Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Rubber Ducky Day!

According to Sesame Street's calendar, January 13 marks the birthday of Rubber Duckie, the bathtub toy of Ernie. The day has since become celebrated as Rubber Ducky Day. Rubber Duckie first appeared on Sesame Street Episode 0078, on February 25, 1970; Ernie was in a bathtub in a room that resembled his living room, and sang the song, "Rubber Duckie." The most popular version of the song was sung by Ernie in Episode 0136, on November 16, 1970. This time he was in a bathroom with a plain blue background. Jim Henson was the real voice behind the song, and it went to #16 on the Billboard "Hot 100 Singles" chart in 1970 as well. Ernie, either by himself or with other characters, has sung other songs about his rubber duckie such as "Put Down the Duckie," "D-U-C-K-I-E," and "Do De Rubber Duck."

Rubber toys first appeared in the late 1800s, as the rubber industry began to grow. The first rubber ducks were not intended to float, but were instead made to be chew toys. A patent for a "Hollow rubber toy" was filed in 1925 and granted in 1928; it included a picture of a floating duck. Peter Ganine made a sculpture of a duck and then patented it. He filed for his patent in 1947 and received it two years later. Over 50 million of the ducks were sold. By the late 1940s rubber duckies were popular, but Ernie's "Rubber Duckie" song increased their popularity even more a few decades later.

SU News


Mikel Jones led Syracuse with 60 solo tackles and 110 total tackles.

Inside Mikel Jones’ decision to return for final season in 2022 (DO; Vasudevan)

Syracuse forfeited its final chance of earning bowl eligibility when it faced Pitt in its season finale. After striking first, the Orange lost 31-14 after quarterback Kenny Pickett led the Panthers to 28 straight points.

Despite SU allowing more than 30 points for the third straight game, linebacker Mikel Jones stood out in his usual spot in the middle of the 3-3-5 defense, recording a career-high 16 total tackles. After the game Jones said he was “50/50” on coming back to Syracuse or declaring for the NFL Draft. But on Dec. 16, he announced that he would be returning to SU in 2022.

“He wants to be one of the great all-time leaders at Syracuse,” said Jeff Pond, Jones’ head coach at Mater Academy (Florida). “He wants to leave it better than he found it.”

Jones saw limited time as a backup linebacker in 2020 before eventually earning a starting role toward the end of the season. By the end of 2021, Jones earned first team All-ACC honors, and according to ESPN Advanced Stats, he ranked third in the Atlantic Coast Conference among linebackers in tackling percentage (92.9). Jones was projected to be a mid-round selection in rounds 3-5 of the upcoming NFL Draft, Sports Illustrated assistant scouting director Jack Borowsky said, but the decision to return to Syracuse could improve his stock for next year’s draft.


Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) on his touchdown run. The Syracuse Orange takes on the Boston College Golden Eagles at the Carrier Dome Oct. 28, 2021. Dennis Nett |

Tucker will run track at Syracuse. His first race is coming up (PS; Mink)

Sean Tucker, Syracuse’s All-American running back, is participating in a second sport this winter.

Tucker will run track for the Orange during its indoor season, and his first race is this weekend at Virginia Tech.

Track has long been a staple in Tucker’s offseason schedule, with the short sprint 60-meter dash the event he will likely hone in on to help supplement his training for the upcoming football season.

Tucker is scheduled to make his SU debut in Friday night’s 60-meter preliminary race.

Tucker was a sprinter in high school at Calvert Hall for its indoor and outdoor teams. He won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association indoor title in the 55-meter dash two years in a row and was a champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints as a junior.

Entering his third season, Tucker has emerged as one of the nation’s top running backs after a breakout 2021 season in which he led the ACC in rushing and broke the school’s single-season rushing mark set by Joe Morris in 1979.

Tucker rushed for 1,496 yards and became the first Syracuse tailback since Floyd Little to earn All-America honors.

Tucker joined the SU indoor track team last month, adding to a schedule that will soon include offseason football workouts, spring practice and his academic workload as a computer science major.


