Syracuse Orange football
|Syracuse Orange football|
|Athletic director||Daryl Gross|
|Head coach||Scott Shafer
2nd year, 7–6 (.538)
|Home stadium||Carrier Dome|
|Location||Syracuse, New York|
|All-time record||705–503–49 (.580)|
|Postseason bowl record||15–9–1 (.620)|
|Claimed national titles||1 (1959)|
|Conference titles||5 (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2012)|
Orange, White, and Navy
|Fight song||Down The Field|
|Mascot||Otto the Orange|
|Marching band||Syracuse University Marching Band|
|Rivals||Boston College Eagles
West Virginia Mountaineers
Penn State Nittany Lions
The Syracuse Orange football program is a college football team that represents Syracuse University. The team is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I conference that is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision. The program has one national championship, which was earned for play in the 1959 season. The Orange are currently coached by Scott Shafer, who was elevated from defensive coordinator in January 2013, after Doug Marrone was hired as the head coach of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Home games are played at the Carrier Dome, located on the school's campus in Syracuse.
- 1 History
- 2 Football rivalries
- 3 Individual honors
- 4 Yearly records
- 5 Syracuse football athletes in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- 6 Logos and uniforms
- 7 Facilities
- 8 Future non-conference opponents
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Syracuse played its first football game on November 23, 1889, and achieved its first success in the 1890s and 1900s. With the construction of "state-of-the-art" Archbold Stadium in 1907, Syracuse rose to national prominence under College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank "Buck" O'Neill. The 1915 squad garnered a Rose Bowl invitation that the school declined, having already played on the West Coast that season.
The 1920s saw continued success with teams featuring star end Vic Hanson, the only individual who is a member of both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, and who later coached the team. For 70 years, from 1891 to 1961, Colgate University was the school's biggest rival, with Colgate holding the edge, 31-26-5.
Ben Schwartzwalder era
The late 1930s and 1940s saw a decline in fortunes that began to reverse when Ben Schwartzwalder took over as coach in 1949. Syracuse made its first bowl appearance in the 1953 Orange Bowl, followed by appearances in the 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic and the 1959 Orange Bowl. The 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic team featured Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown. During this era, Penn State emerged as Syracuse's principal rival, replacing Colgate University. In 1959, Syracuse earned its first National Championship following an undefeated season and Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Texas. The team featured sophomore running back Ernie Davis, who went on to become the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961, and All-America tackle Ron Luciano, who eventually become a prominent Major League Baseball umpire. Davis was slated to play for the Cleveland Browns in the same backfield as Jim Brown, but died of leukemia before being able to play professionally. Syracuse remained competitive through the 1960s with a series of All American running backs, including Floyd Little and Larry Csonka.
Frank Maloney era and first "dry" period
When Ben Schwartzwalder retired from coaching in 1973 the program began to decline. Frank Maloney was hired to replace Schwartzwalder. The construction of the Carrier Dome in 1980 and the success of future NFL stars Joe Morris and Art Monk maintained the program's national relevance.
MacPherson/Pasqualoni era and return to prominence
Dick MacPherson was hired as the head coach in 1981 and after several mediocre seasons, fans wanted MacPherson fired, coining the phrase, "Sack Mac." However, the fans' opinion of Coach Macpherson changed when the program returned suddenly to national prominence in 1987 with an undefeated 11-0 regular season record. The team featured Maxwell Award winning quarterback Don McPherson and fullback Daryl Johnston. The team missed an opportunity to play for the NCAA Division I-A national football championship, because both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Miami also finished undefeated that year and finished higher in the polls. Instead, the team faced Southeastern Conference champion Auburn University in the Sugar Bowl. The game ended in a tie when Auburn kicked a late field goal rather than trying for a game winning touchdown.
Over the next 14 seasons (1988-2001), the program enjoyed tremendous success under coach MacPherson and his successor Paul Pasqualoni, appearing in 11 bowl games (including 3 major bowls) and winning 9. The team also captured or shared 3 Big East football championships during this period. Prominent players of the period included Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bulluck, Rob Moore, Donovin Darius, Qadry Ismail, Kevin Johnson, Rob Konrad, Tebucky Jones and Marvin Graves. Rivalries shifted in the early 1990s as Penn State ended its series with Syracuse and joined the Big Ten. Syracuse, meanwhile, joined the newly formed Big East football conference with traditional rivals University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University and national power Miami. In 2004, Miami and Virginia Tech left the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, followed by Boston College in 2005, threatening the stature of the Big East. Syracuse was originally invited to leave the Big East and join the ACC, but under pressure from the Governor of Virginia, the ACC decided to invite Virginia Tech to join the conference instead. Thus, Syracuse remained in the Big East.
