‘Cuse ends season with devastating loss to rival
Despite an optimistic start, Babers and the Orange ended the regular season with five straight losses.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. » Five straight losses to end his second season at Syracuse wasn’t what coach Dino Babers envisioned. He remains resolute in his optimism going forward.
“I don’t feel like this is the end of what we’re going to do,” Babers said Saturday after the Orange had lost their final game of the season, 42-14 to Boston College . “I feel like this is the beginning. I really believe that the 2018 season is going to be something we’ll talk about here for a long time.”
Syracuse, which finished 4-8 for the third straight year and hasn’t played in a bowl game since 2013, won only two of eight games in the Atlantic Coast Conference. A season that started with so much optimism quickly began to turn sour when Syracuse was upset at home in early September by Middle Tennessee State, with former Orange head coach Scott Shafer calling the defensive shots for the visitors.
There has been one constant for a team that seems to be stuck in neutral — in all three of his seasons at the helm, dual-threat quarterback Eric Dungey has missed too many games. Overall, he’s missed 10, including the final three of each year, and the Orange have lost all but one of those games.
“There’s only so much you can do when he’s not on the field. There’s just a different energy about our team,” said redshirt freshman quarterback Rex Culpepper, who looked sharp against BC in his first college start. “Although our record doesn’t show it, we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last year.”
With plenty of time to heal, if he can remain healthy Dungey should be a force to be reckoned with as a senior, andhighly touted QB Tommy DeVito will be a redshirt freshman ready to make his Orange debut.
But there are huge holes to fill offensively with the graduation of two of the most prolific wide receivers in school history. Steve
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Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper (15) loses his grip on the ball as he attempts a pass during last Saturday’s game against Louisville, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 56-10.