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Syracuse and West Virginia to Clash in the Camping World Bowl Today 1

Posted on December 28, 2018 by Chris Kent

For the first time in five years, Syracuse University is in a college football bowl game. The No. 17 ranked Orange will face No. 15 West Virginia on Friday Dec. 28 in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fl. Kickoff is set for 5:15 pm and the game will be televised on ESPN.

It is the second time Syracuse has played in this bowl game as the Orange also appeared in it when it was called the Champs Sports Bowl in 2004. Georgia Tech beat Syracuse 51-14 in what was the final game for Orange head coach Paul Pasqualoni. This year’s bowl appearance is the first bowl game for Syracuse since it beat Minnesota 21-17 in the Texas Bowl following the 2013 season.

Head coach Dino Babers is restoring prominence to Syracuse football.

Behind a breakthrough 2018 season in which the Orange went 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, head coach Dino Babers has restored Syracuse to national prominence on the gridiron. The Orange finished second behind No. 2 Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division. The Orange, who handed Clemson its’ only loss in 2017, gave the Tigers all they could handle this season before Clemson handed Syracuse its’ first loss of the season 27-23 on Sept. 29.

In his third year as Orange head coach, Babers lead Syracuse to a five-win improvement from 2017 that was sparked by a pair of four game win-streaks. Along the way, Syracuse defeated perennial national power Florida State 30-7 on Sept. 15 for the first time since 1966 which ended a 10-game losing streak to the Seminoles. Syracuse finished undefeated (6-0) at home in the Carrier Dome this season, its’ first undefeated home season since 2001 and only its’ fourth all time since the dome opened in 1980.

West Virginia is the fourth-most common opponent for Syracuse as the two have met 60 times on the gridiron with the Orange holding a 33-27 edge. Only Pittsburgh (74), Penn State (71), and Colgate (67) have played Syracuse more often than the Mountaineers. The Orange and Mountaineers formerly met yearly as members of The Big East Conference. The last time the two met was in 2012 when the Orange won 38-14 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY to cap an 8-5 season.

Syracuse emerged this season behind the play of senior quarterback Eric Dungey. Aside from various injuries causing him to miss 10 games over his first three years, Dungey started all 12 games this season for the first time in his college career. Dungey will leave Syracuse as one of the top quarterbacks in Orange history. Dungey and Syracuse legend Donovan McNabb are the only two quarterbacks in school history with 6,000+ passing yards and 1,000+ rushing yards. Entering the 2018 season, Dungey, who is Syracuse’s career leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, stands among the top 10 in school history in 10 other categories including completion percentage (2nd, 61.7 %), passing touchdowns (5th, 40), and passing yards (4th, 6,472). Dungey threw for a season-high 411 yards in a 51-41 win over North Carolina State on Oct. 27 to extend his school career records to 10 300-yard passing games and three 400-yard passing games.

Dungey was healthy nearly the entire season in 2018 and was named the ACC Quarterback of the Week four times. The 6-4 226-pound signal caller was named to the All-ACC Third Team and was the recipient of Syracuse’s Bill Horr award as team MVP. Dungey pressures the defense with his dual threat capability in passing and running where he exudes toughness. In completing 60.1 percent of his passes (205-for-341) this season, Dungey has thrown for 2,565 with 17 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. On the ground, Dungey is second on the team with 732 yards and a team-high 15 touchdowns. Read the rest of this entry →

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