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Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to "Back to the Future" Day!

Back to the Future Part II, released in 1989, starts out set in 1985 where the previous film in the series left off. Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, along with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd, and Jennifer Parker, played by Elisabeth Shue, travel to the future in Doc's DeLorean to save Marty and Jennifer's future children. The date they travel to is October 21, 2015, the date which would become the first "Back to the Future" Day. In the years leading up to the day, photoshopped images appeared online that claimed the day of the DeLorean's twenty-first-century time travel had arrived. But true fans of the film series knew they had to wait until 2015.

Many events were held during the inaugural celebration, some of which raised money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Screenings of the film or the whole series took place in almost 2,000 theaters on the date and on the following weekend. Similarly, Esquire Network showed the trilogy all day and on the following weekend. We're Going Back was held at filming locations in California, the documentary Back in Time was released, and The Million McFly March was held. Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson appeared on Today, and Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd appeared in character on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The day prior, Universal Pictures re-released the Back to the Future trilogy on DVD and Blu-ray. "Back to the Future" Day has continued to be marked by fans of the film in subsequent years.

SU News

Beat writers disagree on Syracuse’s outcome against Virginia Tech (DO; Staff)

Syracuse’s last four games have been decided by three points, the first time this has happened in a single season for the Orange since 1981. Dino Babers and SU desperately need to end the three-game losing streak where they’ve flashed potential and performed well at times but failed to close out games.

Here’s what our beat writers think will happen when SU travels to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Roshan Fernandez (4-3)
Coming up short
Virginia Tech 20, Syracuse 17

This game will hinge on one major factor: if Virginia Tech can successfully stop the run, the Hokies can end their losing streak that’s seen them lose three of their last four games. If VT can’t, the Orange will come out of Blacksburg having ended their losing streak that’s seen them lose three of their last four games too. The Hokies rank second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in passing defense and ninth in rushing defense, allowing 156.7 yards per game for the latter category.

SU will have trouble throwing against this secondary and turn solely to the run, but by now, opponents have an idea of what to expect out of this Syracuse offense, as evidenced by Clemson last week. Teams know that SU’s going to run the ball and how the Orange plan to do it, so unless Dino Babers and offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert can get really creative, VT is going to sell out to stop the run — and it will have a solid shot at succeeding. Lane Stadium is a difficult place to win on the road because of VT’s intimidating fans, and even though SU desperately needs to end its pattern of losing close games, it’ll once again come up short here.

Connor Smith (3-4)
Turkey gets its worm
Virginia Tech 24, Syracuse 17

After three straight three-point losses, Syracuse is in need of a win. But that isn’t going to come at Lane Stadium — a stadium SU hasn’t won a game in since 2001 — against Virginia Tech. The Hokies, just like the Orange, are an average football team, but they kept it close two weeks ago against No. 14 Notre Dame. SU is also dealing with the fallout of former starting quarterback Tommy DeVito transferring, and it has had to deal with three straight weeks of late-game shenanigans.

Syracuse’s offense looked bad against Clemson, and I don’t expect a big rebound against VT. The more defenses realize Garrett Shrader is not an accurate passer and that SU’s offense relies almost solely on Sean Tucker, the more they will blitz and pressure the Orange’s beat-up offensive line. Expect the Hokies’ offense to put up just enough points to escape with a win, and expect Babers’ late-game decisions to again be scrutinized after yet another close loss.

Anish Vasudevan (4-3)
Close up
Syracuse 24, Virginia Tech 21

Syracuse’s last three games have been decided by three points, so there’s no reason why its fifth one shouldn’t end that way as well. Virginia Tech is ranked 80th nationally with rushing defense, allowing 4.23 yards per attempt. This is a statistic that the Orange’s defense can take advantage of with their Tucker-Shrader read option. If SU milks the rushing attack it can also take time off the clock, allowing its defense to rest — an issue that has led to splash plays from opposing teams at the end of the last few games. But Syracuse’s defense shouldn’t have too tough of a challenge as the Hokies are the second-worst offensive team in the ACC, averaging 21.7 points per game. As long as Babers isn’t forced to make any questionable decisions that could lose Syracuse the ball in crunch time, the Orange should come out of Blacksburg with a .500 record.

