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Syracuse Orange Football
Current season Current season
SyracuseOrange.svg SyracuseOrange.gif
First season 1889
Athletic director Daryl Gross
Head coach Doug Marrone
1st year, 4–7  (.364)
Home stadium Carrier Dome
Year built 1980
Stadium capacity 49,250 [1]
Stadium surface FieldTurf [1]
Location Syracuse, New York
Conference Big East
All-time record 673–472–49 (.584)
Postseason bowl record 12–9–1 [2]
Claimed national titles 1 (1959)
Conference titles 4
Heisman winners 1 - Ernie Davis
Consensus All-Americans 42 [3]
Current uniform
BigEast-Uniform-SYR.PNG
Colors Orange and Blue              
Fight song Down The Field
Mascot Otto the Orange
Website SUAthletics.com

The Syracuse Orange football program is a college football team that represents Syracuse University. The team is a member of the Big East Conference, which is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I conference that is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision. The program has one national championship, which was earned for play in the 1959 season. The Orange are currently coached by Doug Marrone, who is in his first year coaching at Syracuse, and home games are played at the Carrier Dome, located in Syracuse, New York.

Contents

Facilities

The Syracuse Orange football team plays their games at the Carrier Dome. The Dome, used for several sports at the university, seats 49,250 for football.[1]

History

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Early History

Syracuse played its first intercollegiate football game in 1889, and achieved its first success in the 1890s and 1900s. With the construction of "state-of-the-art" Archbold Stadium in 1907, Syracuse rose to national prominence under Hall of Fame coach Frank "Buck" O'Neill. The 1915 squad garnered a Rose Bowl invitation that the school declined, having already played on the West Coast that season.

The 1920s saw continued success with teams featuring star end Vic Hanson, the only individual who is a member of both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, and who later coached the team. Through this period, Colgate University was the school's biggest rival.

The late 1930s and 1940s saw a decline in fortunes that began to reverse when Ben Schwartzwalder took over as coach in 1949. Syracuse made its first bowl appearance in the 1953 Orange Bowl, followed by appearances in the 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic and the 1959 Orange Bowl. The 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic team featured Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown. During this era, Penn State emerged as Syracuse's principal rival, replacing Colgate University which had not kept up to compete at a national level.

In 1959, Syracuse earned its first National Championship following an undefeated season and Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Texas. The team featured sophomore running back Ernie Davis, who went on to become the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961. Davis was slated to play for the Cleveland Browns in the same backfield as Jim Brown, but died of leukemia before being able to play professionally.

Syracuse remained competitive through the 1960s with a series of All American running backs, including Floyd Little and Larry Csonka. The program began a gradual decline, though, in the 1970s. The construction of the Carrier Dome in 1980 began to turn the program around, as did the success of future NFL stars Joe Morris and Art Monk.

MacPherson/Pasqualoni Era

The program returned suddenly to national prominence in 1987 under coach Dick MacPherson with an undefeated 11-0 regular season record. The team featured Maxwell Award winning quarterback Don McPherson and fullback Daryl Johnston. The team missed an opportunity to play for the NCAA Division I-A national football championship, because both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Miami also finished undefeated that year and finished higher in the polls. Instead, the team faced Southeastern Conference champion Auburn University in the Sugar Bowl. The game ended in a tie when Auburn kicked a late field goal rather than trying for a game winning touchdown.

Over the next 14 seasons (1988-2001), the program enjoyed tremendous success under coach MacPherson and his successor Paul Pasqualoni, appearing in 11 bowl games (including 3 major bowls) and winning 9. The team also captured or shared 3 Big East football championships during this period. Prominent players of the period included Bill Scharr, Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bulluck, Rob Moore, Donovin Darius, Qadry Ismail, Kevin Johnson, Rob Konrad, Tebucky Jones and Marvin Graves. Rivalries shifted in the early 1990s as Penn State ended its series with Syracuse and joined the Big Ten. Syracuse, meanwhile, joined the newly formed Big East football conference with traditional rivals University of Pittsburgh, and West Virginia University and national programs Boston College and Miami.

Greg Robinson Era

In 2004, Miami and Virginia Tech left the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, followed by Boston College in 2005, threatening the stature of the Big East. Syracuse was originally supposed to leave the Big East and join the ACC, but the ACC decided to invite Virginia Tech to join the conference instead. Thus, Syracuse remained in the Big East. However, the departures coincided with a "dry" period for the football program, prompting the University to hire Greg Robinson, former defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns, as head coach beginning with the 2005 season. That season, the Orange went 1–10, the worst season in Syracuse history.

Former football head coach Greg Robinson "chases" the last of his players onto the field before the kickoff of his inaugural 2005 season. It was also the first game played on the Carrier Dome's new FieldTurf.

On November 12, 2005, Syracuse University retired the uniform number 44, to honor Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, and the legacy of the number itself, which has become so associated with Syracuse that the university's ZIP code, 13244, was requested by university officials to remember those who wore 44 for the Orange.

Syracuse also retired the uniform number 88 in honor of tight end John Mackey (1960–62) on Sept 15, 2007. Mackey, who is considered one of the greatest tight ends to play football, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He was named to the Pro Bowl five times as a member of the Baltimore Colts. He also played in two Super Bowls.

In 2008 the Orange continued to struggle and fired head coach Greg Robinson.

Doug Marrone

It was announced on December 12, 2008 that Doug Marrone, a former Orange player and offensive coordinator for the NFL's New Orleans Saints, had been hired to replace Robinson as head coach.[4]

Logos and uniforms

Syracuse's 2009 uniform combinations


College Football Hall of Famers

Inductee Position(s) Class Year(s)
Biggie Munn Head Coach 1959 1946-1946
Frank "Buck" O'Neill Head Coach 1951 1906-1919
Ben Schwartzwalder Head Coach 1982 1949-1973
Joe Alexander Guard 1997 1980-1983
Larry Csonka Fullback 1989 1965-1967
Ernie Davis Halfback 1979 1959-1961
Vic Hanson End 1973 1924-1926
Floyd Little Halfback 1983 1964-1966
Jim Brown Halfback 1955 1956-1958
Tim Green Defensive tackle 2002 1982-1985
Don McPherson Quarterback 2008 1984-1987
Tad Jones Head Coach 1958 1909-1910
Howard Jones Head Coach 1951 1908-1908
Dick MacPherson Head Coach 2009 1980-1990

Pro Football Hall of Fame

External links

References


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