No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Pumpkin Day!
National Pumpkin Day celebrates pumpkins, a cultivar of the squash plant that is native to North America. Its name is derived from the Greek word "pepon", which means large melon. Pumpkins have long since been associated with the harvest season, and both Halloween and Thanksgiving. During Halloween many people pick or buy pumpkins—most often the Connecticut Field pumpkin—and carve them into jack-o'-lanterns. Vegetables such as turnips have long been carved in Ireland and Britain, and the practice of carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns stemmed from the story of Stingy Jack. Pumpkins were one of the squashes long eaten by Native Americans, which they introduced to Europeans shortly after the settlers arrived in the Americas. In fact, pumpkin pie was served at one of the Pilgrim's first Thanksgivings in the early 1620's, and is now a staple of Thanksgiving meals. A smaller strain of the Connecticut Field pumpkin, the Small Sugar pumpkin, is often used for pumpkin pie, but most Americans buy pie filling or puree in cans instead of getting it from fresh pumpkins. Although most Americans only use fresh pumpkins for carving, there has been a growing interest in pumpkin flavored foods in recent years, which can be attributed to Starbucks' introduction of pumpkin spice latte in 2003.
Opponent preview: What to know about Virginia Tech (DO; O'Brien)
In a cramped visiting media room at Doak S. Campbell Stadium, Dino Babers said Syracuse’s offense will improve based on the defenses it faces. Just minutes before, the Orange lost 41-3 to No. 4 Florida State.
“I’d be very surprised if the offense does not go back to exactly the way it looked previously,” Babers said. “That’s what I’m anticipating.”
Babers’ confidence comes despite SU only scoring three touchdowns over its last three games against Clemson, North Carolina and FSU. The Orange will now travel to face a weaker Virginia Tech team that is 3-4 and has a below average scoring offense and scoring defense.
Here’s everything you need to know about Syracuse’s next opponent:
All time seriesSyracuse leads 11-8.
Last time they played
Garrett Shrader had the best performance of his first season with Syracuse against Virginia Tech in 2021. He notched 236 passing yards and rushed a then-career high 174 yards for five total touchdowns. The Orange won 41-36 in its first victory at Lane Stadium in 20 years.
Unlike any of SU’s games in 2021, this matchup with the Hokies was an offensive shootout. Through three quarters, no team was ahead by more than seven points. To start the fourth, with SU down 26-20, Shrader rushed for his third touchdown on the ground, putting the Orange up 27-26. Virginia Tech then scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth, capped off by Malachi Thomas’ 47-yard rushing touchdown.
Sean Tucker, Marlowe Wax battled it out on the gridiron in high school (DO; O'Brien)
Marlowe Wax was in a spot he would never be in at Syracuse. While primarily playing linebacker, he was also a running back for Mount St. Joseph High School (MD). In the 2019 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A conference semifinals against Calvert Hall, Wax lined up under center at the 2-yard line.
Wax’s head coach, Richard Holzer, said the Gaels were running a trick play, all of which had codenames like “Orbeez” that the players came up with. This one was called “mouse.”
When the ball was snapped, Wax faked a toss to his right before cutting back left, pounding his way into the end zone. His score put Mount St. Joseph up 20-0 en route to an eventual 35-0 victory, and eventually the state championship.
Standing on the opposite sideline was Calvert Hall running back Sean Tucker. Wax and Tucker faced off as opposing rushers in this rivalry game five times, with Mount St. Joseph winning 4-of-5. The two also played against each other on defense when Wax played linebacker against Tucker at running back. In their high school encounters, the pair showed flashes of who they would become at Syracuse.
Though Tucker grew into one of SU’s greatest statistical rushers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ backup running back, Wax finished with more rushing yards, highlighting how Mount St. Joseph always had a leg up.
“We did beat up on them bad,” Wax said. “…So I always joke with him about that.”
Beat writers split on whether Syracuse will defeat Virginia Tech (DO; Staff)
Syracuse is coming off a much-needed bye week, where head coach Dino Babers said his players rested and went home to their families for the only time during the season. Yet, it won’t provide the same advantage as most byes. The Orange travel to Blacksburg, Va., to play Virginia Tech on Thursday, not Saturday. The Hokies also had a bye last week.
