstacles

Speed running inherently creates a production problem. The genre features a wide variety of games, some of which are played on analog consoles like the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Atari.

To combat this challenge, the GDQ staff uses an open source scan converter (OSSC), which takes analog video, and converts it into HD quality. The OSSC does so with very little latency, allowing GDQ to stream old-school games to Twitch without any problems.

Another issue GDQ production faces is a small staff. A low budget means there are fewer hands to help out. There is a dashboard for video technicians, which contains a checklist of things needed to be done before each stream. The checklist also lets other team members know what has been accomplished, cutting down on needless communication.

AGDQ also uses a server produced by Support Class, called NodeCG. According to Turpie, this server takes in and manages all of the information the technical team uses. With this information, the server creates an automated system that ensures everyone knows what they need to know.

“It offloads a lot of work from the producer,” Turpie said.

Because the GDQ production staff is so small, they try to nip any potential problems in the bud. This includes meeting with runners before they are scheduled to go on and working through every possible thing that can go wrong during the  stream.

Even with contingency plans in place, unexpected errors do occur. When that happens, there is a chain of command that goes into effect, with Turpie’s generally being the team member most turn to when the problem is too large. A rung beneath him in the technical ladder sit the producers. Although they usually aren’t technicians, Turpie said they are often able to take care of the problem without involving him.

Ever Vigilant

As GDQ continues to grow, the demands on the production team grows alongside it. The crew uses every event to determine what can be changed in the future, so they are ready to meet new challenges created by a larger fanbase.

“We observe where there are problems, delays, and things that our crew and volunteers have trouble following,” Turpie said. “We find ways to not only increase production value, but to also improve the setup complexity, so people can go from run to run as quickly as possible.”

From the gamers to the production staff, it appears everything about GDQ is about accomplishing a task as quick and seamlessly as possible.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation Explores Esports

January 8, 2019

Story and Photo by: Keir Chapman Rockville, MD — Awesome Games Done Quick’s (AGDQ) mission is straightforward and clear: to raise money for charity through gaming. The style of gameplay, however, has some people scratching their heads in confusion. Speed running is a specific style of esports, one that pits players against the clock. Using precise movement […]

Read Article »

Story and Photo by: Keir Chapman

Rockville, MD — Awesome Games Done Quick’s (AGDQ) mission is straightforward and clear: to raise money for charity through gaming. The style of gameplay, however, has some people scratching their heads in confusion.

Speed running is a specific style of esports, one that pits players against the clock. Using precise movement and manipulation of the game’s physics, a speed runner can beat games in times no one could predict. For example, the world record time for “Super Mario 64” for the Nintendo 64 game console, is 1:39.19 by Allan “Cheese” Alvarez.

AGDQ 2019 is a week-long marathon of speed runs of a variety of games. Money is primarily raised through donations to the Games Done Quick website. Viewers watching on twitch.tv/gamesdonequick can also donate by subscribing to the channel.

Lost in Translation

Don’t feel frustrated if the concept is befuddling at first. The Prevent Cancer Foundation®

(Foundation) had a hard time understanding it when Michael Uyama, founder of AGDQ, first contacted the organization about being a beneficiary.

“Mike called and got Linda Chastain, who was in charge of events at the time, and she was like ‘Wow, this is strange,” Janet Hudson, Managing Director at the Foundation, said. “They’re playing games, and they’re running fast. She really thought they were running.”

According to Uyama, the Foundation was one of three cancer foundations he had reached out to in 2011 and was the only organization to reply. Aside from uncertainty about what AGDQ was, the Foundation was further thrust out of its comfort zone when Uyama requested it make a PayPal account. In hindsight, Hudson believed PayPal was pivotal in showcasing the Foundation to a global audience.