Syracuse's streak of winning seasons ended in 2002 when they went 4-8. This was followed by consecutive 6-6 seasons. Although they won a share of the Big East title in 2004 and competed in the Champs Sports Bowl, the teams from 2002-2004 were considered mediocre to Syracuse standards. This prompted brand new athletic director Dr. Daryl Gross to fire Paul Pasqualoni after 14 years at the helm.
Greg Robinson era and second "dry" period
In 2005 the University hired Greg Robinson, former defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns, as head coach . That season started on a high note as Syracuse nearly upset eventual Big East and Sugar Bowl Champion West Virginia, forcing 5 turnovers in the 15-7 loss. They followed it up with a 31-0 thrashing of Buffalo and another near upset win, this time to #25 Virginia where they lost 27-24 on a last second field goal. The squad lost its final 8 games of the season. In those last 8 games. Syracuse finished the year 1–10, the worst season in school history and won only ten games with Robinson running the program.
In 2008 the Orange continued to struggle and fired Robinson, following a 3-9 season where the high point was a 24-23 upset of Notre Dame; the game that signified the period the best was the 55-13 loss to Penn State.
Doug Marrone era
Improvement throughout the program was noticed immediately as the Orange, despite only a marginal improvement in their Win-Loss record, going 4-8 under Marrone for his first year, played many much more closely, including a 28-7 loss at #7 Penn State. In 2010 the Orange finished the regular season with a winning record for the first time since the 2001 season at 7-5, including road wins against #19 West Virginia and 2-time defending conference champions Cincinnati. The team earned its first bowl bid since 2004 and along with 2nd ranked Oregon and 10th ranked Boise State, the 5 road wins are the best in 2010 of all BCS teams. December 30, 2010, Syracuse defeated Kansas State in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. The game was televised live on ESPN. Two years later, the Orange defeated West Virginia in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl.
Scott Shafer era
The day after Marrone's departure, Syracuse promoted defensive coordinator Scott Shafer to head coach. In his first season, Coach Shafer led the Orange to a 7-6 finish, including a 21-17 victory over Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl. 2013 was also the first season for the Orange in the ACC.
The two schools first met on October 18, 1924, a 10–0 win for the Syracuse Orange. The Eagles and the Orange began playing an annual game in 1961. To date, Boston College and Syracuse have played each other 46 times. Aside from Holy Cross, no team has played Boston College more than Syracuse. In 2004, the Eagles' last year in the Big East, the Orange pulled off a surprising upset that kept the Eagles from going to their first BCS game. BC's departure from the Big East put the future of the rivalry in doubt. Syracuse's admission into the ACC in 2013 resurrected the rivalry, with the two teams playing each another annually as members of the ACC's Atlantic Division.
Syracuse leads the all-time series 28–18.
Syracuse and Penn State have played 69 times. However, conference realignment and scheduling disagreements have dampened the intensity of the rivalry between the teams. During the 1950s and 1960s the rivalry enjoyed a competitive and often controversial string of contests. Syracuse football was led by legendary coach Ben Schwartzwalder, and Penn State by Rip Engle and from 1967 Joe Paterno. From 1950 to 1970, Syracuse won 11 to Penn State's 10 games.
As Syracuse football floundered in the 1970s, Paterno's Penn State teams would go on to win 16 straight in the series from 1971 to 1986. Penn State fans and players increasingly turned their attention to the Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry.
In 1987, Dick MacPherson coached Syracuse to a 48-21 victory over the Nittany Lions in the Dome. Syracuse won again the following year at Penn State but lost the final two games before the suspension of the series in 1991. After an almost twenty-year break in the series, the two programs played in Syracuse's Carrier Dome on September 13, 2008, with the Nittany Lions prevailing 55-13 over the Orange.
Penn State leads the all-time series 41-23-5.
The football game between Syracuse and Pittsburgh has been played 67 times. The rivalry dates back to 1916 and has been played yearly since 1955. It is the second most played football rivalry for Syracuse and is tied for the third most played football rivalry for Pittsburgh. Pitt holds an overall lead of 34-30-3 in the rivalry. The two continue to play annually in the ACC, as they have been designated as crossover rivals, with Syracuse in the Atlantic Division and Pitt in the Coastal Division.