Coming Full Circle: Dan Villari Discusses Committing to 'Dream School' Syracuse (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse's new quarterback commit, Dan Villari, will have played for two power five schools in college once he participates in his first game for the Orange. Villari signed with Big Ten power Michigan out of high school and is now transferring to Syracuse. Not a bad gig.

It was not, however, always easy for Villari. Playing in Long Island, he was often overlooked as a high school prospect as are many recruits in the area due to location as much as anything. His film was available and sent to many coaches across the country. Looking back at the film, it is hard to imagine he struggled to receive offers and opportunities. But struggle he did. Until after a stellar senior season in which he threw for over 1,300 yards, ran for more than 1,500 more and had 38 total touchdowns.

Late in the 2020 recruiting cycle, schools finally started to come around. An offer from Michigan came right before the early National Signing Day and he inked with the Wolverines.

"It was really rough trying to get my name out there," Villari said. "I felt like I was slept on by a lot of schools. Even Syracuse told me they wished they recruited me in high school. It was tough. Thank God Michigan jumped on me. It's kind of crazy how things happen, how things work. It wasn't fun. My dream has always been to play division one football. Really late after the state championship, I started to get looks from a lot of schools I wanted to get looks from."

LI's Villari leaves Michigan to play for Syracuse (Newsday; $; Sarra)

Michigan quarterback Dan Villari announced late Tuesday that he will play his next college football game for Syracuse.

The 6-4, 230-pound quarterback is coming back home to New York, where he led Plainedge High School to the Long Island Class III title in 2019. Villari, considered a redshirt freshman with the additional year for the COVID exception, said he has four years of eligibility remaining.

Villari played a total of 26 plays during his two years with the Wolverines. He completed one of three passes for 26 yards. He entered the transfer portal only five days ago.

"There is a great opportunity for me to play right away at Syracuse University," Villari said. "The school just hired two of the coaches from the University of Virginia, who guided an offense that set ACC passing records. It’s where I want to play."

Syracuse recently hired Virginia offensive coodinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck to the same positions.

"I’m extremely excited to chase my dreams," Villari said from his home in Massapequa. "I loved Michigan and I’m thankful for the experience in Ann Arbor. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh told me if I didn’t find the right place, I could come back to Michigan, and he’d honor my scholarship. I love him for that. He’s a great guy."

Villari said the assistant coaches at Michigan were really helpful with the transfer and helping him find the right fit.

"They were tremendous in the process and Syracuse head coach [Dino] Babers offered me right away," he said. "I entered the portal a couple of days ago and didn’t really look at some of the other schools. There were a few right away but Syracuse felt right."

Villari, who earned the Thorp Award as Nassau’s top player, rushed for 1,505 yards and scored 25 touchdowns in his senior year at Plainedge. He also passed for 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns and led the Red Devils to a 12-0 record. He also earned the Snyder Award given to Nassau’s top quarterback and was named the 2019 New York State Class A co-player of the year by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

2021 Bowl Ranking (after) (RX; HM)

2021 Bowl Ranking (after)

From CBS Sports:

Ranking the 37 college football bowl games for 2021-22: Rose delivers as Orange, Cotton disappoint
Here's how CBS ranked the bowls that were actually played, along with their comments for the ACC-related ones. If you'd like to read the entire article, click the link above.

37. Pinstripe Bowl - Maryland 54, Virginia Tech 10:

The game that spawned a tweet that sailed 1,000 takes. Yes, when my Cover 3 Podcast co-host Danny Kanell tweeted out there were "too many bowls" and set off a firestorm, it happened during this game. I can't blame Danny for feeling that way watching this, nor can I blame anybody else for preferring to get into an argument than watch any more of this game. Virginia Tech showed up with a skeleton coaching staff and a very thin roster, and it showed Maryland was also missing plenty of player, but it looked like a team actually interested in playing football. Pregame ranking: 37 (E)
36. Orange Bowl - No. 3 Georgia 34, No. 2 Michigan 11
35. LendingTree Bowl - Liberty 56, Eastern Michigan 20
34. Liberty Bowl - Texas Tech 34, Mississippi State 7
33. Texas Bowl - Kansas State 42, LSU 20
32. Cotton Bowl - No. 1 Alabama 27, No. 4 Cincinnati 6