A Little Trust Goes a Long Way

The Foundation’s trust in Uyama was immediately rewarded. Despite drawing a crowd of just 50 people at the first event, AGDQ raised nearly $53,000 for the Foundation. The number was staggering to both Chastain and Uyama, whose Classic Games Done Quick in 2010, raised more than $10,500 for CARE, a nonprofit organization that provides disaster relief and poverty solutions around the world.

“Our initial goal was $20,000, because we wanted to double what we did the last time,” Uyama said. “By the time we beat $40,000, Linda Chastain was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing. This is so crazy.’ She said that was enough to fund half of a grant study that the Prevent Cancer Foundation® funds.”

The union between the two organizations has remained in place ever since. As AGDQ has grown, the Foundation has been able to secure more funding to award grants for cancer prevention research for low resource countries. AGDQ 2018 raised nearly $2.3 million for the Foundation and garnered more than $100,000 on the first day of the 2019 event.

Where the Funds Go

The Foundation hosted a panel at the start of this year’s AGDQ that went into detail about how the funds were dispersed. Among the panelists were Dr. Kathleen Schmeler, who works at the Department of Gynecology Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.

Dr. Schmeler detailed how cervical cancer is the most frequent type of cancer among women in Mozambique. She went on to describe how funds from AGDQ have helped create courses in Mozambique aimed at teaching that nation’s doctors how to determine if a patient has human papillomavirus, the virus that causes cervical cancer, and treating it before it develops into cancer.

According to Carolyn Aldigé, the Foundation’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, the Foundation does its due diligence when determining who will receive grants made possible by the money raised at AGDQ. After researchers submit proposals to the Foundation, another panel of experts reviews the proposals and determines whether or not they will receive support.

“Even if we know and like the people who submit, they don’t all get approved,” Aldigé said. “If the experts say it’s missing this, that, or the other, we don’t recommend it for funding.”

A Happy Marriage

There appears to be mutual interest from AGDQ and the Foundation to keep the partnership going into the foreseeable future. Uyama is pleased with the pace at which the alliance has developed and wants to see it continue. The financial support AGDQ provides for the Foundation is not lost on Aldigé.

“I want Mike, his colleagues, and all of the people that come to this event, to know just how grateful we are to have these funds,” Aldigé said. “They enable us to do so much amazing work around the world.”

 

Irish Keep Perfect Season in Tact, Steamroll Orange 36-3

November 22, 2018

Story by Dominick Muccilo Photos by Sam Carter BRONX, N.Y. – Once dubbed “New York’s College team” on signs in Yankee Stadium, Syracuse couldn’t have felt less at home on Saturday afternoon. This time, the end zones read, “Notre Dame” in a Yankees style script, the Irish’s logo was on both 20 yard lines, and Notre […]

Read Article »

Story by Dominick Muccilo

Photos by Sam Carter

BRONX, N.Y. – Once dubbed “New York’s College team” on signs in Yankee Stadium, Syracuse couldn’t have felt less at home on Saturday afternoon. This time, the end zones read, “Notre Dame” in a Yankees style script, the Irish’s logo was on both 20 yard lines, and Notre Dame players had pinstripe pants on. Justin Tuck, a Super Bowl champion and Notre Dame alum, came onto the big screen at the start of the game to a roar from the sellout crowd, which mainly consisted of fans in green and gold. The small percentage of the 48,104 that were draped in Orange made up most of the left field section of the Stadium, and by the middle of the 4th quarter, most had filed out.

 

Looking Grim

Dreams of a New Year’s Six Bowl game were squashed for the Syracuse Orange on national television. In fact, by the end of the first quarter, things were already looking grim. After winning the toss and going three-and-out on their first possession, it didn’t take long for Ian Book and the Irish offense to find their tempo. Book, the junior quarterback, lead a 55 yard drive down the field that ended with a Dexter Williams touchdown for the first score of the game. With a chance for Syracuse to answer, Eric Dungey was intercepted by Notre Dame Safety Jalen Elliot when looking for Taj Harris over the middle. Just like that, Notre Dame held a 10-0 lead 8 minutes into the contest. However, that would prove to be the least of the Orange’s problems.

