Ishmael had 105 catches for 1,347 yards, both school records, and Erv Philips caught 89 passes for 904 yards, many on critical third downs.
Defensively, the Orange lose standout linebackers Zaire Franklin and Parris Bennett, who combined for 200 tackles and 31 sacks this fall. The lack of depth on that side of the ball proved telling in the long run.
When Syracuse upset defending national champion Clemson in mid-October, the Orange were with- out four players — including standout safety Antwan Cordy— who started on defense in the season opener.
“Injuries are part of the game, and everyone has them,” Babers said. “We have to continue to work on the people who aren’t in the game because some day they will be. Youhave to continue to coach that un- derbelly.”
Despite Dungey’s significant contributions, Syracuse had another glaring hole in its resume— the Orange were 0-5 on the road. That the first four setbacks — to LSU , North Carolina State , Miami and Florida State — were by single digits lends a note of optimism going forward.