SU is coming off a three-game stretch where it was outscored by a combined 88 points against Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State. Now, the competition dips back down a bit, with five Atlantic Coast Conference opponents who are all currently 4-3 or worse.
Here’s how our beat writers think Syracuse (4-3, 0-3 ACC) will fare against Virginia Tech (3-4, 2-1 ACC):
Anthony Alandt (6-1)
Hokies gobble Oranges
Virginia Tech 24, Syracuse 16
Good programs beat the schools at or below their prestige and compete with opponents that have more talent. Syracuse handled its first four opponents in that manner, taking care of Purdue and three schools it should have beaten. Then, it got walloped by the top of the ACC in three straight weeks, losing by a combined 112-24 score. Babers said after the bye week that the Orange are still going to be without Trebor Pena and Kalan Ellis, and will have a limited Isaiah Jones. The fear of SU becoming a one-dimensional squad has been realized, and the rest-up week didn’t seem to do its job.
Now, the Orange hit the road against Virginia Tech, a team that started slow but has hit its stride in recent weeks following a stunning upset to Marshall. Baylor transfer Kyron Drones has helmed the Hokies and hasn’t thrown an interception since a Week 3 loss to Rutgers.
Babers is 6-24 on the road against ACC teams since taking over Syracuse, and Lane Stadium isn’t exactly a welcoming environment for the Orange. Quarterback Garrett Shrader said the Orange noticed through watching film that their offense is dynamic when he uses his legs to extend plays. But, a puzzling Hokies defense has allowed over 30 points to just Rutgers and Florida State, and I’m sure they’ve game planned against Shrader’s scrambling. SU isn’t a complete team, nor is it deep enough, to lead me to believe it pulls off a win.
Wyatt Miller (7-0)
It’s all about the line
Syracuse 17, Virginia Tech 20
Virginia Tech is a hostile environment. The Orange are going into it with zero momentum and no rest advantage after the bye. Plus, this Virginia Tech defense could pose some familiar problems up front. After the FSU loss, Babers said the declining competition on defense will bring the offense back to life. Yet, the Hokies have the No. 8 pass rush in the nation, according to PFF, and rank 11th nationally in sacks per game. They also allow the least amount of passing yards per game in the ACC.
Babers’ comments after the FSU loss seem to indicate that SU’s remaining matchups won’t be as tough as the gauntlet it just endured. In Virginia Tech’s case, that’s incorrect. This team is not only capable, but likely to bulldoze a battered Syracuse offensive line. The SU offense has crumbled under pressure these past three weeks, and I expect it to be similarly sluggish against the Hokies. This game is all about the line of scrimmage. If the receivers do step up, I don’t think the Orange offense will overcome losing the line.
Statistically, the Hokies’ offense has been stuck at the bottom of the ACC this season, but they’ve shown spurts of excellence against Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. The Orange are the only ACC team without a conference win, and I expect they’ll have to wait a while longer to get one.
Henry O’Brien (6-1)
Another miracle in Blacksburg
Syracuse 17, Virginia Tech 16
Syracuse’s offense has rightfully been criticized for its performance in the last three games. Babers can talk all he wants about how Florida State has NFL talent on its defense. At some point, you have to score some touchdowns to at least show a pulse. Babers seemed relaxed and confident after the loss to the Seminoles, believing the offense will return to its early-season form. But I still have doubts about whether it will look the exact same as it did.
Having said that, Virginia Tech’s offense might not be much better. The Hokies are averaging fewer points than a Pitt team whose Week 1 quarterback is now its tight end. Drones has put together some good performances, particularly in a 38-21 win over the Panthers. But he’s also had some clunkers against Florida State, Rutgers and Marshall. He can keep VT in games but in a tight game, he won’t truly elevate his team.
Shrader’s day won’t be the easiest either. Virginia Tech has one of the conference’s better pass rushers in Antwaun Powell-Ryland. Enrique Cruz Jr. and Mark Petry will both have to step up. With the Orange having to play in an intense environment, the game will probably be tight like in 2021. Expect it to be low scoring and to come down to the heroics of one of the two teams’ kickers. I’m predicting that Brady Denaburg will be the hero on Thursday.