Dungey Down

 On the ensuing possession, senior quarterback Eric Dungey rushed up the middle for a gain of four yards. He popped up and as he was getting ready for the next play, Dungey grabbed his back and fell over in pain. For several minutes the medical staff tended to him and eventually helped him off the field, which meant the New Jersey native Tommy DeVito’s number would be called on yet again. No stranger to coming off the bench, Head Coach Dino Babers didn’t hesitate to draw up a play. DeVito launched a 42-yard strike to Nykiem Johnson who appeared to come up with it in the end zone, then had it narrowly slip through his grasp once he hit the ground. This chance for the Orange would be the only time they came close to making it a ballgame.

All Irish

Ian Book, the 3-star recruit who came into today leading country in completion percentage (74.5) showed no signs of rust after being sidelined last week with a rib injury. By halftime, the Irish lead 20-0 and the junior had 253 passing yards and a touchdown. Book said Dexter Williams, Notre Dame’s running back who had two scores on the day, was a huge part of their game plan.

“Getting the ball to Dexter any way we can is what we want to do,” Book said.

Book was able to find him once through the air, and leaned on him to open up the pass, as the NFL prospect ran for 5.7 yards per carry. If the Irish hadn’t settled for field goals in Syracuse territory three different times, the score would have been even more lopsided.

 Missing Offense

The whole afternoon the Orange couldn’t get anything going on offense, something Head Coach Dino Babers doesn’t necessarily attribute to being without Eric Dungey.

“I don’t know if that was that big of a blow,” Babers said. “There were a lot of mistakes, missed tackles, dropped balls, dropped touchdowns in the end zone.”

As for Eric Dungey, his coach said that he was unsure of the severity of Dungey’s injury and his status for next week at Boston College is unknown. Redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito did the best he could to fill the void, but it wasn’t enough. DeVito was 14 for 31 with no touchdowns and two interceptions on the day.

“Their defense played really well, you’ve got to give them props,” DeVito said. “It’s just a bunch of little things, we need put things together and get drives going to help the defense out.”

Notre Dame hung 36 points on the Syracuse defense, but perhaps it was because they were exhausted. The Irish held possession for 32 minutes in the game and the Orange had four three-and-out drives.

Next week, the Orange travel to Boston College to face the 20th ranked Eagles in a noon matchup on ESPN. For Coach Babers, he thinks the team needs to shape up in a hurry.

“We need to get back and regroup,” Babers said. “Get back to playing the football we’re used to playing.”

 

From Jersey to Dress

November 22, 2018

Story By Kendra Sheehan Photos by Ashtyn Hiron Syracuse, NY- At 4:56pm graduate student Isis Young was still on the basketball court. The Syracuse women’s basketball team had just finished a dominating opening match against North Dakota. By 6:00pm, instead of basketball shoes and her number 23 jersey, Young had transitioned to a red dress […]

Read Article »

Story By Kendra Sheehan

Photos by Ashtyn Hiron

Syracuse, NY- At 4:56pm graduate student Isis Young was still on the basketball court. The Syracuse women’s basketball team had just finished a dominating opening match against North Dakota.

By 6:00pm, instead of basketball shoes and her number 23 jersey, Young had transitioned to a red dress and heels and was seated at the anchor desk in Newhouse Studio. She was ready for a new role, this time, basketball analyst for the ACC Network pregame and half time report for the men’s basketball opener against Eastern Washington.

 

Keeping Up

It was a hectic day as I followed Young through the quick transition from student athlete to broadcaster. While her schedule is jam packed, Young says the time and effort she puts in to be successful at both, is completely worth it.

“I tell people that I really love what I do,” Young said. “I love basketball. I love broadcasting. You know I don’t mind putting the time in to be able to do it when I truly enjoy what I’m doing.”