31. Gator Bowl - No. 17 Wake Forest 38, Rutgers 10:

First of all, kudos to Rutgers for taking this game on short notice after Texas A&M was forced to back out due to COVID-19 protocols. Unfortunately, as you'd expect in a bowl game between a team that nearly won its conference against a team that didn't win enough games to go bowling during the season and accepted the invitation on short notice, it wasn't worth watching for long. Rutgers hung tough early, but Wake was the much better team and put things on cruise control in the second half. Wake's Sam Hartman finished his career with 304 yards passing and three touchdowns as A.T. Perry caught 10 passes for 127 yards. Rutgers only had 276 yards as a team. Pregame ranking: 9 (-22)
30. Quick Lane Bowl - Western Michigan 52, Nevada 24
29. Guaranteed Rate Bowl - Minnesota 18, West Virginia 6
28. Camellia Bowl - Georgia State 51, Ball State 20
27. Myrtle Beach Bowl - Tulsa 30, Old Dominion 17

26. Cheez-It Bowl - No. 19 Clemson 20, Iowa State 13:

This was definitely a game between the 2021 versions of Clemson and Iowa State. There was a whole lot of defense and very little offense. Every yard felt like a struggle. On the one hand, it made the game feel a lot more exciting than it really was because neither team could pull away from the other. On the other hand, the game felt over once Clemson went up 13-3 late in the third quarter. When Mario Goodrich picked off Brock Purdy for a pick-six less than a minute later, it definitely was. Of course, even if the game wasn't that exciting, it did give us an all-time bowl sponsor mascot. Pregame ranking: 10 (-16)
25. Alamo Bowl - No. 16 Oklahoma 47, No. 14 Oregon 32
24. Las Vegas Bowl - Wisconsin 20, Arizona State 13
23. Sugar Bowl - No. 7 Baylor 21, No. 8 Ole Miss 7
22. Sun Bowl - Central Michigan 24, Washington State 21

21. Duke's Mayo Bowl - South Carolina 38, North Carolina 21:

South Carolina showed up in Charlotte missing a bunch of regulars and took down a North Carolina team that was a 12-point favorite when kickoff rolled around. What did the Gamecocks get for it? Their coach got a bucket of mayonnaise dumped over his head. That alone was worth five spots in these rankings because there wasn't a lot of drama to be had. The Gamecocks led 18-0 after the first quarter, and it never felt like the Tar Heels were a genuine threat to get back into the game. Kevin Harris led the way for the Gamecocks with 182 yards rushing while Dakereon Joyner did everything else, throwing for 160 yards (while completing all nine of his pass attempts) and rushing for 64 yards. In short, South Carolina showed up ready to play and have fun, while North Carolina showed up looking like Mack Brown begged them not to be doused with a bucket of mayonnaise. Pregame ranking: 34 (+13)
20. Frisco Football Classic - Miami (OH) 27, North Texas 14

Trend: NCG TV Viewers (RX; HM)

Trend: NCG TV Viewers

Many have pointed out that the TV numbers for this year's national championship game between Alabama and Georgia was the second lowest since the CFP began (only last year was lower), and is 4th from the bottom when you toss in the BCS years...

1998-99Fiesta (NC)TENN-FSU17.226.112ABC
1999-00Sugar (NC)FSU-VT17.526.962ABC
2000-01Orange (NC)OKLA-FSU17.827.24ABC
2001-02Rose (NC)Miami-NEB13.821.559ABC
2002-03Fiesta (NC)OSU-Miami17.229.104ABC
2003-04Sugar (NC)LSU-OKLA14.823.937ABC
2004-05Orange (NC)USC-OKLA13.721.419ABC
2005-06Rose (NC)TEX-USC21.735.63ABC

Kelly Gramlich and Eric Mac Lain talk ACC football - Gramlich and Mac Lain (; podcast; Maclain & Gramlich)

It's time for our new mini-series: ACC Under Review! Let's review the Pitt Panthers 2021 season with Alan Saunders.

Virginia Tech names Fontel Mines as new wide receivers coach (; Manning)

Brent Pry finally has a complete coaching staff. Virginia Tech officially announced the hiring of Fontel Mines as the Hokies’ new wide receivers coach Wednesday. Mines will also serve as Virginia Tech’s offensive recruiting coordinator.