DeVito on his time in Syracuse: Heisman, injuries and the chart that helps explain how we got here (PS; $; Mink)

Their breakup on Sunday was quick.

Tommy DeVito, resigned to the fact he’d get little playing time the remainder of the season, went into Dino Babers’ office and told him he was leaving the team to seek a transfer.

Babers did not persuade him to stay.

“He said he knew it was coming,” DeVito told on Wednesday, his first interview since entering the transfer portal. “He just was not sure when it was going to happen.”

It’s an abrupt end for one of the most decorated quarterback recruits in school history and comes a month after DeVito was benched two hours before the fourth game of the season in favor of a transfer from the SEC in Garrett Shrader.

Babers’ sudden heel turn stunned DeVito and launched the unofficial countdown to his departure, souring their relationship as years of long, connective conversations and huge goals became distilled to shorter meetings and a reduced role for the hand-picked centerpiece of Babers’ offense.

Two years ago, as DeVito was preparing to take over as the Orange’s starting quarterback, Babers called him into his office and showed him a picture of the coach and Jimmy Garoppolo posing with the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player at the lower subdivision of Division I.

Babers told DeVito then: I want the big one.

I want the Heisman.

A year later, near the end of another lost season, DeVito was back in Babers’ office wearing a protective boot over his broken ankle asking for a sit-down meeting with his head coach to hatch a plan for how to turn around a struggling offense.

SU is 1 of 7 Power-Five schools without a special teams coordinator. Babers hints that will change (PS; $; Carlson)

During Dino Babers’ first five years at Syracuse University his special teams units were something the Orange could always rely on, a strength even during the times when the team didn’t have many of them.

The Orange has sent multiple punters to the NFL over the past decade. Its current kicker was named the best in the country as a freshman. Coverage on punts and kickoffs has been consistent.

But this season, one in which the Orange’s margin between wins and losses has been razor thin, the units have been shaky with special teams mistakes hurting the team in every single one of its losses.

Against Rutgers and Florida State, Syracuse’s punting was poor. In losses against Wake Forest and Clemson, Andre Szmyt missed critical field goals.

It has focused attention on an unusual -- but not unprecedented -- choice that Babers made entering the season.


Will Tommy DeVito’s Transfer Hurt Syracuse Recruiting? – Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage (; Amendolara)

February 1, 2017 was supposed to be a turning point in Syracuse football history. Dino Babers had just wrapped up his first season and gone 4-8 with Scott Shafer’s roster. Babers had immediately injected energy into the program, like gulping down a 5-Hour Energy. He was far more quotable than the buttoned-down Shafer, and instead of playing a ground-and-pound offense, Babers had a marketable commodity. He would focus on the passing attack, and use the indoor confines of the Carrier Dome to exploit a market inefficiency. Orange would be the new fast.

It was an obvious inherent advantage for SU football that was never utilized by old school ham-and-egger coaches. Coach P was cut from an ’80s style of college football. While trying to implement a West Coast passing system, Greg Robinson was an overall imbecile. Doug Marrone was an old offensive lineman who wanted to win the trenches. Shafer was a glorified gym teacher, looking to follow in Marrone’s footsteps.

Babers smartly realized the aging, greying Carrier Dome didn’t have to be a negative. While other stadiums had blue skies and new ribbon boards donated by boosters, the Dome was a warehouse without air conditioning. But it meant Babers could go recruit kids from the south and convince them they’d never have to play in cold weather. Babers once told me his sales pitch in the ACC is that every home game is indoors, and almost every road game is in warm weather. Aside from the rare trip to BC or Pitt in November, SU football played in perfect conditions all year.

That meant Babers had a sales pitch for the weapons he needed. How to make a pinball offense? Recruit fast, athletic skill positions from states that were teeming with them, like Florida and Georgia. Then land one big-armed QB to get them the ball. Throw it 40-45 times a game, the program would score points, collect stats to keep the recruits happy, and sell tickets. A 6-6 season seemed far more palatable when you’re scoring 38 points per game instead of 17.

