Sunday, September 17, 2017

Syracuse Bounces Back with a Blow-Out win against Central Michigan

Story by Ashley Burroughs
Photo by Jared Bomba

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Syracuse Orange football team struggled early, then bounced back for a blowout win against Central Michigan at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. 

Looking at a must-win situation after the loss to Middle Tennessee State a week earlier, the SU offense rolled up 579 yards.The defense held the Chippewas to 382 yards and shut them out in the second half in front of the largest reported crowd this season, 33,004.

“I am very-very proud of them," head coach Dino Babers said. "They really went about their business and came out and played this game the right way. I thought they played extremely well.” 

First Quarter: Back and forth

Central Michigan won the coin toss and deferred. Quarterback Eric Dungey led the Orange down the field but the drive stalled and Cole Murphy hit a 41-yard field to put Syracuse ahead 3-0. 

Central Michigan battled back and Shane Morris completed a 56-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Cole for 56-yards to give the Chippewas 7-3 lead. 

On the next series, Dungey’s pass was intercepted by Jacorey Sullivan at the 28-yard line and while the Orange defense stopped CMU,the Chippewas were alread in position for a 30-yard field goal by Michael Armstrong, extending the lead 10-3. 

Syracuse tied it up when defensive back Evan Foster intercepted a Morris pass and returned it for a 24-yard touchdown and the first quarter ended tied at 10-10

Second Quarter: Momentum Shift for Syracuse

Both teams moved the ball but neither put points on the board early on the second quarter. But at 7:52, Morris completed a pass to Johnathan Ward for a 17-yard touchdown for Central Michigan to regain the lead 17-10. That turned out to be the last score for CMU

Wide receiver Sean Riley, returned the kickoff 64 yards to Central Michigan’s 32-yard line. Six plays later Dungey compled an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dontae Strickland to tie the game 17-17. 

Later in the quarter, Syracuse defensive back Christopher Fredrick intercepted Morris’s pass at the 24-yard line and returned it to the SU 47-yard line. Dungey completed a deep pass for 44 yards to Riley resulting in a first down for the Orange. Strickland took it the last nine yards up the middle to give Syracuse a 24-17 lead at the half.

"Sean did a great job," Dungey said. "They defensively set the tempo for us. Defense did a great job today. The line did a great job. You know Sean and the receivers making plays and some of the young guys stepping up." 

Third Quarter: Dungey Making Major Plays 

At the start of the third quarter, the Orange continued to drive the ball. Wide receiver Moe Neal, made a game-changing play by rushing the ball 71-yards to Central Michigan’s putting Syracuse in the red zone again. Dungey completed a 17 yard pass to Steve Ishmael to the one-yard line. Then, Dungey ran the ball up the middle for a touchdown increasing Syracuse’s lead to 31-17. 

As the Orange defense shut CMU down, SU's offense kept churning out big gains. Dungey took a turn, rushing the ball 74-yards to Central Michigan’s six-yard line before the Chippewas caught up with him. 

"It was good, I wish I would have scored but I haven't had a long run like that since high school," Dungey said. "The offense did a great job- the line making a hole for me and I saw the opportunity and I just tried to make a play. I am glad we were able to capitalize after that."

This play set up a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ravian Pierce to pad the lead to 38-17. Cole Murphy kicked a 25-yard field goal to end quarter., 41-17, Syracuse.

Fourth Quarter: Orange Defense Dominates

Central Michigan continued to struggle offensively due to the Orange defense. Morris had two complete passes for nine yards to get a first down. Wide receiver Romelo Ross rushed the ball up the middle for five-yards, appearing to get a touchdown but the play reviewed and it was ruled a fumble and SU recovery. The Orange defense continued to play well thus holding Central Michigan scoreless in the fourth quarter. Syracuse coasted to a 41-17 win.

Looking Ahead:

The Orange will be facing two tough opponents in the next two games. Syracuse (2-1) will be on the road Sept. 23 against LSU (2-1) then at North Carolina State the following Saturday. 

"We just have to go in there focus and play the way we play," Riley said. 

The LSU Tigers (2-1) were ranked 12th in the country but got blown out Saturday at Mississippi State (3-0). The game is schedule to start at 7 p.m.

This was the first loss of the season for Central Michigan (2-1). The Chippewas will host the Miami RedHawks (1-2) next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Syracuse pulls away from Central Michigan - photos

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Syracuse shut out Central Michigan in the second half on the way to a 41-17 win over the Chippewas. Here are the game photos, shot by Jared Bomba. Click on any picture to start the slide show.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Marv Albert Honored by WAER

Story by Zach Staton
Photos by Hub Brown, Zach Staton, Staff

SYRACUSE N.Y. - Before he became “The Voice of the New York Knicks,” fans were already accustomed to Marv Albert’s voice ringing throughout the stands in Madison Square Garden.

“I used to go to the top of Madison Square Garden and do play-by-play for all of the Knicks games,” Albert told the crowd gathered in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium at Syracuse University's Newhouse School.

