Orangeyes Daily Articles for Monday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Monday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Veteran's Day!

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

SU News

The Next Day: How sustainable is Syracuse's run-heavy offense? (DO; O'Brien)

Syracuse has two chances to do something it hasn’t done since 1999. If the Orange can beat either Georgia Tech or Wake Forest over the next two weeks, they will earn a bowl berth in back-to-back seasons under the same head coach.

As Dino Babers has earned much of the criticism that has been directed his way, SU now has a chance to win six games for the third time in his tenure with the program.

Babers should earn credit. With Garrett Shrader unable to throw, he and offensive coordinator Jason Beck made the adjustment to become a run-heavy, wildcat and wishbone offense to defeat Pittsburgh 28-13 at Yankee Stadium. While Babers said the game plan was more of a product of wanting to be more physical, there would have no doubt been more passing if Shrader was at full health.

Babers knows the competition will be stiffer, especially on the road against GT, who is also fighting for a postseason berth. SU’s next two foes will have a chance to game plan around this offense, which currently has no true passing game.

The Orange ended up with 382 rushing yards against the Panthers, the most since last year’s blowout victory over Wagner. Shrader had 96 total rushing yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to put Syracuse back ahead. But running back LeQuint Allen Jr., and tight end Dan Villari got most of the hard yardage. Villari recorded a team-best 154 yards on the ground, pounding and scraping for every yard while mostly getting direct snaps. Allen Jr. received many direct snaps and also got the ball on jet sweeps, finishing with 102 rushing yards.

Babers said it took a lot of belief for the players to implement this offense, reflecting his words after the close loss to Boston College. He and Villari said there wasn’t as much belief at times during the week. Eventually, the Orange got on board with the approach and it worked in their favor.

A much-maligned O-line has a day, and another Long Island kid shines in 1st start (PFF grades) (PS; $; Mink)

Dan Villari minted an epic rushing effort, but it was another Long Island native who flew under the radar playing near his hometown on Saturday afternoon.

Joe Cruz, of Holbrook, New York, made his first start at left guard, pulled right and sealed a key block to spring Garrett Shrader loose for a tone-setting, 34-yard run on the opening play of a 28-13 victory against Pittsburgh at Yankee Stadium.

Cruz is a cross-trained swing piece across the offensive line who stepped into the starting lineup with Jakob Bradford out with an injury.

SU’s patchwork offensive line has taken its lumps this season, yet it paved the way for Syracuse’s 382-yard day on the ground, the most it has ever had in an ACC game. Syracuse had 14 runs go for at least 10 yards.

All five starting linemen finished with above-average pass-block grades, according to Pro Football Focus, which evaluated an offensive makeover in which the Orange heavily relied on a Wildcat look with its tight end and running back taking direct snaps, some two-back formations and other on-the-fly scheme changes.

The Orange ran the ball 66 times on 74 snaps, its most attempts in a game since a 39-28 victory against Boston College on Nov. 24, 2001.

Villari, a former quarterback who converted to tight end, finished with 154 rushing yards, the most by a tight end in school history. He forced eight missed tackles by Pitt, according to PFF.


Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse football: Orange display a lot of heart and fight in the Bronx (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange season (and Dino Babers) tenure seemed headed to its end in Yankee Stadium. However the players and coaches decided they weren’t ready to close the book in the Bronx.

If you had any doubt about the players not giving up on the season or this coaching staff, they should have been answered this week. We heard Dan Villari and LeQuint Allen call out teammates during practice. Then we watched a one-armed Garrett Shrader not only suit up, but throw his body around the Yankee Stadium outfield. Even Dino Babers brought back some locker room fire in the post-game.

Tonight, @yankeestadium is Our House
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 12, 2023

Yesterday’s win showed a desperation we haven’t seen during the Babers tenure. With Shrader unable to throw, the staff figured their best hope was digging out a playbook that would have fit more in 1923 than 2023.

What was most impressive is that the Orange entered the half looking every bit like the team we’ve seen the last five games. They committed unforced errors to stop promising drives. They let Pitt get a huge pass play when they had no offensive momentum going. You could sense that it was going to be another game that slipped away...a common sight the last eight years.

Then the leaders stepped up. Allen, Shrader and Villari ran with purpose. The much-maligned offensive line embraced their role and cleared space for Syracuse to run for 388 yards. The defense created four takeaways and Jayden Bellamy who left the Virginia Tech game for the hospital injected some needed life into the Orange with this play.

Dino Babers Deserves Credit (; Gotkin)

I’ll be the first person to call out Dino Babers for the bad things he has done. I said after the UNC loss that it was time to move on from the eighth-year head coach and I still think that’s the case. But, what Babers and the coaching staff did against Pitt yesterday was so incredible that credit must be given.

Carlos Del Rio Wilson struggled mightily against Boston College last week. It was so bad, and he got hurt towards the end of the game so trotting CRDW onto the field felt like an automatic loss. Luke MacPhail the backup behind Del Rio Wilson has never attempted a pass in his collegiate career, and the health around Garrett Shrader was still up in the air.

Shrader came out on to the field to warm up and got the start. But it was obvious from the jump that QB1 wasn’t healthy. So the Orange played a style of football reminiscent of the 1923 team that was honored. Syracuse completed four passes for 17 yards. Garrett Shrader was the leading receiver. Tight end, and former Michigan quarterback, Dan Villari was the teams leading rusher with 17 carries for 154 yards.
... (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse snapped its five game losing streak with a 28-13 win over Pittsburgh at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Here are five takeaways from the victory.

1. Garrett Shrader

Shrader returned and started for the Orange, but was clearly not 100%. In fact, he could barely throw the ball. That was obvious on the opening drive touchdown, when his pass to a wide open Max Mang was underthrown and he immediately clutched his shoulder after the play. He only threw one more pass the rest of the game as Dan Villari led the team in pass attempts. Shrader was very good as a runner with 96 yards and a touchdown, and even threw a few blocks. Credit to Shrader for gutting it out and doing what he could for his team.

2. Dan Villari

Quarterback turned tight end turned quarterback/running back. What Dan Villari did on Saturday, rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown, was not easy and he deserves a ton of credit. Completely changing how you play, your role and taking on such a large responsibility shows the type of athlete he is. He had some ball security issues early, but was flat out dominant the rest of the way. Pittsburgh could not tackle him. He was the best player on the field all game. Villari should be a major weapon in the last two games and next season.