From a 3-point score, to a steal, Young acted as the 6thman on the court, bringing energy and speed into the game. After a great home opener it seemed effortless as she transitioned to providing a thoughtful analysis of the Syracuse men’s basketball matchup for the ACC Network.

Double Duty for Both

Young wasn’t the only one running from the Dome to the desk last night. ACC Network studio host and Syracuse University senior, Drew Carter, called play-by-play for the women’s game before hosting the shows for the men’s game. With both students pulling double duty on the ACC Network, Carter notes that Young’s transition from the Dome to the desk might have been a little more complex.

“It’s not just about the day of. Obviously this has to be crazy hectic for her but it’s more about the day to day grind, “ Carter said. “I feel like I work a full time job as a student and doing all this stuff, and this is basically doing that two  fold and I can’t even imagine doing that, it’s crazy.”

When I asked if there was ever any concern that she would make it in time for the show to go on-air, Carter said there was never a doubt in his mind.

“I’ve hosted with former athletes and it wasn’t nearly as smooth,“ Carter said. “She is super, super talented and very smart. I always tend to think that the quality of work ethic off the air translates on the air.”

Secret to Success

Young attributes her success, to the strong support system she has at home. Her family was at the game showing their support with a warm embrace before she had to rush off the court. As a concerned parent, Young’s mother, Denise Young, wonders how she can manage it all.

“We absolutely get worried when she’s gone to work and we wonder how she’s really doing it all but I think it’s a tribute to her time and skills and her dedication to both,”  she said. “One thing I like to say is that we’re extremely proud of Isis and we wish her the best of luck in everything she does.”

Overtime Interception Costs Syracuse

November 6, 2018

Story by Dakota Palmer Photos by Tamar Turner PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Mother Nature couldn’t make up her mind on Saturday, and neither could the Orange. Saturday afternoon, Pitt (3-3, 2-1) came back from a two-game losing streak to overtake Syracuse (4-2, 1-2) by a touchdown in overtime. “I was saying all week Pitt’s a dangerous […]

Read Article »

Story by Dakota Palmer

Photos by Tamar Turner

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Mother Nature couldn’t make up her mind on Saturday, and neither could the Orange.

Saturday afternoon, Pitt (3-3, 2-1) came back from a two-game losing streak to overtake Syracuse (4-2, 1-2) by a touchdown in overtime.

“I was saying all week Pitt’s a dangerous team,” Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey said in a press conference following the game. “Unfortunately, we just weren’t on the same page…but we’ll get it fixed.”

 

The Orange started strong: within two minutes, Dungey made a quick one-yard pass to tight end Aaron Hackett for a touchdown.

Later, the Orange defensive tackle Alton Robinson forced a Pitt fumble, which was recovered by linebacker Andrew Armstrong. Running back Jarveon Howard rushed two yards for another Syracuse touchdown, giving ‘Cuse a 14-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, the Panthers came back with a 69-yard rush from running back Qadree Ollison and didn’t let up. Pitt linebacker Quintin Wirginis forced a Syracuse fumble, which was recovered by Pitt defensive back Dane Jackson — who then ran the ball 35 yards for a touchdown toward the end of the first quarter.

Pitt went on to score 20 points without a comeback from Syracuse until Andre Szmyt kicked a 33-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the half.

“Obviously, we are really disappointed that we couldn’t come home with a victory, but we didn’t give it away,” Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers said in a post-game press conference. “This was really a hard-fought contest between two teams who really wanted to win.”

With 0:17 left in the half, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett threw an interception to Syracuse defensive back Christopher Fredrick, but the Orange were unable to score again before the end of the half.

The Panthers started the second half with a 68-yard running touchdown from Rafael Araujo-Lopes, and the flood gates opened — literally. A downpour had spectators and players running for shelter, and the game was delayed at 2:16 p.m.

Weather Delay and Comeback

After an hour and nine-minute weather delay, the Orange came to play. With 8:12 left in the third, Howard rushed five yards for his second touchdown, barreling through each and every player in his way.

