Syracuse football cancels out Louisville, remains undefeated at home

SU football thumps Louisville to finish home schedule undefeated

SU will play Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17.
Published: November 10, 2018
SU Senior Night
A line of senior players walk around the Carrier Dome following their last home game, a win against ACC rival Louisville. SU Football will finish off their season undefeated at home.

The Syracuse Orange had a successful senior night against Louisville (2-8, 0-7 ACC) on Friday. Cuse (8-2, 5-2 ACC) dominated the Cardinals in a 54 to 23 victory, making this the fourth time in program history the Orange have gone undefeated at the Dome. The last time the team was able to accomplish this was in 2001.

The Dome was a full house on Senior Night, 42,797 people packed the stadium, making it the largest attendance of the season.

Hats Off for the Seniors and Cheers for Dungey

Seventeen seniors wore their home jersey for the last time at the Dome, including: wide receiver Jamal Custis, quarterback Eric Dungey, linebacker Ryan Guthrie, running back Dontae Strickland and linebacker Kielan Whitner — five seniors who have been vital in getting the Orange eight wins this season.

The four-year starting quarterback received a standing ovation from fans chanting one last time, “Eric Dungey! Eric Dungey!” as he checked out of his final game at the Carrier Dome.

Dungey, who is one of the 10 remaining quarterbacks in the hunt for the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, finished his final night of his career at the Dome with 192 passing yards, 62 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

“It still really hasn’t hit me that this is my last game playing here in the Dome,” Dungey said. “It’s really been an honor. We still got two games left to play.”

Unstoppable Moments for the Orange

Syracuse recorded five touchdowns, while the consistent kicker Andre Szmyt went 100 percent, 4 for 4 in field goals. The Orange was unstoppable on both ends of the field. Offensively, the Orange had a field day running the ball for a total of 326 yards over the Cardinal’s 203 yards.

Syracuse’s junior Moe Neal lead the Orange with 159 rushing yards. Less than a minute into the second half, Neal drove the ball down the field for 69 yards for a Syracuse touchdown.

Defensively, the Orange were relentless, completely disrupting everything the Cardinals wanted to do. Sophomore defensive lineman Alton Robinson recorded two sacks on Louisville’s quarterback Juwan Pass, while Chris Slayton and Shyheim Cullen each took down Pass as well.

Louisville Couldn’t Find Rhythm

The Cardinals struggled throughout the entire game, unable to gain momentum against Syracuse’s defensive wall. The Orange forced the Cardinals to turn the ball over four different times, while Louisville finished with 23 points for the night.

While more than a few players left the field because of injuries, many substitutions were made throughout the game. Additionally, Pass fumbled the ball on four different occasions; two of the four were recovered by Cuse.

The Ride or Die Syracuse Fans

Many questions were thrown at Babers during the post-game press conference, but it wasn’t until he was told the exact number of tonight’s attendees — 42,797 — that he went silent. With water building up in his eyes, he paused.

“I’m not going to cry,” Babers said.

Babers talked about the overwhelming support of the Syracuse fans that have been with the team since the very beginning. From losing back-to-back games and players leaving the program, to this moment — to seven consecutive wins, eligibility for a bowl game, ranked at No. 13 — Babers recognized the support of the Orange fans who stuck with this team.

Both Dungey and Custis also recognized the Cuse nation fans. Custis said out of all of the memories playing at the Carrier Dome for his five years, “the support we got at the Dome,” would be the greatest memory he will ever have.

Dungey said the Dome has been one of his favorite places to play. Going from the years of adversity, unable to lock down wins, to being nearly unstoppable this year, the team couldn’t have done it without the support of the Orange fans.

“I remember the fans that stayed since freshman year,” Dungey said. “And for the people that stayed, I really appreciate that.”

Dungey, Babers and the team are now looking forward to take on No. 3 Notre Dame on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Yankee Stadium.

Before leaving the Dome, Babers recognized one more thought on Senior Night.

“To think about where this football team was — picked dead last —and now we’re at where we’re at,” Babers said. “Now they’ve got an opportunity to put us back on the map. We’re on the map.”

SU vs Louisville: Cardinals quarterback Sean McCormack gets hammered by SU Orange D-linemen Chris Slayton and McKinley Williams
Louisville second-string quarterback Sean McCormack gets hammered by SU Orange D-linemen Chris Slayton and McKinley Williams.