... (SI; Caudell)

Despite their loss to Clemson yesterday, Georgia Tech still has things to accomplish this season. One of those things would be to get to a bowl game for the first time since 2018 and if they can defeat Syracuse this weekend at home, they will do just that.

While Georgia Tech has preferred playing as an underdog with Brent Key as the head coach, they are going to have to learn to win as a favorite. They will be favored in their final ACC game this season when they face Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets will be six-point favorites according to Caesars when they take on the Orange this Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

This season, Georgia Tech is 1-2 as a favorite. They won their game against South Carolina State but lost to Bowling Green and Boston College. Last year, Key and the Yellow Jackets lost to Miami and Virginia as favorites and the one thing that all of these games have in common is that they were in Atlanta. Georgia Tech has to improve its play at home, but if the crowd is anything like it was against North Carolina in the last home game, Syracuse will find that it is a tough place to play.

Georgia Tech opened as a six-point favorite over Syracuse next Saturday

This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the two programs and just the third since Syracuse joined the ACC. The last time the two programs met was in 2020, a game in which Syracuse won 37-20. The only time the two programs have met in Atlanta was 2013 and Georgia Tech won that handily 56-0.

Pitt football | Villari, Bellamy help Syracuse snap skid with 28-13 win over Panthers at Yankee Stadium (; AP; Fleisher)

Dan Villari rushed for a career-high 154 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown on a direct snap early in the fourth quarter, Jayden Bellamy had a 23-yard interception return for a score as Syracuse pulled away in the second half and broke a five-game losing streak with a 28-13 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

The game was played in the Bronx in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first college game played at the original Yankee Stadium on Oct. 20, 1923, five days after the Yankees won their first World Series title.

“We wanted to go old school, to go back to 100 years to a 3-0 win, Syracuse versus Pitt in the old Yankee Stadium and see if we could stir up the ghosts,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said.

Villari, who entered with 38 career rushing yards and three this season, dominated Syracuse’s potent ground game. The heavy reliance on the ground occurred after Syracuse instituted the strategy at practice Tuesday to some initial skepticism and the players were sold on it by Wednesday.

“I’m used to running the ball wildcat like that. I tried my best to get everybody else on board,” Villari said.

Villari carried 17 times after entering the game with 11 career rushing attempts. He clinched Syracuse’s first win since beating Army on Sept. 23 by scampering down the left side untouched for his first career touchdown two plays after Syracuse recovered a fumble.

A Long Island native, Villari had his best game in front of about 75 friends and family after initially entering Syracuse as a backup quarterback following his transfer from Michigan. He switched from quarterback to tight end before last season and overcame injuries that limited his practice time until September.

“He is not surprising us,” Babers said. “It’s just that we had to wait until we saw it on the field.”

After his TD staked Syracuse to a 28-13 lead, Villari posed for fans sitting in the seats above the visiting bullpen.

Bellamy, who played in his sixth career game after transferring from Notre Dame, factored in the first two of Syracuse’s three TDs in the second half.

With 11:11 remaining near midfield, Bellamy recovered a fumble by Pitt quarterback Christian Veilleux and that set up Garrett Shrader’s 21-yard TD run that gave the Orange a 14-13 lead.

Syracuse nearly scored on its next drive but fell a half-yard short on 4th-and-2 and turned the ball over on downs. Two plays later, Bellamy tracked Veilleux’s motion and when Daejon Reynolds overran the route, he easily stepped in for the interception and was untouched as he ran down the right sideline.

“It was just a cover-two call and I was just doing my assignment,” said Bellamy, whose interception came in front of family and friends from his native New Jersey. “The opportunity came so I took it and ran with it.”

Shrader returned from an undisclosed injury that kept him out of last week’s 17-10 loss to Boston College, but spent virtually the entire game running the ball or handing it off to Villari or LeQuint Allen. He also lined up as a wideout a few times and executed a backflip before the snap on one play in the first half.

“It was a really spur of the moment thing,” Shrader said of his viral moment.

Allen gained 102 yards on a career-high 28 attempts and Shrader ran 14 times for 96 yards as the Orange gained 382 of their 399 yards on the ground. The Orange held the ball for over 37 minutes and nearly gained 400 yards on the ground for the first time since 1994.

Syracuse Football: Orange is new fast remixed, one more term for Babers? (itlh; Fiello)

In my last post, I asked if what we saw against Pittsburgh on Saturday is the answer to some Syracuse football offense woes we’ve seen of late. What if the future lies in some version of that and what we’ve seen in the past with Eric Dungey and Garrett Shrader but using Dan Villari built like a tight end in that role? Could we see a new version of Orange is the new fast?

For reference, the one time I lost faith in Syracuse football was when a former athletic director and head coach tried to change the Syracuse tradition to be a USC lite. Jerseys were retired, a successful coach was chased away too soon and the option wasn’t utilized as often as I was used to.

In recent weeks, I’ve wondered if a version of the option might be more helpful. I loved it when it was done right as a Syracuse football fan in the past and now this team has some great weapons to utilize on the ground.

But seeing what we saw in Yankees Stadium, I can’t help but be impressed that the staff saw they had three weapons and found ways to use them more efficiently. So what if this is a scheme that might not only save jobs but guide this program to success?

I bet some of you are telling me to pump the brakes, right? Give it time before writing this. Well considering the fact that numerous people have written about firing the current staff and some fans are irate it didn’t already happen, I’d point out it’s only fair to show why that haste could set this program back again.

For Syracuse football, might we see a new version of Orange is the new fast?

Don’t forget while head coach Dino Babers has been here for eight seasons, he’s only had Coach Jason Beck as offensive coordinator for this season. What if the two just needed time to blend and find the right fit?

Bowl projection has Syracuse football facing 4-star QB commit who flipped (itlh; Adler)

Several updated bowl projections that were published on Sunday include Syracuse football, which snapped a five-game losing streak a day earlier and is inching closer to attaining post-season bowl eligibility.

On Saturday from Yankee Stadium in New York City, the Orange’s passing attack was non-existent, but the team’s rushing game and Mob defense more than made up for that, as the ‘Cuse put the clamps down on long-time rival Pittsburgh, 28-13.

