No. 20 Syracuse heading to Orlando for Camping World Bowl
SU football team heading to Orlando for Camping World Bowl
The Syracuse football team will go from snow, coats and winter hats to sunshine, sunscreen and Mickey Mouse ears when they travel to Orlando, Florida for the Camping World Bowl.
The Orange, in their first bowl appearance since the Texas Bowl in 2013, will face off against No. 16 West Virginia (8-3) on Dec. 28.
“I think it’s really cool that we’re playing an old rival, and I think our fan base will be fired up about that and tickets are probably being sold as we speak,” Head Coach Dino Babers said. “But really I do appreciate the slotting of it, because that’s where the second team in the ACC normally goes and that’s what we earned this year.”
Many Syracuse fans thought that the Orange (9-3) would be passed over for the Camping World Bowl in favor of an unranked NC State (9-3) and would instead be heading to New York City for the Pinstripe Bowl. However, some “last minute shuffling” with the ACC bowls gave Syracuse the Camping World honor.
Sporting a Hawaiian shirt, Babers in a press conference said West Virginia is the old Texas-Tech branch of offense.
“With that quarterback that they have, [an] outstanding football player [who] can throw the ball all over the yard, [and] receivers that make plays all over the place…” Babers said. “It’ll be — I’d imagine — a defensive contest.
Senior quarterback Eric Dungey said the team is honored to be in this position.
“We’re very happy for making the bowl game, especially a bowl of this caliber,” Dungey said. “We were just looking forward to the opportunity to play in a post-season game. I know my mom’s gonna be happy, being in the sun rather than the cold.”
Babers said while many people focus on the making the “final four, the final eight, the final 16 — I still love the bowl system.”
“When there’s 20 bowls, there’s gonna be 10 winners,” Babers said. “There might be one national champion, but there’s gonna be a bunch of winners, and I’m excited about the opportunity that we have and about the opportunity the players have.
To watch the Orange take on the Mountaineers in person, visit the Camping World Bowl site. Kickoff is at 5:15 p.m.