Babers had that quarterback. On Signing Day ’17 DeVito famously put his signature on a LOI to Syracuse on ESPNU. This would be the first of many days like this. Wins would come, recruits would follow. DeVito had verbally committed to the Orange within the first four months of Babers’ tenure and stayed on. A 4-star QB from prep powerhouse Don Bosco (NJ), he was rated as the 13th best pro-style signal-caller in the country. He signed officially with SU after a 4-8 season, with the middling days of the Shafer Era in the recent past. He wasn’t fazed. He was the dawn of a new era.

Bleav in Syracuse Episode 14: Virginia Tech Preview (SI; podcast; The Bleav)

Bleav in Syracuse podcast episode 14 is out! Mike McAllister and Kyle Leff look ahead to the Orange's matchup with Virginia Tech.

Apple Podcasts: LINK
Stitcher: LINK
iHeart Radio: LINK
Spotify: LINK

You can also listen to the podcast on the Bleav website HERE.

Introducing the Bleav in Syracuse podcast! A Syracuse football podcast co-hosted by Mike McAllister of Syracuse and former Syracuse as well as NFL safety Shamarko Thomas on the Bleav Podcasting Network. The podcast is produced by Kyle Leff. Bleav is described as, “from athletes who played for the teams to passionate experts on topics you want to hear, Bleav Podcast Network is the #1 podcast network for professionals.”


Floyd Little’s wife DeBorah, third from left, during halftime of Syracuse vs. Clemson at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y., Friday October 15, 2021. Scott Schild |

Axe: Who gets a voice in bringing back 44? ‘This number doesn’t belong to anyone but the university’ (PS; $; Axe)

Dave Dixon wanted to strike while the iron is hot.

Dixon, a longtime Syracuse football fan and season-ticket holder from Baldwinsville, sensed an opening to start an online petition on the great debate of unretiring Syracuse football’s legendary No. 44.

“It really has picked up steam in the last couple weeks,” Dixon said. “I think once (Syracuse AD John) Wildhack started talking about approval from the families, I just felt like it’s time to push the issue a bit, maybe.

“I figured, what the heck?” Dixon said. “Maybe pressure from the fan base would matter.”

That is the question, Dave.

Does the voice of the fan matter? Does any voice beyond the living members of the families of those who wore the No. 44 matter?

It should. But it’s become apparent that it doesn’t.

The number was worn by several legendary Syracuse football running backs, including the trinity of Floyd Little, Jim Brown and Ernie Davis.

The stellar play of Syracuse running back Sean Tucker has the discussion burning hotter than anytime since former Syracuse fullback Rob Konrad was the last player to wear the number in 1998 and it was formally retired in 2005.

How should the 44 come back?

As expressed at the Carrier Dome last week, someone would like to see it kept in the family.


“I’d like to see Blaze Little-Jones wear No. 44. That was Floyd’s dream since our grandson was born,” DeBorah Little, Floyd’s wife, said when asked if she would like to see Tucker wear the program’s iconic jersey number last week at the Syracuse-Clemson game.

“And if he doesn’t get it, then it’s fair game, but we’ve got two years so we’re holding on.”

Game Preview: Virginia Tech Hosts Former Big East Rival Syracuse (; Coleman)
  • Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse: 12:30, RSN
  • Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Betting Line: VT-3.5
  • Virginia Tech-Syracuse roster cards: Click here
  • Game notes from Hokiesports: Click here
  • Blacksburg weather: Click here
  • Gameday information: Click Here
Losers of three of its last four games, Virginia Tech hopes to get on track against former Big East rival Syracuse this Saturday in Lane Stadium.

It’s been a rough few weeks for the Orange, who have dropped three consecutive football games that they easily could have won.

at FSU: 33-30 L
vs. Wake: 40-37 OT L
vs. Clemson: 17-14 L

Florida State made a last-second field goal to win, while Syracuse missed a last-second field goal to force overtime against Clemson.

I don’t see any evidence that Saturday’s game in Lane Stadium will be much different. Syracuse is a bit limited offensively, while its defense has generally performed pretty well. Here are their F+ rankings on both sides of the ball…

Offense: No. 73
Defense: No. 45

F+ rankings are a combination of the FEI efficiency ratings and the S&P+ ratings.