"That really got on the nerves of the fans around me,” he said, drawing enthusiastic laughter.

Hall of Fame Broadcaster

Albert was inducted into the WAER Hall of Fame Wednesday evening, joining alums such as Ted Koppel, Bob Costas, Sean McDonough, Dick Stockton, Beth Mowins, Mike Tirico and Ian Eagle.

WAER also announced that its news and sports studios have been named in his honor.

WAER, the University- licensed radio station, is currently professionally staffed but uses student volunteers in broadcasting news and sports.  When Albert attended Syracuse, from 1960-1963, the station was entirely run by students.  He said he knew he wanted to be a sportscaster and it was one of Albert’s idols who convinced him the opportunity he had at WAER would be unlike anything else.

“I had gotten to know Marty Glickman quite well when I worked for him in high school,” Albert said.  “He kind of convinced me that coming here would be the right move because it had all the good sports teams and it had WAER.”

Glickman, the Olympic runner and Syracuse football star turned sports broadcaster is legendary as the person who started the line of successful sports media professionals who came through SU although WAER did not exist when he was a student, graduating in 1939. He became the play-by-play man for the NBA New York Knicks and the New York football Giants, broadcasting a wide variety of sports and mentoring dozens of successful broadcasters who came after him.

WAER Sports - the incubator

At WAER, Albert called play-by-play for various sports, including basketball and lacrosse.  He also called Syracuse Chiefs baseball games in 1962, the same position former S.F. Giants and N.Y. Yankees announcer Hank Greenwald, Monday Night Football announcer Sean McDonough, ESPN and Chicago White Sox announcer Jason Benetti, “Voice of the Orange” Matt Park and other SU alums held early in their careers.  Each was a student broadcaster at WAER. 

“It is fantastic to see that kind of success,” Albert said. “The more people are produced here, the more people are attracted to come here.”

Albert moved on to become the play-by-play broadcaster for the New York Knicks from 1967-2004, the lead announcer for the NBA on NBC from 1990-2002, and is currently calling NBA games on TNT. He's also made his mark as Voice of the New York Rangers in the NHL and covering boxing, including in the Olympics for NBC.

Sparring with the Czar

Former NBA head coach and current Turner Sports colleague Mike Fratello delivered the Hall of Fame introductory speech, showing that they are not just good broadcast partners, but also close friends off the air.  In addition to saluting Albert, the man Albert dubbed "Czar of the Telestrator" poked fun at his various appearances on television shows such as Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons, and Sesame Street, which the audience saw in a highlight clip.

“Marv was always trying to get into acting,” Fratello said. “He was so prepared for the games during that phase, he leaned over to me one game and asked, ‘Who is that wearing the number 23?’ So I said, ‘That’s Michael Jordan.’”

Albert made sure to return fire, playing a video of Fratello getting angry at officials while he was coaching. 

Fellow greats

Joining Albert in the 2017 WAER Hall of Fame class were Ed Levine, owner of Galaxy Communications, and Scott MacFarlane, an investigative reporter for NBC 4 in Washington D.C.

In his speech, MacFarlane highlighted a trip he made with his father to watch the Denver Nuggets play the New Jersey Nets.  The teams' play-by-play announcers were Al and Steve Albert, Marv's younger brothers.

"I thought, 'Wow, those guys must have a really good older brother,'" MacFarlane said.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Middle Tennessee Beats Syracuse at the Dome

Story by Erica Pieschke

Photo by Ivan Traczuk

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders came from behind, then held off two late Syracuse drives to upset the favored Orange 30-23 at the Carrier Dome, Saturday. 

It was a triumphant return for former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer who is now the defensive coordinator for Middle Tennessee. His defense repeatedly stymied the Orange's fast-paced offense, and stopped Syracuse just short in its final drive to tie the game. 

Shafer's successor as head coach, Dino Babers said the emotion that Shafer’s presence brought had an effect on the SU players.

"There’s nobody to blame but myself," Babers said. "It’s my job to get them ready, they weren’t ready. We didn’t handle the emotional roller coaster with all the stuff that was brought into this game.”

First Quarter: Slow Start 

The teams exchanged punts early in the game, but on MTSU's second possession the Blue Raiders drove to the Syracuse 24. Evan Foster forced a Brad Anderson fumble and Parris Bennett recovered for Syracuse at the 16..

From there the Orange want backwards.

Dontae Strickland was stopped after a three-yard run. Quarterback Eric Dungey threw an incomplete pass to Steve Ishmael, then was sacked for a six-yard loss.

The snap went over punter Sterling Hofrichter's head and into the end zone and he took a safety. Middle Tennessee led 2-0 halfway through the first quarter.

A couple of series later, Syracuse's Jonathan Thomas intercepted a Brent Stockstill pass at the MTSU 19 and ran it back to the four-yard line. The Orange looked to be in business.

But Strickland was stopped for two consecutive losses rushing, and another incomplete pass from Dungey to Ishmael on third down led Syracuse to settle for a field goal. Cole Murphy connected from 25 yards out, putting Syracuse in the lead 3-2.