We've added @Coach_Mines to our staff
— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) January 12, 2022

Mines comes to Blacksburg from Old Dominion, where he spent the 2021 season coaching tight ends for the Monarchs. Mines coached Zack Kuntz, who caught 73 passes last season — the second-most for an FBS tight end.

Before coming to ODU, Mines spent two seasons at East Carolina, where he coached tight ends, slot receivers and was the recruiting coordinator. Mines was at James Madison in 2016 and 2017. Before his time at JMU, Mines coached tight ends and wide receivers at Richmond for five years. He began his college coaching career at Chowan College in 2011.

If you’ve heard of Mines before, it’s probably from his playing career, where he was a standout wide receiver at the University of Virginia from 2003-06. Mines played in 42 games for the Cavaliers, finishing his college career with 68 receptions for 737 yards and five touchdowns.

Mines signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He spent time on Chicago’s practice squad over the next two seasons before he was released in 2010, ending his playing career. Mines immediately went into coaching, joining his alma mater, Hermitage High School in Richmond as an assistant coach.

At Hermitage, Mines was a two-sport athlete, also starring basketball.

I know some out there will question this hire. I get it. He’s probably not who you expected, and some will have this irrational hate toward Mines because he played at Virginia. That’s silly.



Beyond the Front Door: Built in 1905, this Walnut Park castle endures as an SU fraternity (PS; $; Haas)

Syracuse is brimming with old buildings. The city is a tapestry of majestic mansions and imposing relics of industry. Some have been lost, while others are still loved or being brought back to life and vitality.

My name is David Haas and I’ve spent years exploring and photographing the beautiful old buildings and homes that fill Syracuse. I document them on my Instagram page,
@SyracuseHistory. In this series, I’ll take you beyond the front door of some of the city’s most unique properties, the ones you’ve probably seen countless times from the curb, but have never explored inside. And we’ll meet the people who aim to transform, restore or raze these places for something new.

Directly next door to the chancellor’s mansion near the Syracuse University campus sits an equally impressive home. For nearly 100 years, the sprawling Walnut Park estate has been a fraternity house, and has yet endured and preserved much of the original splendor.

This massive castle-like structure has been home to hundreds of fraternity members throughout the years. Its roots can be traced back to the turn of the twentieth century, when a business tycoon enlisted the help of two Syracuse University graduates to help him design a home across from Walnut Park.

According to the research of Evamaria Hardin, the area of Walnut Park was laid out in 1870 by George Comstock. He had bought 200 acres of farmland and deeded the area to the city provided that it would be improved by plantings, landscaping, and maintained as a public park.

As Syracuse University expanded, the areas around Walnut Park were sold as individual plots. Houses were only permitted if they reached certain proportions – ensuring that the area was only for the well-to-do of Syracuse. By the 1930s, many of the homes were being swiped up by university associations, sororities, and fraternities and would soon come to be known as “Fraternity Row.”

The house at 703 Walnut Ave. was built in 1905 for Horace Wilkinson and designed by Edwin and Thomas Gaggin, both graduates of the School of Architecture at SU. The pair designed such buildings as Smith Hall on the SU campus, the Crouse Hinds Factory, and the Smith Tower in Seattle, Washington.

Wilkinson was born in Iowa in 1867 and arrived in Syracuse in the early 1890s. He quickly began investing in real estate in the growing city.

It was stated that Horace wanted to invest in a city he could “have faith in” – and he found that in Syracuse.

Wilkinson eventually grew into a business tycoon. Most notably, he was the prime organizer of the Crucible Steel Company and associate of the typewriter magnate, Lyman C. Smith. In 1915, Theodore Roosevelt was Wilkinson’s guest in the Walnut Avenue home when he was in town during the Barnes-Roosevelt libel suit.


Tailgate Guru
Aug 15, 2011
From Villari SI article, "I think being in New York, being home. Syracuse was really the closest big time power five football school. I always loved watching them. I loved Eric Dungey. I feel like I'm similar to him in a lot of ways. I was just always in love with that school."

Rutgers promptly disregarded...I already like this kid.

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