SU football at Virginia Tech predictions: See our picks (PS; Staff)
The Syracuse football team will face Virginia Tech at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia (TV: ESPN).
It’s time for our predictions. The panel includes Brent Axe, sports columnist; Emily Leiker, SU football reporter; Chris Carlson, sports enterprise reporter; and Nate Mink, managing producer for sports.
Syracuse 27, Virginia Tech 21
Will Syracuse cover? Yes
Virginia Tech gives up 172 yards per game on the ground, a mark that ranks 103rd in the country. Want to revive a stagnant offense? Offensive coordinator Jason Beck needs to dial up the run game with LeQuint Allen and his mobile QB Garrett Shrader taking advantage of the Hokies’ weakness.
Virginia Tech 27, Syracuse 24
Will Syracuse cover? Yes
Syracuse coach Dino Babers said after Syracuse’s loss to Florida State that he expects the Orange offense to perform better now that it isn’t matched up against the athletes of Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State.
Virginia Tech certainly isn’t at that level, but when Babers made that comment he couldn’t have watched Virginia Tech defensive end Antwaun Powell-Ryland’s dominant performance against Wake Forest, when he went off for four sacks.
The defensive end ranks second in the ACC in sacks. The Orange is going to need to provide help to its offensive tackles, both of whom Pro Football Focus ranks among the worst in the ACC.
Syracuse 21, Virginia Tech 20
Will Syracuse cover? Yes
Lane Stadium is a difficult place to mount a turnaround after three tough losses, but Syracuse has done it before, beating the Hokies 41-36 with a last-minute scoring drive led by Garrett Shrader in 2021. That victory came on the heels of losses to Florida State, ranked Wake Forest and Clemson.
Florida State running back Lawrance Toafili (9) rushes for a 50-yard touchdown after getting past Syracuse defensive backs Jeremiah Wilson (14) and Jason Simmons Jr. (6) on Oct. 14 in Tallahassee, Fla. The day after the game, Syracuse reviewed the film as a full team as opposed to doing so in position groups. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)AP
SU holds a different kind of film study on its bye: ‘If you got embarrassed, it was in front of everybody’ (PS; $; Leiker)
Syracuse football didn’t leave any room for its players or other personnel to hide in the aftermath of its 41-3 loss to Florida State.
All 109 rostered players, plus coaches and staff members, sat together on Sunday, Oct. 15, rewatching every play from their road loss the previous afternoon in the team’s auditorium-style meeting room.
No mistake or missed opportunity went unnoticed or undiscussed.
“That was definitely something different,” linebacker and captain Marlowe Wax said Tuesday. “It was just everybody getting coached in front of everybody.
“If you got embarrassed, it was in front of everybody.”
It was the first time the team has conducted a film session of that style, Wax said, in the four years he’s been with the program.
The team-wide film review kicked off a bye week for Syracuse where its goal was to rest and refresh for a stretch of five final regular-season games that could impact the program’s future.
ORANGE ZONE: Syracuse @ Virginia Tech PREVIEW (cnycentral.com; podcast; Orange Zone)
Syracuse football is through their bye and ready to get back to the gridiron. Luckily for them they won't have to wait long before going up against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Keeping Up With The 315 10-25-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)
Brian Higgins starts the show with a trip down memory lane inspired by the Syracuse football hype video for tomorrow night’s Virginia Tech game, wondering what play in Orange history defines your fandom. Then, a short check-in from Syracuse men’s basketball at the ACC Tipoff event. Later, there are No Wrongs Answers as Brian gives some predictions for tomorrow night’s game and runs the Two-Minute Drill with SUFB DT Kevon Darton.
Eric Dungey "The 315" 10-25-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)
Former Syracuse QB Eric Dungey joins Brian Higgins to discuss why he thinks we’ll see a new Garrett Shrader tomorrow night, how he thinks the Orange will match up with the VT Hokies, and more.
Kevon Darton Two-Minute Drill 10-25-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)
Get to know Syracuse football defensive tackle Kevon Darton as he runs the two-minute drill with Brian Higgins ahead of SU-VT.