With Syracuse football redshirt sophomore tight end Dan Villari, a former quarterback at Michigan who hails from Massapequa, N.Y., going full beast mode versus the Panthers, the Orange was able to notch its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the 2023 season.

By extension, the ‘Cuse (5-5, 1-5 in the ACC) needs only one more win over its final two regular-season contests to qualify for a bowl game for the second year in a row. The Orange will travel to Georgia Tech this Saturday night before hosting Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Syracuse football, if it reaches six triumphs, could head to the Sunshine State for a 2023 bowl game.

On Sunday, I didn’t see the ‘Cuse included in the latest bowl predictions from 247Sports. And others are likely to arrive on Monday or early this coming week, and those may or may not include the Orange.

But two bowl projections on Sunday did have Syracuse football in the mix, with each forecasting the Orange to suit up at the Gasparilla Bowl, which will commence at 6:30 pm on December 22 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., with television coverage on ESPN.

Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the ‘Cuse playing Marshall out of the Sun Belt Conference. The Thundering Herd, at present, is 5-5 overall and 2-4 in league affairs.

Episode 452- Syracuse Football: Pitt Postgame/fan Feedback! (youtube; podcast; Cuse Militia)

What's up Cuse Nation?!?! Syracuse gets back in the win Column! Not only that but an ACC win as well. I know I know, it's Pitt. True but What? It's a win. Let's take it and enjoy the fact that the Orange are on their way to a bowl game!

Axe: How long can SU football keep up the ground-and-pound approach? (podcast) (PS; podcast; Axe)

The Syracuse University football team went old school to beat Pittsburgh at Yankee Stadium.

The Orange piled up 382 yards on the ground in a 28-13 win over the Panthers.

“We wanted to be more physical,” SU head coach Dino Babers said. “We wanted to go old-school. We wanted to go back 100 years.”

SU did what it had to do with starting quarterback Garrett Shrader unable to throw the football and the plan worked with Dan Villari and LeQuint Allen both rushing for over 100 yards.

The question is, how much longer can SU use the ground-and-pound approach?

Can they beat Georgia Tech and Wake Forest with the plan?

Emily Leiker and I discussed that and more on Syracuse football postgame presented by Crouse Health.

We also look at how SU’s win over Pitt changes the conversation around Dino Babers’ job status (if at all) and react to voicemails from listeners.

SU football gets a much-needed win: ‘Doesn’t matter how or who, it’s how many’ (what they’re saying) (PS; $; Axe)

If you’re prone to the expression “it’s not how, it how many” when describing your favorite sports team earning a win, then Syracuse football’s 28-13 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday at Yankee Stadium is right up your alley.

Syracuse went old school in the win, grinding Pittsburgh to the ground with 382 rushing yards.

It was an appropriate tone given the game was played at Yankee Stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first college football game played at the historic baseball venue.

Here’s what fans, media, players and more were saying about SU’s win over the Panthers on social media.

Jump for joy
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) November 11, 2023
— Gregory Richard (@GdubATX) November 12, 2023

Basically we are McGyvering this game on offense.
— Chris Griffin (@cgatl23) November 11, 2023

I’m expecting the single wing or the wishbone any time now.
— Dave Kerner (@DaveKerner) November 11, 2023

OH YEAH I COME BACK TO CHECK THE SCORE AND WE'RE ABOUT TO TAKE THE W?? see what happens when I don't tweet about us winning before? I figured it out now, no more jinx!
— Joshua Black (@jnblack85) November 11, 2023

Wait, Syracuse had a tight end playing quarterback, ran wildcat plays the entire game, threw for only 17 yards and rushed for 382? How is that even possible? You knew they couldn’t throw and still couldn’t stop their run?
— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) November 12, 2023

Pitt football | Amanda Filipcic-Godsey | 5 takeaways from Panthers' 28-13 loss to Syracuse (Tribune-Democrat; Filipcic-Godsey)

The Pitt football team has suffered a number of painful defeats in a lost season this year, but losing to a Syracuse team that entered Saturday winless in the ACC and with no healthy quarterbacks on the roster was like rubbing salt into the wound for Panthers fans.

Here are five takeaways from Syracuse’s 28-13 victory over Pitt at Yankee Stadium.

Was this was the worst loss of the Pat Narduzzi era?

Wake Forest topped Pitt 21-17 just three weeks ago with third-string quarterback Santino Marucci throwing a go-ahead 15-yard touchdown to Cameron Hite with seven seconds remaining.

Saturday’s loss to Syracuse is worse.

There were questions surrounding who would start at quarterback for the Orange after Garrett Shrader missed Nov. 3 game’s game due to injury. His backup, Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, was banged up in the Nov. 3 game against Boston College. Shrader started the game, but it quickly became clear that he couldn’t throw the ball. He threw just twice and completed one pass.

Dan Villari, a tight end who converted from quarterback after transferring to Syracuse from Michigan in the spring of 2022, completed 3 of 5 passes for 12 yards, but it’s what Villari did on the ground that turned heads. Villari rushed the ball 17 times for 154 yards for an average of over nine yards per carry.

Pitt was pushed around in the trenches all day, turned the ball over four times and couldn’t run the ball. For a Panthers team that desperately needed a win, to come up this short against another subpar ACC team is embarrassing.

Turnovers doomed the Panthers

Pitt led Syracuse 13-7 at halftime and got the ball to begin the second half. Fullback Daniel Carter picked up two yards on fourth-and-1 at the Syracuse 46. On the next play, it appeared there was a miscommunication between quarterback Christian Veilleux and wide receiver Kenny Johnson, leading to a Veilleux fumble. It was recovered by defensive back Jayden Bellamy.

Shrader would rush 21 yards for a touchdown nine plays later to allow Syracuse to retake the lead.

Later in the third quarter, Veilleux threw a questionable pass that landed in Bellamy’s waiting arms. Bellamy streaked 23 yards to the end zone to give Syracuse a 21-13 lead, which felt like a dagger with Pitt’s inability to move the ball on offense.

Veilleux fumbled again on the first play of the fourth quarter, this time in Pitt territory. The Orange needed just two plays for Villari to take a direct snap 27 yards for a touchdown.

