The Orange Underdogs

Tim Skeval and AJ Ortega

Syracuse University football is back and Jamesville-Dewitt High School is excited. Many players left to go pro, but SU was in the top 60 of the best recruiting football colleges for 2015, according to ESPN, and has recruited many new and highly scouted players like starting freshman quarterback Eric Dungey. “Dungey will improve as the season goes on,” said junior Ian Crawford. Dungey has thrown for over 1000 yards and 11 touchdowns and has only thrown three picks. So far SU is off to a 3-5 start.

Syracuse has had some game ending and season ending injuries this year so far. In the first game, on the fourth play, Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt was sidelined in his fifth season with a torn achilles. Three games later back-up quarterback Eric Dungey took a blow to the head and was sidelined for the rest of that game. Dungey returned the next game. In spite of this, fans at JD are staying positive. “I think it won’t affect our play style,” said sophomore Anthony Ciccone; “we can’t afford anymore injuries though.”

Syracuse’s first loss came against the LSU Tigers 34-24 on Sept. 26. Many people thought SU had no chance at matching up with LSU, the eighth ranked team in the country, but SU surprised once again. Syracuse held LSU to a touchdown in the first half while scoring a field goal of their own. SU “ran creative plays. LSU is just on a different level then us,” said senior Michael Pleschinski. Athletic Director John Goodson believes SU “fought hard” and “beat the odds.”

After losing to LSU and then South Florida University, SU’s next loss was a hard fought loss in the three-overtime game against the University of Virginia. They led right up until the end of the third quarter. Many SU fans are disappointed in the team’s performance in that game. “They let it slip away. They should have won, but they blew it,” said Crawford. Unlike Crawford and many others, Mr. Goodson supports SU and their efforts this season. “Virginia was knocking on the door all game. (SU is) young, you can’t expect so much out of them. They are learning valuable lessons and that’s what matters most,” said Mr. Goodson.

No team is perfect. So far SU’s defense has held its own against opposing offenses. Their defense has eight interceptions and have given up an average of 24.5 points a game. They have also given up over fifteen hundred rushing yards and 28 touchdowns through eight games. But like all college teams, even the top teams in the country, SU has to work on something. “Their offense needs to be stronger. The defense can’t pull all the weight,” said sophomore Devin Sarno.

Although the SU season is only half way done, people already have their final record prediction. Sarno and Crawford along with senior Diamond Cole had a common prediction, 6-6. Pleschinski and sophomore Lexi Gambacorto both had a little more hope with a guess of 7-5. Mr. Goodson, unlike others, was unwilling to make a prediction. “I believe that we go into every game with a chance to come out on top,” said Goodson. SU players and fans are hoping we close out the season strong.

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