“I was just in the moment, just taking [it] play by play,” Howard said in a post-game interview. “I was just doing it to help the team. I know they needed me, [so] I just did what I could.”

In a third-and-10 situation, Dungey saw no passing options and ran the ball himself 21 yards through a wide-open space and dove into the end zone for a Syracuse touchdown, giving the Orange the lead once again. Szmyt added a field goal a few minutes later, increasing the score to 34-27.

Later, Pitt running back Darrin Hall called for the snap, faked a hand-off and ran the ball in 7 yards for a touchdown, tying the game with almost 8 minutes left.

Szmyt would help the Orange regain the lead once again after a 54-yard field goal to bring the game to 37-34.

Syracuse’s defensive line kept the Panthers away from the end zone at the end of the fourth quarter, but with a 45-yard field goal, Kessman tied the game with 8 seconds left.

It’s Not Over Yet

Syracuse won the coin toss and elected to go on defense first.

On the third down, Hall rushed three yards to get his elbow about two inches in the end zone for a touchdown.

On the first down of Syracuse’s offensive drive, Dungey threw a long pass intended for wide receiver Nykeim Johnson, who was in the end zone, but it was picked off by Pitt’s Therran Coleman.

“We had a one on one with Nykeim, so I had pressure on me and I wasn’t able to really run into the throw — just throwing it to Nykeim and hoping he was going to make a play,” Dungey said. “Unfortunately, the defender made a good play on the ball.”

“I didn’t perform the way I wanted to, but I know no matter what that they trust me and, we’re going to get it moving forward,” Dungey said.

“As he goes, we go,” Babers said about Dungey. “We like the things he does, and he’s our guy and we aren’t going to trade him.”

Orange Doesn’t Survive Death Valley

October 6, 2018

Story by Ramon Hernandez Photos by Keanu Haghighi CLEMSON, S.C. – The Orange suffered it’s first first loss of the season today, as the Clemson Tigers took the close 27-23 win at Memorial Stadium. Perfect Storm There seemed to be a perfect storm brewing for the Orange in Death Valley. Syracuse was just minutes away […]

Read Article »

Story by Ramon Hernandez

Photos by Keanu Haghighi

CLEMSON, S.C. – The Orange suffered it’s first first loss of the season today, as the Clemson Tigers took the close 27-23 win at Memorial Stadium.

Perfect Storm

There seemed to be a perfect storm brewing for the Orange in Death Valley. Syracuse was just minutes away from moving to 5-0 and becoming the first school, since Florida State in 2013 and 2014, to beat Clemson in back-to-back seasons. Clemson running back, sophomore Travis Entienne, however, was having none of that.

Entienne rushed for 203 yards on 27 carries, and punched in three touchdowns en route to a 27-23 victory over the 25-point underdog Syracuse. The Orange had no answer for Entienne and Clemson’s run heavy offense in the second half. The Tigers had to keep the ball on the ground after losing their newly named starting quarterback, freshman Trevor Lawrence following a big hit from Syracuse’s Evan Foster. They played backup quarterback Chase Brice, who only had eight pass attempts in his career, in his place, and put the offensive burden on Entienne’s shoulders. He delivered.

“They just kept handing him the ball. We knew what the were gonna do but we couldn’t slow him down,” Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers said.

Coming up Orange?

There were several times it seemed things were falling Syracuse’s way. The first was early in the third quarter, when Trill Williams picked off a pass from Brice. The second was a punt fumble, recovered by Jamal Custis. Unfortunately for the Orange, neither play led to much of anything.

Things may have ended quite differently if not for an ineligible player downfield call on Aaron Hackett, on a crucial fourth – and – one. It seemed as though he picked up the 1st- down, it was all Clemson from there.

Tigers finish Fierce

The Tigers would put up a quick seven points, courtesy of Entienne shortly after, and hold strong on the Orange’s last drive, sacking Senior quarterback Eric Dungey three times in the final minutes of the game.