Syracuse and Virginia Tech look to enhance bowl aspirations Thursday (spectrumlocalnews.com; AP)
WHAT'S AT STAKE
An opportunity for each team to improve its bowl prospects, with the Hokies holding a distinct advantage playing at home in front of what is certain to be a jacked up crowd. The three ACC losses suffered by the Orange have come in their last three games: against Clemson at home, at No. 17 North Carolina and at No. 4 Florida State.
Orange dual-threat QB Garrett Shrader against the Hokies defense. In their last meeting, Shrader threw a 45-yard TD pass to Damien Alford with 19 seconds left at Lane Stadium in a 41-36 Syracuse victory. Shrader threw for 236 yards and two TDs and ran for 174 yards and three more touchdowns in the game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: RB LeQuint Allen Jr. Too much attention to containing Shrader could open things up for Allen. He's got three 100-yard rushing efforts this season and has run for seven touchdowns. He's also caught a team-best 23 passes, including a TD.
Virginia Tech: DE Antwaun Powell-Ryland leads the Hokies with seven sacks and was the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week after making six tackles, including four sacks, forcing a fumble and recovering one in a 30-13 win against Wake Forest.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Syracuse is in the midst of a 34-day stretch without playing a home game. ... The Orange and Hokies have only played twice since Syracuse joined the ACC in 2013, and Syracuse has won them both. ... The Orange have allowed only 12 kickoff return yards; Virginia Tech's Bhayshul Tuten averages 31.6 yards on returns with one TD. ... Hokies hybrid LB/DB Keonta Jenkins has forced four fumbles this season. ... Hokies QB Kyron Dromes ran for 59 yards and passed for 321 more in the win against Wake Forest. ... Virginia Tech is 23-12 in Thursday night games.
FB: Syracuse Game Preview (youtube; video; VT Athletics)
Watch Bill Roth and Mike Burnop preview Tech's game versus Syracuse.
Syracuse football: Orange go with another new look for Virginia Tech (TNIAAM; Wall)
The Syracuse Orange will have their eight different uniform combination of the 2023 season on Thursday night.
When the Orange get under the lights in Blacksburg, they will be wearing the traditional orange helmet with the clean white road look.
I was wondering why Syracuse went with the orange helmets for this one and that question was answered by seeing what Virginia Tech is wearing tomorrow night.
Syracuse football: what to watch for vs Virginia Tech (TNIAAM; Staff)
The Syracuse Orange (4-3, 0-3) head into a Thursday night game at the Virginia Tech Hokies (3-4, 2-1). It’s a big game for both programs as they have the spotlight on ESPN. What are we looking for in this one...
Mike: Hold the Line
The Orange won’t succeed unless they can control the tempo on offense, and that ultimately comes down to the offensive line. They’re going up against a beast in DL Antwaun Powell-Ryland (seven sacks, three forced fumbles) and if he consistently gets pressure on Shrader, it’ll be a long night. Mark Petry and Jakob Bradford have the tall task of containing him on the right side.
Dom: Start strong, end stronger
It should be an obvious point, but we’ve discussed numerous times the significance of the Virginia Tech game in how that would determine of the rest of the Orange’s season. Not only is this a great chance to rebuild some momentum following an 0-3 start in the ACC, but there’s clear bowl implications at stake and this is Syracuse’s first game where the talent between both teams is mostly fair. This is not the game to start out slow and try to comeback from an early deficit, especially in an environment like Blacksburg.
Max: Garrett Shrader gets back on track?
Syracuse’s gunslinger has looked nothing like himself over the past three losses. Dino Babers blamed “food poisoning” for Shrader’s 99-yard passing performance against Florida State, but that’s the least of the QB’s problems. Shrader should be at full strength against the Hokies and needs to display his dual-threat ability like he did earlier in the year if the Orange want the dub.
Is Tomorrow a Must-Win game for Syracuse? (orangefizz.net; Gotkin)
After the bye week, we are just one day away from Syracuse football and it might be the most important game of the season. With the gauntlet stretch now over, the Orange have a chance to bounce back and get back into the win column. You can’t blame SU for going 0-3 against three football powerhouses. But, now the wins have to come. The Orange sit at 4-3, just two wins away from bowl eligibility with the easiest schedule of any team in the power five.