The Massey Composite, which takes into account multiple computer rankings, has Virginia Tech as the No. 68 team in the country, with the Orange coming in at No. 79. This seems like a pretty even matchup at this point, and that’s not something I would have predicted following the UNC game.

Syracuse Quarterback Garrett Shrader: Limited, but Dangerous

Mississippi State transfer Garrett Shrader (6-4, 230, So.) started four games for the Bulldogs 2019, and he appeared in a further four games last season before taking his free transfer and switching to Syracuse in the offseason. He supplanted Tommy DeVito as the starting quarterback for the Orange. (DeVito entered the transfer portal, by the way.)

Shrader – who is a Charlotte native – is limited as a passer. Here are his career passing numbers at both schools…

Miss. State: 88-of-153 (57.5%) for 1,170 yards, 7.6 ypa, 8 TDs, 5 INTs
Syracuse: 66-of-123 (53.7%) for 810 yards, 6.6 ypa, 5 TDs, 3 INTs
Total: 154-of-276 (55.8%) for 1,980 yards, 7.2 ypc, 13 TDs, 8 INTs


Harding: Syracuse RB Sean Tucker has earned right to wear No. 44 (; Harding)

The last player to wear No. 44 for Syracuse was Rob Konrad. The next should be Sean Tucker.
Tucker, a second-year freshman, leads the nation in all-purpose yards (1,172) and ranks second in rushing yards (948). He is averaging 135 rushing yards per game, which puts him on pace for over 1,600 this season. That would break Joe Morris's 42-year-old single-season school record of 1,372 yards in 1979.
If you've watched Tucker, you know he is a real talent. These types of players don't come around too often. He is a player capable of smashing plenty of Syracuse records before, hopefully, heading to the NFL.

Tucker has expressed interest in wearing No. 44, but it's complicated. Syracuse retired the number in 2005 only to put it back into circulation years later. However, no player has worn the number since Konrad, who last played for the Orange in 1998.

The number 44 has been worn by Syracuse legends, namely Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little.

John Wildhack, Syracuse's athletic director, has said that no decision regarding the number will be made this season. Orange head coach Dino Babers thinks the former players and family members of those who wore No. 44 should have a say.

It was just three years ago but feels a lot longer that the Syracuse University football team won 10 games and a bowl. Fans clamored for Dino Babers to be signed to a contract extension so another program wouldn't snatch the up-and-coming coach.
Now the Orange are on the verge of another losing season and some fans are demanding that Babers be fired. How did a program that looked to be on the verge of a breakthrough revert to its losing ways?
There's plenty of blame to be assigned but lets start with Babers, who has gone from hot coaching prospect to possibly being on the hot seat.
Babers opened his introductory press conference in 2016 with a vision of a high-powered offense thrilling a sold out Carrier Dome. You had to be impressed, every new coach wants to make a good first impression with the fans and Babers got Orange fans excited.

And with senior QB Eric Dungey, the Orange had a pretty good offense.
But Babers didn't find an adequate successor to Dungey and the Orange offense has sputtered like an old sports car in desperate need of an engine overhaul.
Tommy DeVito was supposed to pick up the reins and keep the offense humming. Instead he's been inconsistent, injured and the offense has sputtered. DeVito lost his job to transfer Garett Shrader and on Sunday night, left the program by entering the NCAA's transfer portal.

Virginia Tech Game Saturday: Virginia Tech vs Syracuse odds, line, spread, prediction for Week 8 game (; Toney)

Virginia Tech football plays host to Syracuse in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It seems to be the same story each week with this Hokies team, the offense continued to struggle against Pittsburgh last weekend. It was an embarrassing 28-7 loss in a rather crucial ACC match. Now the Hokies head into this matchup with a 3-3 record needing a win to have any chance at winning the coastal.

The Syracuse Orange come into this game with a 3-4 record, they have lost their last three by three points each. Their last game was a 17-14 loss to Clemson in the Carrier Dome.

Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Odds Week 8

The Week 8 betting odds on WynnBET have the Hokies as 3.5 point favorites going into this one. The money line is set with Virginia Tech favored at -165 and Syracuse at +145. The total for the game is set at an over/under of 45.5.

