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NCAAF Syracuse Orange

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (2013-present)
Past Conferences: Big East
City: Syracuse, N.Y.
Stadium: JMA Wireless Dome

Championships

  • National Championships: 1 (1959)
  • Conference Titles: 5 (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2012)

Team History

The Syracuse Orange is a Division I program located in Syracuse, N.Y. Syracuse became a major player during college realignment when it left the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013, following Pittsburgh. Notre Dame also joined while opting to remain independent in football.

Syracuse’s pinnacle accomplishment was its 1959 national championship. The Orange defeated Texas 23-14 in the Cotton Bowl to finish 11-0 and was voted No. 1 in both the Associated Press and Coaches’ polls. That team included running back Ernie Davis, who in 1961 became the first Black player to win the Heisman Trophy and All-American tackle Ron Luciano.

The program was a factory for great running backs during that era, having also produced Jim Brown in the 1950s and Jim Nance, Floyd Little and Larry Csonka in the 1960s.

Syracuse also went undefeated in 1987, though it did not get to play for the national championship because both Oklahoma and Miami also were unbeaten and finished higher in the national polls. Instead, the Orange played Auburn in the Sugar Bowl and tied 16-16 to finish 11-0-1.

The following season, Syracuse went 10-2 and beat LSU in the Hall of Fame Bowl. The Orange have posted four 10-win seasons since then, most recently finishing 10-3 in 2018.

Before joining the ACC, Syracuse won five Big East titles, including three straight from 1996-98. Those teams were quarterbacked by Donovan McNabb, who threw for 8,389 yards and 77 touchdowns and was a three-time Big East Offensive Player of the Year. He was a finalist for the 1998 Heisman Trophy and was later named to Syracuse’s All-Century Team. The program also retired his number, joining Don McPherson, Csonka, Joe Morris, Tim Green, John Mackey, and the No. 44 (worn by several players).

Other notable alumni include Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Donovan Darius and Kevin Johnson.

The program hasn’t been able to achieve the same level of success in the ACC. In fact, it has finished above .500 only three times since the transition, with two bowl victories: 2013 Texas Bowl and 2018 Camping World Bowl.

Syracuse’s 2022 Pinstripe Bowl appearance was its first bowl since 2018. The school has been to 27 bowls overall.

Dino Babers has coached Syracuse the last seven seasons, compiling a record of 36-49. He’s the fourth-winningest coach in program history, trailing Ben Schwartzwalder, Paul Pasqualoni and Dick McPherson.

All-Time Records

Passing Yards

  • Eric Dungey: 9,340
  • Ryan Nassib: 9,190
  • Marvin Graves: 8,466
  • Donovan McNabb: 8,389
  • Don McPherson: 5,812

Rushing Yards

  • Joe Morris: 4,299
  • Walter Reyes: 3,424
  • Sean Tucker: 3,182
  • Delone Carter: 3,104
  • Larry Csonka: 2,934

Receiving Yards

  • Steve Ishmael: 2,891
  • Marvin Harrison: 2,728
  • Alec Lemon: 2,596
  • Shelby Hill: 2,296
  • Rob Moore: 2,122

 What is the worst season in Syracuse program history?

Syracuse went 1-10 in 2020, with its only victory coming in Atlantic Coast Conference play against Georgia Tech. The Orange averaged only 17.8 points per game, ranking 118th in the country.

 What is Syracuse’s overall record in bowl games?

Syracuse has appeared in 27 bowl games, compiling an overall record of 16-10-1. The Orange’s last victory came in the 2018 Camping World Bowl, 34-18 over West Virginia.

 Who holds Syracuse’s record for career touchdown catches?

Rob Moore caught a school-record 22 touchdowns from 1987-89. After being selected in the first round of the 1990 NFL Supplemental Draft, Moore became a two-time Pro Bowler and 1997 All-Pro.

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