Syracuse held a commanding 30-12-1 advantage over the Scarlet Knights when the series between the two schools ended on October 13, 2012. The two schools first met in 1914, with the interstate rivals playing to a 14-14 tie. Syracuse dominated the rivalry when the schools began to play annually in 1980, going undefeated from 1987 to 1998, but when Rutgers finally turned around their long-moribund football program, the State University of New Jersey made a competitive contest out of their annual meeting by winning more games than they lost against the Orange from 2001 until the series finale -- a 23-15 Syracuse loss -- in 2012.
One year after Syracuse abandoned the rivalry for a new conference slate in the ACC, Rutgers accepted an invitation to be the Big Ten Conference's 14th member.
Syracuse and West Virginia have played 60 times and every year since 1955. Often these games have had a bearing on which collegiate program was the best in the East. In much of the 80's and 90's, Syracuse and West Virginia made for one of the Big East's best head-to-head match-ups on a yearly basis.
The Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy annually goes to the winner of the West Virginia and Syracuse football game. The trophy was introduced in 1993 and is named after former WVU football player and Syracuse head coach Ben Schwartzwalder, who had died in March of that year. The trophy weighs 55 pounds and was sculpted by Syracuse player Jim Ridlon.
West Virginia won the first trophy game 43-0 at Syracuse and has gone on to win 11. Syracuse has won the trophy seven times and leads the overall series between the two schools, 33-27.
On November 12, 2005, Syracuse University retired number 44 to honor the legacy of those who wore it as well as the number itself, which has become so associated with Syracuse that the university's ZIP code, 13244, was requested by university officials to remember those who wore 44 for the Orange.
Since 1921, 25 players wore the number and three earned All-America honors. The three most famous #44s were Running backs Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little, considered among the finest running backs to ever play the game. Brown, who played at SU from 1954–56 and led the team to a Cotton Bowl berth, went on to become the NFL's all-time leading rusher and a member of the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame. He led the league in rushing eight times in his nine years. Many still point to him as the greatest running back of all time.
Davis played for the Orange from 1959-61. He won the 1961 Heisman Trophy, becoming the first African-American to do so, and was a starter on SU's 1959 national championship team. Davis also signed to play with the Cleveland Browns, but the devastating combination of Davis and Brown in the same backfield never came to pass. Davis died of leukemia in 1963. He was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Little was a three-time All-America for the Orange. He played from 1964–66 and led SU to the Sugar Bowl in 1964 and the Gator Bowl in 1966 (teaming in the backfield with Larry Csonka in the latter). Little was the greatest kick returner in Orange history. He led the nation in all-purpose yardage in 1965, averaging 199 yards per game. Little went on to have a tremendous career with the Denver Broncos, winning back-to-back rushing titles in 1970-71. He, too, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
|Syracuse Orange retired numbers|
- 1 The complete list of players that wore number 44 (by chronological order): Gifford Zimmerman, Charles Roberts, Clarence Taylor, Don Baldwin, Richard Fishel, Henry Merz, Hamilton Watt, Francis Mullins, Stanley Stanislay, Benjamin DeYoung, Francis Mazejko, Richard Ransom, J. O'Brien, Robert Eberling, Jim Brown, Thomas Stephens, Ernie Davis, William Schoonover, Floyd Little, Richard Panczyszyn, Mandel Robinson, Glenn Moore, Michael Owens, Terry Richardson and Rob Konrad.
College Football Hall of Fame members
|Syracuse Orange Hall of Famers|
|Frank "Buck" O'Neill||HC||1951||1906-1919; 1936|
Syracuse football athletes in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Logos and uniforms
Main article: Carrier DomeCarrier Dome. The Dome is used for several sports at the university and seats 49,250 for football. It is the largest domed stadium of any college campus and the largest domed stadium in the Northeastern United States. The field was dedicated in 2009 to Ernie Davis, the first African American Heisman Trophy winner. The field now reads "Ernie Davis Legends Field" between the 45 yard lines on the home side. Davis's number forty-four was also placed along that yard line. The dedication took place at the Syracuse vs. West Virginia game October 10, 2009. Davis won the award in 1961.
Manley Field House
Built in 1962, the Manley Field House complex houses many of the offices of SU Athletics. It also contains academic rooms and two weight rooms strictly for Syracuse athletes only. Adjacent to the complex there are a variety of fields used for softball, soccer, field hockey, as well as a track for the track and field team. Manley was initially intended as an indoor training facility for the football team, but was soon utilized as a home court for men's basketball.
However, upon completion of the new Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, which houses practice courts, weight rooms, locker rooms and offices for both the men's and women's basketball teams, the original plans for Manley have come full circle. Syracuse was able to spend more than $2 million to renovate it and create a new state of the art indoor practice facility. Manley now features an indoor FieldTurf practice area, complete with three-lane running track.
Future non-conference opponents