Pitt running back Rodney Hammond Jr. also fumbled late in the game, but the damage had already been done.

Three turnovers led to 21 points, and that was the difference in the game. Pitt entered the game having thrown 10 interceptions and losing five fumbles. Four turnovers in a single game when the team is looking to end a three-game losing streak is unacceptable.

Pitt may need to hit the transfer portal for a quarterback once again

Veilleux has been off to a shaky start since being named the starter ahead of the Louisville game. While the Panthers were able to upset the Cardinals – now the No. 11 team in the country – in Veilleux’s first start, his stats weren’t particularly impressive, but several of his throws were.

Since then, Veilleux and Pitt are 0-3, with two of those losses coming to a top-20 Notre Dame team and to No. 4 Florida State.

Syracuse was definitely a step down in competition compared to the Fighting Irish and the Seminoles, and it seemed like Veilleux should have an easier time than in the previous two weeks. That didn’t happen.

Veilleux completed 13 of 22 passes (59%) for 161 yards, one touchdown, one interception and two fumbles. The interception came on a questionable pass – Veilleux threw the ball with no clear receiver in the area. Johnson was about four yards behind the play with two defenders around him.

Veilleux has shown promise at times and progress isn’t linear – but it’s still fair to ask whether he’s the guy moving forward when he makes questionable decisions that led to turnovers.

The run defense had its worst game of the season

It looked like a low point for this defense when Cincinnati rushed for 216 yards in Week 2, but Syracuse made that look like child’s play. The Orange rushed for 382 yards on a coach Pat Narduzzi/defensive coordinator Randy Bates-led defense with a quarterback-turned-tight end as the leading rusher. It was tough to watch for Pitt fans and will likely make Narduzzi ill upon film review.

It’s hard to see the entire coaching staff returning next year

This season was only the second time Narduzzi has brought back the entire coaching staff during his nine-year tenure.

That will not happen next year.

While some Pitt fans may be expecting Narduzzi to be fired, that won’t happen.

His contract runs through the 2030 season and there is no way Pitt will pay his buyout.

However, it’s a near-certainty at this point that Narduzzi will move on from some of his assistant coaches.

The defensive staff may be in the clear.

One of the Worst Run Defenses in the Narduzzi Era is a Team Effort (; Ludwig)

After a 43-yard performance against Syracuse, Rodney Hammond Jr. has racked up 381 yards (at 4.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns on the ground for Pitt this season. That’s in nine games. Syracuse, in one afternoon at Yankee Stadium, racked up 382 yards (at 5.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns on the ground.
Pat Narduzzi likes to run the football, and he likes to stop opposing teams from running the football. His team didn’t do either Saturday.

In eight-and-a-half seasons under Narduzzi, his defense has allowed more than 382 yards just twice in a single game — the 2015 Military Bowl against Navy, allowing 417 yards on 71 rushing attempts, and a 2017 ACC matchup against Georgia Tech (in the midst of the triple-option offense), allowing 436 yards on 67 carries.

Syracuse racked up 382 yards on 66 carries, and while ‘Cuse isn’t a service academy or a triple-option offense, the game plan clearly changed.

The Orange attempted just eight passes against Pitt, throwing for just 17 yards, but it didn’t matter. The Panthers knew what was coming, the coaches making the calls and players trying to execute on the field, but it didn’t matter much.
“Obviously they didn’t plan on passing, I’m not sure Shrader could throw it, he hadn’t played for the last couple of weeks — didn’t even know he was gonna go today,” Narduzzi said following the loss. “But had no idea who the starting quarterback was — you try to work for (Carlos) Del Rio Wilson and everybody else.

“They did a lot of different stuff that we had not practiced. We tried to adjust as we went, obviously tackling had something to do with it, and we’ll watch that and see who missed and where we executed wrong but 66 rushes. We were on the field for a long time.”

Pitt prides itself on stopping opposing run games, to the point that it leaves its cornerbacks out on islands, and it generally works. There have been two seasons (2020 and 2021) in which Pitt’s opponents haven’t even hit 200 rushing yards in a game.
In the Narduzzi era, there had been just four 300-yard rushing games (if you don’t count the two 400-yard games), but there are five now.

“It’s frustrating,” Narduzzi said. “You’re frustrated with a loss, period. There are a lot of things you’re frustrated with, but certainly, you’d like to stop the run. And we didn’t do that today.”

Starting quarterback Garrett Shrader was the leading receiver for Syracuse, catching a single pass for six yards, and a Wildcat approach — which Narduzzi said that Pitt was not at all prepared for after not seeing it on tape — was a nightmare scenario.

Tight end Dan Villari, who served as a Wildcat quarterback, led Syracuse with 154 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, averaging nearly 10 yards per carry, and running back LeQuint Allen (102 yards), Shrader (96 yards), running back Juwaun Price (28 yards) and running back Ike Daniels (4 yards) added additional yards.

Takeaways | Pitt football faces ugly loss against Syracuse - The Pitt News (; de Jesus)

Pitt football (2-8, ACC 1-5) fell to conference rivals Syracuse 28-13 on Saturday at Yankee Stadium in New York City. This was another disappointing loss for the Panthers as the football season winds down.

Here are my takeaways from this weekend’s game at Yankee Stadium.

Pitt’s defense needs to make changes

It didn’t take long in this game before the Syracuse offense learned that Pitt’s defense could not match its run game. The Orange capitalized on this and put up 382 rushing yards during the game.

Syracuse fifth-year senior quarterback Garrett Shrader made his return to the field following an injury during week nine against Virginia Tech. With his health still in question, he relied less on his passing and more on redshirt sophomore tight end Dan Villari and sophomore running back LeQuint Allen to help pick up yards on the ground.

The Panthers didn’t tighten up their defensive play at all throughout Syracuse’s 66 rushing attempts during the game. Pitt allowed both Villari and Allen to both have 100-yard rushing performances. The Panthers’ defensive line lacked in its ability to make quick tackles, often resulting in massive run gains right up the middle of the field for the Syracuse offense.

Pitt has consistently struggled throughout the season to keep its defense intact. With injuries plaguing redshirt seniors defensive tackle Devin Danielson and defensive lineman Tyler Bentley against Syracuse, there are a lot of questions as to how the defense will proceed as the Panthers finish out this season’s schedule.