The reason that this game is a must-win isn’t anything statistical though. It is all about the mental aspect. How is a team supposed to bounce back from four straight losses? That is demoralizing. Last year, the ‘Cuse lost five in a row. They ended that skid barely getting by a bad Boston College team in a game that was plagued with fights and scrappiness. The same thing could happen again this season if a losing streak longer than three games occurs.
The other reason this is a must-win, is simply that VT isn’t a very good football team. SU needs to be able to beat teams like this. The Hokies are just 3-4. There are two mutual opponents between the teams. Florida State, both losses, and Purdue who Syracuse beat and Virginia Tech lost to. Syracuse beat Purdue on the road easily. Therefore, the Orange should be able to beat the team that the Boilermakers beat away from home.
Ex-Syracuse football star turns ‘straight off the couch’ into T-shirt and an endorsement (PS; Herbert)
Former Syracuse football star Justin Pugh is reaping the rewards after a joke intro on “Sunday Night Football.”
Pugh, an offensive lineman for the New York Giants, said he was coming “straight off the couch” last week for his first NFL action in a year. He tore his ACL with the Arizona Cardinals last fall and underwent knee surgery, sidelining him until earlier this month.
Normally players say what school they went to during TV intros, so not saying “Syracuse University” caught the attention of viewers nationwide. As a result, Pugh is turning the catchphrase into a T-shirt and an endorsement.
Fans can get “Straight off the couch” shirts from breakingt.com, featuring the Giants’ blue, red and white colors, for $32. Pugh and some of his teammates have been seen wearing it this past week.
A recently opened Sierra retail store in Massachusetts.
National retailer selling outdoor gear and active apparel opening in Central NY (PS; $; Doran)
A new national chain store that sells active wear and outdoor gear and apparel is opening in New Hartford in the Consumer Square shopping plaza.
Sierra, formerly called Sierra Trading Post, is part of the Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Home Goods brand of stores. It sells discount gear and clothing, along with home decorations and pet items.
The store is set to open Nov. 4 in the former Bed, Bath & Beyond space on Commercial Drive.
There are four other Sierra locations in New York — in Rochester, Nanuet, Amherst and Poughkeepsie.
Sierra is expanding across the U.S., officials said.
When asked if the retailer might locate in Syracuse, officials said, “Sierra is always looking for areas of the country where there is a high active and outdoor lifestyle. With the many ways for people to get active and moving in the area, Syracuse is a natural fit for Sierra.”
New York selects 3 offshore wind projects as it transitions to renewable energy (PS; AP)
New York will invest in three offshore wind projects as the state tries to meet its ambitious timetable to transition to renewable energy sources, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday.
The Democratic governor announced the conditional awards as high development costs affect other offshore wind projects for New York and around the globe. The state also announced awards to 22 land-based solar, wind and hydro projects. Combined, the projects will generate enough power for 2.6 million homes, with almost two-thirds of it coming from the three offshore wind projects.
“This is an historic investment to demonstrate our full commitment to renewables,” Hochul said at a ceremony announcing the investments.
Offshore wind is a crucial component of New York’s plan to transition to a carbon-free electricity system by 2040. State law sets goals for 70% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, and 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
There is currently an offshore wind project under construction off of Long Island.
But offshore wind developers say they’re struggling with higher-than-expected prices for material such as steel, as well as increased borrowing costs and supply chain issues. That has led to developers working to terminate contracts in other states. New Jersey officials this summer approved a tax break to help a wind developer.
Hochul and the Democratic governors of five other northeastern states recently wrote a letter to the Biden administration calling for more federal funds for offshore wind projects, warning that a cornerstone of the fight against climate change could be in jeopardy.
Earlier this month, New York power regulators rejected requests for additional funding for four offshore projects that are to provide the state with 4,230 megawatts of power. Those developers said they would assess the viability of their projects in light of the regulators’ decision.
Now, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will negotiate final contracts with three offshore wind projects totaling 4,032 megawatts: Attentive Energy One, Community Offshore Wind and Excelsior Wind.