Dungey said his confidence is not rattled, however, and that some of his teammates believe they should have won the game.

“There’s kind of a sick feeling in my stomach right now. We really wanted this one, but luckily we’ve got a whole season ahead of us,” Dungey said.

The Orange will look to bounce back on the road next week against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Syracuse Dismantles Connecticut to Remain Undefeated

September 23, 2018

Story by Jonathan LaRowe Photos by Sunny Tsai SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With a 51-21 win over the Connecticut Huskies, the Orange reached 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 1991. “I’m just really proud of those young men,” head coach Dino Babers said. The Orange struck early and often against a Husky […]

Read Article »

Story by Jonathan LaRowe

Photos by Sunny Tsai

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With a 51-21 win over the Connecticut Huskies, the Orange reached 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 1991.

“I’m just really proud of those young men,” head coach Dino Babers said.

The Orange struck early and often against a Husky defense that has struggled mightily all season. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey accounted for three touchdowns in the first quarter to propel the Orange to an early 21-0 lead. Dungey showed off his trademark running ability with his first two scores coming on the ground.

“I try to be the best leader that I can,” Dungey said. “I think a lot of these guys are starting to buy in and it’s awesome to see.”

Connecticut quarterback David Pindell answered with a rushing score of his own, a 75-yard scamper in the first quarter that put the Huskies on the board. Syracuse quickly responded with a field goal that extended the lead to three scores again.

Connecticut started the second quarter with another touchdown to cut the Syracuse lead to 10 and put a temporary halt on the Syracuse blowout. However, the Orange slammed the door on the Husky comeback attempt by the third quarter, scoring three more times, to increase the lead to 41-14.

Two Breakout Performances

While Eric Dungey continued his record-setting pace for the Syracuse offense totaling five touchdowns in the game, the win showcased a breakout performance from junior wide receiver Sean Riley. Riley electrified the Carrier Dome crowd with two highlight-reel plays in the second half.

Riley started the scoring in the third quarter with a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. He found the end zone again in the fourth quarter with a 49-yard touchdown reception to answer a Husky touchdown.

“He’s a really exciting player,” Babers said. “I’m really excited for him. Now I need to challenge him to see if we can bring that same type of explosiveness into some ACC games because we sure do need it.”

The Syracuse offense amassed over 600 yards of total offense on the day, but another one of the standout performers for the Orange was on the other side of the ball. Junior defensive end Alton Robinson led the defense with three sacks, a career high.

“Alton is playing at a very, very high level,” Babers said.

Syracuse will face a major challenge next week on the road against ACC powerhouse Clemson.

 

Syracuse Dominates Florida State in the Dome

September 22, 2018

Story by Daniel Booth Photos by Kendra Sheehan   SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The Syracuse Orange opened ACC play with a 30 to 7 win over the Florida State Seminoles.The combination of defensive dominance and offensive firepower paved the way for a colossal upset. “It was not trickery, it was just lining up and whooping the guy in front of them”, head coach Dino Babers said. […]

Read Article »

Story by Daniel Booth

Photos by Kendra Sheehan  

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The Syracuse Orange opened ACC play with a 30 to 7 win over the Florida State Seminoles.The combination of defensive dominance and offensive firepower paved the way for a colossal upset.

“It was not trickery, it was just lining up and whooping the guy in front of them”, head coach Dino Babers said. This is the first time Syracuse has defeated Florida State since 1966.

 

Defensive Dominance

The Orange defense held the Seminoles to 1 for 14 on third down conversions, and sacked Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois four times.

“I was most proud about the way the D-line played”, coach Babers said. “Defensive ends and defensive tackles were winning their one on one battles, and as a coach that’s what gets you fired up.”

Defensive end Kendall Coleman is responsible for two of the four sacks, and was in the backfield all afternoon. Coach Babers praised his defensive coaching staff led by coordinator Brian Ward, for their ability to execute their game plan at an exceptionally high level.