How Syracuse football transfers fared: Jawhar Jordan helps Louisville improve to 9-1 (PS; Owens)

Running back Jawhar Jordan had another solid game and the Louisville Cardinals continued their winning ways on Thursday night against Virginia.

Jordan rushed 17 times for 95 yards and caught two passes for 15 more as the Cardinals rallied for a 31-24 win over Virginia, spoiling the Cavaliers’ upset bid. Jordan’s longest run was a 42-yard scamper in the first quarter which helped set up Louisville’s first score.

Watch Jordan’s run at the :34 mark of the video below:

Jordan now has 976 yards rushing on 141 carries this season, an average of 6.9 yards per carry, and 11 touchdowns. He’s caught 14 passes for 193 yards and another TD.

Today's Tidbit... The First Plastic Helmets and 1940 Northwestern @ Syracuse (; Brown)

Those who designed, produced, and mailed the ticket brochure touting Syracuse's 1940 game with Northwestern had no idea the game would be a watershed moment in football equipment history. Syracuse opened their season the previous week, downing Clarkson 33-0, but the matchup was Northwestern's first, and that made all the difference.

The brochure promoted the Northwestern game and the rest of Syracuse's eight-game schedule, which included two home games, a three-game road loop, and three more home games, all played without leaving the state.

While the brochure profiled all eight games on the schedule, it highlighted the Northwestern game because it was Syracuse's only intersectional contest and came against the second-ever visit by a Big Ten team to Archbold Stadium. Illinois played there in 1909 and Michigan thrice during the Teens, but the Michigan games during the decade when Michigan left the conference.

Northwestern's Kepford runs the ball in the second quarter against a wing-helmeted Syracuse. (1942 Northwestern yearbook)

ACC News

Friedlander: What we learned about every ACC football team in Week 11 - Saturday Road (; Friedlander)

Week 11 off ACC football was a great one for rivalries, rallies and onside kicks. It wasn’t a very good week for referees.

Both on the field and in the replay booth.

The bottom line is that Florida State is still undefeated. Louisville will have to wait another week for a chance to clinch a spot in the conference title game. And North Carolina still has possession of the Victory Bell thanks to another standout performance from Drake Maye.

There were also 3 onside kicks in situations other than the one we’re used to seeing them, 2 of which were recovered by the kicking team – Virginia Tech and Duke.

Which brings us to the zebras.

Their week got off to a rough start on Thursday when they raised the ire of Virginia fans on social media by picking flags 3 times on calls that would have resulted in major penalties on Louisville.

Both teams in the FSU-Miami game were unhappy with missed calls that were inexplicably allowed to stand after video review. The most egregious was a sack of Seminoles’ quarterback Jordan Travis that should have been – but wasn’t – ruled a safety.

The coupe de grace came in the final game of the weekend. While it’s debatable whether a ball that was ruled a catch by UNC’s Bryson Nesbit should instead have been a Duke interception or not, there’s no question that Tar Heels offensive lineman Willie Lampkin was 5 yards downfield in the end zone on the 2-point conversion pass in the 2nd overtime that turned out to be the difference in the game.

Now that we’ve learned how bad the ACC’s officials were, let’s go to school and see what we learned about the teams that actually played the game.

Boston College

The Eagles put together a 5-game winning streak on the strength of a ground attack that leads the ACC in rushing at 212 yards per game. But as we learned Saturday, it’s tough to stick with a running game – even one as potent as BC’s when you fall behind early by multiple scores.

That’s what happened to Jeff Hafley’s team at Virginia Tech.

Thomas Castellanos was intercepted twice in the 1st quarter and the Eagles dug themselves into a 31-7 hole by halftime, rendering them 1-dimensional the rest of the way. It didn’t help that top running backs Kye Robichaux and Pat Garwo were out with injuries, but BC was held to a season-low 124 rushing yards in a 48-22 loss.


Remember that misguided fake punt from the Tigers’ own 30-yard-line in the 2015 ACC Championship Game that prompted Dabo Swinney to chew out his punter on the sideline for trying it? Well, Saturday against Georgia Tech, we learned that the Tigers still haven’t learned that it’s not a good idea to try fake punts from that deep in your own territory.

#Clemson fake punt… on 4th-and-9 from their own 20-yard line in the first quarter.
— sports CAST (@thesportscast1) November 11, 2023

Aidan Swanson was stopped short of the yard to gain on a 4th-and-9 play from the Clemson 21.
This time, though, the fake appeared to be a planned play. And it showed us how much confidence Swinney has in his defense. Because even though the Yellow Jackets converted the opportunity into the game’s 1st touchdown, the Tigers dominated the rest of the way. They intercepted 4 passes, including a pick-6 by true freshman Shelton Lewis, to keep Tech off the scoreboard again until long after the outcome was decided. All 4 of the interceptions were by freshmen.

We also learned that with their 6th win, the Tigers will be going to a bowl for the 19th year in a row.


Some quarterbacks go their entire careers without leading clutch game-saving drives late in regulation. True freshman Grayson Loftis has done it each of the first 2 starts.

Last week, he drove the Blue Devils for the winning field goal as time expired to beat Wake Forest. Although Saturday’s heroics didn’t result in a victory, we still learned a lot about the poise and talent possessed by the 3rd stringer who was forced into action because of injuries to Riley Leonard and Henry Belin IV.

Loftis capped a 9-play, 75-yard drive by hitting Jordan Moore with a 30-yard touchdown pass on 4th down to give Duke a 36-33 lead with 41 seconds remaining in regulation. Then in the 2nd overtime he got his team into the end zone again, this time on a 6-yard completion to Moore.

Loftis finished the game 16-of-128 for 189 yards and 3 scores in a performance that would have made him an instant Blue Devils legend had officials chosen to review a controversial call late in regulation or his final pass on the decisive 2-point conversion attempt not been broken up.

Florida State

The Seminoles got big plays from their best players – quarterback Jordan Travis, running back Trey Benson and receiver Keon Coleman among them – to win their 3rd straight against Miami and finish off a perfect ACC schedule for the first time since 2014.

But as we learned during a 2nd quarter in which they were held to minus-1 yard rushing, and again late in the game after going up by 2 touchdowns before having to hold on for dear life, they still haven’t learned how to keep the hammer down and put opponents away when they have the chance.