Virginia Tech vs Syracuse Prediction Week 8

The offense had its worst performance of the season on Saturday and it could be the worst of the Justin Fuente era. They were held to just 69 yards on offense for the whole first half. The offense only totaled 224 yards on offense for the whole game. The promising start to the season has stalled out and this offense has to take the majority of the blame. Something has to change for this offense to start clicking again.

The Syracuse offense has had a good amount of success this season with a strong rushing game. They’re averaging 231.7 rushing yards a game and all but six of their 26 touchdowns on the season have come from the ground game. The Virginia Tech defense will need to shut down the Orange run game and force them to move the ball through the air.

I think that the Hokies can come away with this one and bounce back from two tough losses.

Syracuse Football: My heart-felt letter to quarterback Tommy DeVito (itlh; Fiello)

Syracuse football quarterback Tommy DeVito has elected to enter his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal. I have some thoughts on this development, which I’m sharing in an open letter to DeVito.

Dear Tommy,

I read recently that you’ve decided to enter the transfer portal. As a Syracuse football fan, I was heartbroken even though I know you have to do what’s best for you.

I want to say thank you for your dedication and hard work. Thank you for what you brought to this team and the fan base.

You’re likely going to catch some flack from a portion of fans and I’m sorry. Some will put the blame on you for failures or call you out for leaving early but they don’t know the whole situation. Some of those same people have probably walked away from their job or relationships when they felt it wasn’t what they wanted…I know I have myself.

I’m wishing Syracuse football quarterback Tommy DeVito, who is transferring, nothing but success.

Some also aren’t in that locker room or football experts who understand the ins and outs of everything that goes into reasons things played out the way they did on the field. Oddly enough I bet many of them forget your contributions to that recent 10-win season as well.

I am sad to see you go because I honestly was a fan and enjoyed watching you. I also feel like at times you were placed in positions that did not help your success nor were you given as much time this season as I thought you deserved. But I’m also not a coach and they have to make the decision they think is best for the team just like you need to make the choice that’s best for you.


Crunch home opener, Syracuse Film Festival, Lewberger: 16 things to do in CNY (PS; Croyle)

Local hockey fans rejoice.

After waiting 603 days, Syracuse Crunch supporters can finally return to Upstate Medical University Arena to watch their team play.

The club kicks off their 28th season against Utica and one of sport’s most iconic trophies, the Stanley Cup, won by the Crunch’s parent team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be in the house.

Away from the rink, there is live music and theater, the Syracuse Film Festival, and plenty of Halloween events to see this weekend.

Know of an event you would like to see on this list? Email us at

Syracuse Crunch opens home schedule

The Syracuse Crunch will have their home opener of their 28th season on Saturday night against Utica at the Upstate Medical University Arena. Opening night festivities include a ceremony honoring front-line and essential workers and a visit from the Stanley Cup. The puck drops at 7 p.m. The Crunch is requiring all fans 12 and over to produce proof of vaccination. For more information visit

Where: 760 South State Street, Syracuse
When: Saturday at 7 p.m.
How much: Tickets start at $18

Syracuse film festival

The 18th annual Syracuse International Film Festival runs Oct. 22-24, 2021, in Syracuse, N.Y.

Syracuse International Film Festival

The annual Syracuse International Film Festival returns this weekend with four dozen films for movie buffs. Titles include “Willy’s Wonderland,” an action thriller starring Nicolas Cage, and “The Rules of Lacrosse,” a documentary series that includes the sport’s Indigenous history. In-person showings are scheduled at the Redhouse Theater and Shemin Auditorium at Syracuse University and selected films will be broadcast on WCNY and be available for livestream. There will also be workshops on auditioning, writing, and directing. For a full schedule, visit


Living Legend
Aug 26, 2011
one thing the models dont do is actually take into account the game itself. say you run on 4th down and 1 4 times in a game and fail losing 5yds every time. the model still gives you the same chance on the 5th play.

game flow does matter. momentum does matter.

what does the model say for Clemson having a punter throw a 25 yd pass into double coverage as a good play..


2020 Cali Award Winner, Regular Season Record
Aug 27, 2011
Thought both of Chris Carlson's article were solid today. Subsciber only

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