Ready or Not.

Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey suffered an injury late in the second quarter after being struck in the eye. Due to Dungey’s impaired vision, coach Babers decided to bring in redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy DeVito. DeVito piloted the Orange offense to five scoring drives, four of which came in the second half. At the 6:55 mark in the third quarter, DeVito scored Syracuse’s first touchdown of the contest with a three yard run. About three minutes later, DeVito connected with senior tight end Ravian Pierce for a three yard touchdown pass. “The guys were locked in and they didn’t lose any focus, the effort was continuous throughout all four quarters”, coach Babers said. An explosive 14 point third quarter gave Syracuse a commanding 20-0 lead heading into the fourth. A solid 20 point lead proved to be more than enough to bury the Seminoles.

A Win Feels Good.

This high-profile win on national television bodes well for the persona of Syracuse’s program moving forward. Coach Babers hopes a win of this magnitude will shine a spotlight on his program, and raise expectations for years to come. The Orange defense only allowed Florida State to score seven points, and the offense tallied up 441 yards of total offense.

Coach Babers led the well deserved locker room celebration after the game. “We need to enjoy this and then we need to get back to work, because we want to be consistent, and not occasional”, coach Babers said. This win improves the Orange to 3-0 on the young season. Next Saturday, Syracuse will look to stay unbeaten against the University of Connecticut, at 4:00pmEST in the Carrier Dome.

 

Syracuse Football’s Defense Makes Strides Against Wagner

September 22, 2018

Story by Trevor Kriley Photos by Isis Young Syracuse, N.Y. – Walking into the Carrier Dome is an electric feeling. The architecture itself screams that this place is different from any other venue in the country, and the fans back that up. So many spectators, absolutely draped in orange, pumped life into the great, indoor arena. […]

Read Article »

Story by Trevor Kriley

Photos by Isis Young

Syracuse, N.Y. – Walking into the Carrier Dome is an electric feeling. The architecture itself screams that this place is different from any other venue in the country, and the fans back that up. So many spectators, absolutely draped in orange, pumped life into the great, indoor arena. Certainly, there was a story in the fact that the Syracuse offense scored 62 points, 45 of which came in the first half. However, the life that the Dome atmosphere and its fans instilled into the Orange defense was even more impressive. After allowing 42 points to the Western Michigan Broncos on August 31st, something appeared to shift in the defense’s mindset.

 

 

Wagner’s opening drive told the story of what encompassed the next three and half hours of their visit to upstate New York. Following a delay of game penalty and a couple of pass attempts, a raucous third down ensued in which Andre Cisco whipped across the field to intercept a pass from quarterback Luke Massei. This ultimately led to an acrobatic diving catch by wide receiver Sean Riley that only served to propel the Syracuse defense into even greater play. This cycle of Orange energy continued into Wagner’s next drive where Cisco was once again in the right place at the right time, allowing him to pick off T.J. Linta this time.

This marked the first time since 2012 that an Orange player recorded multiple interceptions in a single game when Keon Lyn did so against Temple. The impressive thing here: Cisco managed this feat in under five minutes of game time.

Dominant Force

From here on out, it was more of the same. The Syracuse defense was a dominant force on the field rarely allowing the Seahawks into Orange territory. Wagner was facing a monster that was hungry for interceptions and fumble recoveries every time its offense trotted out onto the field. “Turnovers are everything. They’re such momentum changers,” head coach Dino Babers said. Though there were few such swings of momentum in this game, the Orange defense made sure Wagner did not have the chance to gain any kind of traction.

After last week’s games at Western Michigan, fans witnessed the Syracuse offense’s ability to put up big numbers. Surely though, many were concerned about the team’s play on the other side of the ball. While Wagner may not be a top tier opponent, the mere ten points the Orange defense allowed is a promising step in the right direction.