Georgia Tech

We learned that even in a “down” year for Clemson, the Yellow Jackets still can’t figure out a way to beat the Tigers. Saturday’s loss at Death Valley was their 9th straight in the series dating to 2014. It’s their longest losing streak in the 90-game history of the rivalry.

Although anything is possible, this latest setback has made next week’s game against Syracuse a win-or-else proposition for Brent Key’s team to get the 1 win it still needs for bowl eligibility. Tech hasn’t been to the postseason since 2018. Its final regular season game is against 2-time defending national champion Georgia.


The Cardinals, ranked No. 11 in the CFB Playoff rankings, moved one step closer to a date with Florida State in the ACC Championship Game by beating Virginia. But as we learned earlier in the season against Pittsburgh, Jeff Brohm’s team has a habit of playing up or down to the competition.

It took recovering a blocked punt in the end zone and 17 4th-quarter points for Louisville to survive another upset bid and improve to 9-1 overall (6-1 ACC). If there’s one positive that we learned about the Cardinals despite their balky performance, it’s that they have a deep, talented running backs room.

Isaac Guerendo gives Louisville a 4th quarter lead.
— Brendan Moore (@bmoorecfb) November 10, 2023

While Jawhar Jordan picked up 95 yards on 17 carries to nearly match his per-game average of 97, which ranks 2nd in the conference, his backup Isaac Guerendo provided the biggest run of the game with a 73-yard dash for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:24 to go. It was the 2nd straight game in which Guerendo came up big. He scored 3 touchdowns a week earlier in a lopsided win against Virginia Tech.


The Hurricanes might have lost their rivalry game to No. 4 Florida State. But in the process, they showed us that they’re a much better team with freshman Emory Williams at quarterback than with Tyler Van Dyke.

Williams didn’t put up spectacular numbers against the Seminoles on Saturday. But he did put them in a position to tie the game and force overtime when Miami got the ball back with 4 1/2 minutes remaining, down by only a touchdown.

Unfortunately for Mario Cristobal’s team, Williams suffered what appeared to be a serious injury while scrambling for a drive-extending 1st down and was taken from the field with an inflatable cast on his left arm. Any hopes for a comeback were then dashed when Van Dyke was intercepted by FSU’s Jarrian Jones on a bad decision to throw late, back over the middle, while on the run. It was the 2021 ACC Rookie of the Year’s 11th interception in his past 5 games – 4 of them Hurricanes losses.

North Carolina

The football rivalry between the Tar Heels and Duke isn’t nearly as hyped as the 2 games each year that the neighboring schools play on the basketball court. But as we learned from the field-storming celebration following UNC’s double-overtime win to retain possession of the Victory Bell late Saturday night, it still means a lot to the folks in Carolina blue.

It was the Tar Heels’ 5th straight win against the Blue Devils and Mack Brown’s 13th straight dating to his first tenure in Chapel Hill. But it didn’t come easy. It took a 342-yard passing performance by Maye, a desperation drive for the tying field goal in the final 41 seconds of regulation and a little luck for UNC to pull out the victory and avoid a 3rd straight 4th-quarter collapse against an ACC opponent.

The luck came in the form of the previously mentioned jump ball that was ruled a catch by Nesbit, setting up a late UNC touchdown and the missed call on the ineligible receiver downfield on the winning conversion play.

This ended up being the game-winning play for UNC. Look at the right guard in the end zone when he realizes how far downfield he is on a pass.
— Cory Smith (@RCorySmith) November 12, 2023

Beyond all that, we learned that after several seasons of balky kicking, the Tar Heels have finally found a reliable leg in Noah Burnette, who tied a school record by making 6 field goals – including pressure kicks at the end of regulation and the 1st overtime to keep his team’s hopes alive.

NC State

We learned that reports of Brennan Armstrong’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Same goes for the Wolfpack’s chances of adding onto their win total after MJ Morris’ shocking decision to redshirt after leading the team to a 3-1 record in his 4 starts.

Armstrong returned to the starting lineup for the 1st time since Week 5 and was a difference-maker in State’s 26-6 win at Wake Forest. The graduate transfer ran for 96 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while completing 12-of-17 passes for 111 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions.

His performance also helped us learn that the Wolfpack are actually capable of winning in Winston-Salem. Saturday’s win was only their 2nd in their past 11 trips to Wake Forest dating to 2003. Of course, the defense also had a lot to do with breaking the curse. It held the Deacons to just 163 total yards while recording 3 sacks, 2 turnovers and allowing Wake to go 1-for-12 on 3rd down.

Even when State finally gave up a touchdown late in the game – its first in 8 quarters – it turned a defeat into victory when linebacker Jaylon Scott intercepted a 2-point try and returned it for a defensive conversion.


The Panthers are a mess. Especially on offense. Of course we didn’t just learn that. Since upsetting Louisville on Oct. 14, Pitt has been outscored 131-44 in consecutive losses to Wake Forest Notre Dame, Florida State and now Syracuse.

Things got so bad that Pat Narduzzi’s team had no answers for an opponent with an injured quarterback who it knew couldn’t pass the ball. At least they got to play at Yankee Stadium, where their own offense struck out as much as that of the 2023 version of the baseball team that calls the ballpark home during the summer.


The Orange’s game against Pittsburgh was played at the big ballpark in the Bronx to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first football game ever played at the original Yankee Stadium. For a while Saturday, it appeared as though Syracuse coach Dino Babers was trying his best to recreate that 1923 contest – won 3-0 by the Orange.

But as we learned afterward, the ultra-conservative game plan was the result of a quarterback unable to throw the ball because of an injury. Garrett Shrader executed nearly as many backflips in the game as he did passes. He performed one somersault as a diversionary tactic while completing only 1 of his 2 throws for 5 yards and a touchdown.

Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader causally hit a backflip mid-game?
— On3 (@On3sports) November 11, 2023

Tight end Dan Villari ended up taking a majority of snaps. He went 3-of-5 for 12 yards but led the team with 154 rushing yards and a touchdown to break a 5-game losing streak and keep Syracuse alive for a 2nd straight bowl berth.
... (SI; Caudell)

There are only two weeks left in the regular season, but the ACC is still a mess after you get past Florida State.

