Alex Pomeroy and Connor Ball
Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse University Football team is searching for a path towards a bowl game. The team’s success gradually faded throughout the season as the team began with a record of 2-2. SU currently sits with a 4-6 record and is sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
SU has always had a major impact on Jamesville-DeWitt High School as many students attend the games. “Attending the game is a lot more exciting because people around you cheer,” said freshman and lifetime fan Jason Pritts. The Carrier Dome holds up to 49,262 people and is the largest domed stadium on any campus in the country, according to cuse.com. The Dome is home to Syracuse University’s football, basketball and lacrosse teams. Junior Maddy Spina says the Carrier Dome gives every game an exciting atmosphere.
Last season, the team’s success was diminished after starting with a 3-0 record and finishing with a record of 4-8. The Syracuse Orange needed something new and fresh to motivate a team who hasn’t had a winning record since 2013. This season, the team introduced new Head Coach Dino Babers. A fan of SU Football, freshman Riley LaTray said Baber’s a “good fit.” Previously, Babers coached at Bowling Green and left a legacy of quick paced offense, with plans to continue the offense with the Syracuse Orange. Last season, Syracuse averaged 22.5 seconds per play, compared to this season averaging 21.2 seconds under Babers. “He used to coach at my mom’s alumni, Bowling Green, so that’s pretty cool,” said Pritts.
The team’s current success can be traced back to senior wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo and sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey. Etta-Tawo ranks No. 4 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in receiving yards per game, averaging 124.6 yards and is No. 5 in receptions per game, averaging 7.9. Freshman Logan Roadarmel believes Etta-Tawo is a very good wide-receiver and has made some good catches. Along with Roadarmel, senior Alex Epifani believes it’s great that someone so talented is a part of Syracuse Football. Needless to say, Etta-Tawo’s staggering numbers couldn’t exist without a quarterback with an impressive arm. Fortunately for SU, sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey has been able to fulfill that position. Dungey had an upper body injury that plagued his first season with SU. However, this year, Dungey ranks no. 14 in passing yards per game and is averaging 297.7 yards per game. Sophomore Nolan Giblin is glad to have the same quarterback for two consecutive years.
Other than stunning performances from multiple Syracuse players, new Head Coach Dino Babers has motivated the team through compassion and an after-game speech following the upset win over Virginia Tech that went viral. Junior Ryan Evans says it’s good because it helped the team connect to the new coach and that it was impressive in how it riled up the team. Giblin went as far as calling the speech, “hype” and “awesome.”
Despite the immense amount of talent and motivation the team continues to struggle. Senior Jack Austin thinks it’s disappointing to win such a big game and get “smacked” by Clemson. Austin admits the difficulty of being optimistic about a team who can’t figure out how to win consistently. Although almost all J-DHS is pleased by the team’s performance, “there is always room for improvement,” said freshman Katie Sizing. Epifani said that changes need to be made by Babers.