‘Cuse ends sea­son with dev­as­tat­ing loss to ri­val

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By John Kekis,

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

SYRACUSE » PAGE3

TI­MOTHY D. EASLEY — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.

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