Louisville is a win against Miami away from being in the ACC title game against Florida State, but the Cardinals struggled to beat a Virginia team that just lost 45-17 to Georgia Tech. Louisville is a good team, but they are very inconsistent.

North Carolina was able to beat Duke and keep their slim hopes of an ACC title birth alive. Clemson won big over Georgia Tech, Florida State avoided a Miami upset, and NC State continues to have a good season.

So how do the ACC power rankings look with two weeks to go in the regular season?

14. Pitt (2-8)- Last week: 14

Pitt lost to Syracuse yesterday and could not stop the run. The Panthers could not move the ball on offense and committed four turnovers and it was just a repeat of what has gone on this entire season. Pitt closes the season with games against Boston College and Duke and I am not confident in them winning either of them.

13. Virginia (2-8)- Last week: 11

Virginia was on the verge of upsetting Louisville and shaking up the ACC Championship race, but UVA could not get it done, and now they have two games before their season is over. Aside from the Georgia Tech game, Virginia has played well over the last month, beating North Carolina and nearly beating Miami and Louisville. It can be something to build off of for next year.

12. Wake Forest (4-6)- Last week: 12

It felt like yesterday was a great opportunity for Wake Forest to get their fifth win of the year, but the NC State defense bottled up the Demon Deacons offense. Now, Wake must win against Notre Dame and Syracuse to end the season and that seems unlikely.

11. Syracuse (5-5)- Last week: 13

Give credit to Syracuse, they were able to scrap together a win against a terrible Pitt team and is one win closer to bowl eligibility. They will have to beat either Georgia Tech or Wake Forest to get there, but a bowl game birth might be enough to save Dino Baber's job.

10. Miami (6-4)- Last week: 6

I think Miami has a really good defense and offensive line, but their quarterback situation is keeping them from being among the top tier of the ACC. The Hurricane's defense did a solid job against Florida State's high-powered offense, but their offense could not get enough done. Freshman quarterback Emory Williams suffered an injury at the end of the game and Tyler Van Dyke had to come in and proceeded to throw an interception. Miami has games against Louisville and Boston College.

Football blows out Boston College (; Mostow)

Virginia Tech football defeated an ACC team on the road for the first time in the Brent Pry era, dominating Boston College, 48–22.

The Hokies (5–5, 4–2 ACC) dominated the Eagles (6–4, 3–3 ACC) on offense, defense and special teams throughout the entire game, putting them one win away from qualifying for a bowl game. Saturday marked their first win on the road since Nov. 19, 2022 at Liberty.

“We looked more like ourselves this afternoon,” said Pry, the second-year Virginia Tech head coach. “There were a lot of good things out there that happened, running the ball, throwing the ball.”

Tech cornerback Dorian Strong caught two interceptions in the first quarter, giving him three total this season, the most on the team. His first pick, on the first play of the game, gave the Hokies the ball on the Eagles’ 37-yard line. The Hokies scored 10 points in the first quarter, all of which came after a Strong interception.

The Hokies went into halftime leading 31–7, the most points they’ve scored in the first half since Nov. 16, 2019 against Georgia Tech.

“It was important to start fast and get some points on the board,” Pry said. “Having that lead like that going into the half made it awfully tough on them.”

Quarterback Kyron Drones played in the first three quarters, sitting out the fourth when the outcome was certain. He completed 12 of his 17 passing attempts for 219 yards and two touchdowns, adding 135 yards on the ground.

Drones’s backups, Grant Wells and Pop Watson, took all the snaps in the last quarter. Wells completed two passes for 18 yards, adding a 60-yard rush that ended with him fumbling out of the end zone three yards short of the goal line. Watson rushed four times for 39 yards.

Matt's Guesses for 2023 Week 13 TV (RX; HM)

Matt's Guesses for 2023 Week 13 TV

Here are Matt's guesses for ACC-related games of Week 13 (click here to read his other guesses):



12pm ABC: Kentucky at Louisville
12pm ESPN: North Carolina at NC State


2pm CW: Wake Forest at Syracuse
3:30pm ESPN2: Navy at SMU
3:30pm ACCN: Pitt at Duke
4pm SECN: Clemson at South Carolina

Prime Time

7pm ESPN: Florida State at Florida
7:30pm ABC: Georgia at Georgia Tech
8pm FOX: Notre Dame at Stanford
8pm ACCN: Virginia Tech at Virginia

Late Night

10:30pm ESPN: California at UCLA

If Matt is correct, that means 2 more ABC games, 3 more ESPN games (4 if you count SMU on ESPN2) - and that's with Clemson on the SEC Network and Notre Dame/Stanford on Fox!

2023 Big XII Circles Itself (RX; HM)

2023 Big XII Circles Itself

I used to hate these when they were for the ACC, but now that it's the Big XII, I love it - a parody of parity!

The Big XII "Circle of Mediocrity" (or worse, if you prefer) was completed this weekend when Cincinnati beat Houston and UCF upset Oklahoma State. "Now your failure is complete!"
Posted 6 hours ago by Hokie Mark
Labels: Big XII parity

AP Poll 2023 Nov 12 (RX; HM)

AP Poll 2023 Nov 12

Here's the latest AP poll, for what it's worth (we'll pay a lot more attention to the CFP poll for sure!):

AP Top 25
3Ohio State10-0
4Florida State10-0
10Oregon State8-2
12Penn State8-2
13Ole Miss8-2
18James Madison10-0
20Notre Dame7-3
22North Carolina8-2
23Kansas State7-3
24Oklahoma State7-3
Others receiving votes:
29Fresno State8-2
33NC State7-3
T34Texas A&M6-4
T34Miami (OH)8-2


  • FSU holds at #4, while Louisville moves up to #9
  • Notre Dame and North Carolina remain in the Top 25.
  • SMU and NC State are among "others receiving votes".

Biggest Losers 2023 Week 11 (RX; HM)

Biggest Losers 2023 Week 11

Who wet the bed this weekend?

Ranked Losers

#9 Ole Miss lost by 5 TDs(!) at #2 Georgia, 17-52
#10 Penn State lost by 9 at home to #3 Michigan, 15-24
#13 Tennessee lost by 29 at #14 Missouri, 7-36
#15 Oklahoma State was exposed at UCF, 3-45
#16 Kansas lost at home to Texas Tech, 13-16
#18 Utah lost at #5 Washington, 28-35...
...but one Huskie player tried to give it away!
The Tennessee Volunteers, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Kansas Jayhawks, and Utah Utes all lost their 3rd games of the season. Meanwhile, Southern Methodist sits unranked at 8-2. Just sayin...

Other notable losers

Indiana was eliminated from bowl eligibility by Illinois, 45-48
Nebraska lost at home to Maryland, 10-13
Minnesota was humbled at 7-loss Purdue, 30-49
Wisconsin was humbled at home by Northwestern, 10-24
The USC Trojans lost again. What else is new?
Colorado lost at home, to Arizona, 31-34. The Buffs are now one loss from missing bowl season, with Wazzu and Utah left to play.
UCLA lost at home to a 7-loss Arizona St team, 7-17. All of a sudden, winning out doesn't seem out of reach for Cal...
Auburn became bowl-eligible and knocked Arkansas out of the postseason at the same time, and it wasn't close (48-10).
Mississippi State crept one loss closer to bowl elimination as well by losing at Texas A&M 10-51.

Michigan Football Has To Leave The Conference | mgoblog (; AlbanyBlue)

First, a disclaimer: I am about 97% sure Michigan will not leave the Big Ten. But they should.

Here's why -- feel free to add yours!

  • The money factor can be mitigated. Especially as an independent, Michigan will be in a position to dictate terms of its own TV deal. Yes, leaving the Big Ten will mean leaving their sweet TV contract, but they can make their own. If they join a conference, like the ACC which has been suggested, they should be able to negotiate favorable terms upon entrance.
  • The expanded playoff helps keep Michigan relevant for the post-season. If Michigan goes to the ACC, that's still a "power X" conference. If there are super-conferences down the road, Michigan will be coveted. If they go independent, the NCAA will not be able to exclude them without affecting ND, which they won't do.
  • There are no academic issues for which Michigan needs the Big Ten (research, etc.). The conference needs Michigan much more than Michigan needs them.
  • Any desired rivalries can be maintained in some form. This is much easier if Michigan goes independent, but even if Michigan joins the ACC, there is room in the non-con schedule for certain games.
  • After what OSU has done here, "The Game" is rapidly losing luster and desirability for me. Even during the awful stretch where we lost so often, at least we were getting beaten on the field. But this? These actions by OSU are heinous enough where they've become MSU to me -- I don't give a if we ever play them again.
  • After what the NCAA and the conference "leadership" and the conference members have done and how they've acted, principle dictates, almost demands, that Michigan strike back with the most crippling power it has -- taking its prestige and power somewhere that it will be respected . Stretchgate was the tip of the iceberg. The 2016 officiating situation in The Game was a clear shot at the program and Harbaugh. Now this. Accepting rumor and shady PI findings as "evidence". The mob justice conference call excluding Michigan. The meeting to decide the extreme 3-game suspension without investigation or due process. The legal wrangling blocking any recourse Michigan would have. And the timing of all of it planned and executed to inflict maximum chaos, disorder, and hardship on the team. It's , all of it, and there's no reason for us to stay.
  • If we were to stay, something else will be fabricated and come down on us. It's not like staying the course is going to make everything better. So, it's time to go.
The NCAA and the Big Ten hate Harbaugh and Michigan, that has been made VERY clear. To paraphrase the fantastic comment by Bluesince96, would you recommend someone stay with an abusive spouse if they had money? Of course not, and we shouldn't either.

Thanks for reading -- sorry about the length.



The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency is speeding up the demolition of homes it owns on Burnet Road in the town of Clay, where the Micron Technology semiconductor plants are scheduled to be built. This home is one of about 12 that remained on Burnet as of Nov. 9, 2023. Glenn Coin | gcoin@syracuse.comGlenn Coin |

Onondaga County speeds up demolition of homes at Micron site after vandalism, teen party (PS; $; Coin)

Onondaga County will rush to demolish the last remaining vacant homes at the future Micron Technology site in Clay after a series of vandalism and drug use incidents, officials said.

The county Industrial Development Agency decided to speed up the demolitions of the houses on Burnet Road after more than 40 teens held a party, organized on social media, in one of the homes Oct. 27, said Robert Petrovich, executive director of the agency.

“We’ve been doing our best to try to prohibit trespassing, but it’s coming to a head with this latest partying incident,” Petrovich told the agency board at its meeting Nov. 9. The board adopted an emergency measure urging the contractor, Gorick Construction of Binghamton, to tear down all the remaining homes by Dec. 1.

The agency has bought up 1,400 acres in Clay, including about 40 homes on Burnet Road, in anticipation of landing a semiconductor manufacturer. It worked: Micron last year announced it would spend $100 billion over the next 20 years to build a factory at the corner of Route 31 and Caughdenoy Road.

A dozen of the houses on Burnet Road, most boarded up and deteriorating, remain standing. OCIDA also owns several more vacant homes on Route 31 and Caughdenoy Road, in the White Pine Commerce Park, where Micron plans to build.

Syracuse to start annual deer culling soon, hoping to target twice as many animals (PS; Boyer)

The Common Council is poised to approve a fifth season of deer culling in city areas struggling with the animal’s overpopulation, but officials hope action in Albany will allow trained sharpshooters to get onto more sites.

The council’s agenda for Monday includes a series of resolutions related to the nuisance deer management program started in the winter of 2019-20.

After USDA-trained sharpshooters killed 159 animals in the first year, totals were below 100 each of the next three years. As a result, the program is struggling to make a dent in the problems deer in urban areas cause, which include damage to vegetation, an increase in disease-carrying ticks and elevated risk of motor vehicle collisions.

“What we see is continued significant overpopulation,” Greg Loh, the city’s chief policy officer, told councilors at a study session Wednesday.

City officials are hopeful, though, that a legislative assist from Albany might be finalized soon.

The state Senate and Assembly passed a bill earlier this year that would reduce the distance from an occupied building that deer management sharpshooters could fire from 500 feet to 250 feet. Anything inside those boundaries would require securing written permission of 100% of the affected property owners. The larger setback has been a significant barrier, Loh said, particularly in the southeast part of the city where deer are most concentrated.

The bill will be sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul in December and officials are optimistic that she will sign it.

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