Shane Tucker returned Murphy's kickoff 64-yards to the Syracuse 35 and while the first quarter ended with Syracuse ahead 3-2, that wouldn't last long.

Dungey had a total of four yards passing while Middle Tennessee’s Stockstill ended the quarter with 118 yards.

Second Quarter: Missed chances

Stockstill opened the second quarter by keeping the ball for a 12-yard gain to the SU 14. Ty Lee took it the rest of the way on the next play and Canon Rooker added the extra point, putting Middle Tennessee back in the lead 9-3.

This seemed to fire up Syracuse. After Sean Riley returned the kickoff to the SU 48, the Orange drove to the MTSU one-yard line this time Strickland took it in up the middle.

After Murphy’s extra point, Syracuse had the lead back at 10-9.

The Orange stopped the Blue Raiders and drove again, this time to the MTSU eight-yard line. But a fourth-down pass to Ishmael went incomplete and SU came away empty.

The Orange stopped the Blue Raiders again, and again drove, this time to the MTSU four-yard line. A rush and two incomplete passes left Babers with another choice and this time he took the field goal. Murphy's 22-yard kick was good.

Syracuse led 13-9 at the half.

Third Quarter: MTSU ties it

Dungey came off the field gimpy, early in the second half after a couple of hard hits, one of which got MTSU defensive end Walter Brady tossed out for targeting.

Backup Zach Mahoney drove Orange to the MTSU 19-yard line but got sacked, losing six yards, and Syracuse set up for another field goal. Murphy made the 40-yard kick, putting Syracuse up 16-9.

The Orange seemed in control when it forced a Blue Raiders' three-and-out, but Riley fumbled the punt, Ruben Garnett recovered at the SU 28 and the Stockstill was not about to miss another chance.

After getting nowhere on first and second down, he passed found Richie James open for the score.
Rooker's extra point tied the score at 16-16.

Murphy missed a 40-yard attempt that would have given Syracuse back the lead and the third quarter.

ended with the tie intact.

Fourth Quarter: Blue Raiders finish it

Stockstill opened the fourth quarter with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Ty Lee and suddenly the Blue Raiders had the lead back.

Dungey answered with an eleven-play, 75-yard drive, taking it in himself on a 29-yard keeper up the middle to tie the game at 23.

Stockstill led Middle Tennessee 75 yards in ten plays,  hitting Shane Tucker on a a ten-yard crossing route for the touchdown and a 30-23 lead.

Syracuse had two more chances, but Dungey was intercepted on the 24 on the first drive.

The Orange defense held and there was one chance left. Syracuse drove again from its own 40.

With 28 seconds left and the Orange at fourth down and 15 yards to go, Dungey completed a sideline pass to Ishmael who was close to the first-down marker. As the Syracuse crowd held its collective breath, the play was reviewed. The catch was ruled one yard short and MTSU ran out the clock.

“Steve did a great job,” Dungey said. “He executed well on that play and the line did a great job as well. I thought we had it, but I guess not.”

Shafer's success

Shafer's defense held Syracuse to 308 yards of total offense, 126 rushing and stopped the Orange twice in comeback attempts in the fourth quarter.

Middle Tennessee threw an array of blitzes at the Orange and Dungey said that caused difficulty, especially early.

Shafer, who embraced a number of his former players before the game, brought a cigar to his post-game media opportunity but passed on any opportunity to gloat.

"It was never about anything more than the kids, the players," he told reporters after the game.
"I love those boys on this Middle Tennessee team and I love those boys at Syracuse."


Quarterback Eric Dungey started out seeming to be affected by the emotion but wound up gaining 89 yards by rushing the ball, 29 of gave him to that touchdown in the fourth quarter.

In addition, Dungey passed a total of 180 yards on 26 completions. This number pushed Dungey past Don McPherson's career completions to being fifth on the SU list with a total of 373.

McPherson was in the Dome as part of the 30th anniversary of the 1987 undefeated SU team that he quarterbacked, winding up second to Notre Dame's Tim Brown in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Linebacker Parris Bennett said his past year’s experience of losses gives him knowledge of how to make a come back for the next game.

“I mean you just got to go look at the film. Look at the mistakes and examine yourself hard,” Bennett says. “But you also can’t let the loss weigh on you and effect you for the next game. After you watch the film, and make your adjustments, you’ve got to flush it.”

Looking Ahead

This was the first loss of the season, and in a game Syracuse was favored to win. Babers said he knows what the team needs  to move forward.

“Well the first thing that we need to do is we need to go back and we need to reexamine ourselves tomorrow, and it has to be an honest evaluation,” Babers said.

“You’ve got to drop the E so we can GO. These young men, sometimes you look at them and tell them the truth and sometimes they believe you and sometimes they don’t. I guarantee you all 104 of them will believe tomorrow in the meeting. And with that belief we have an opportunity to be better.”

Syracuse (1-1) hosts Central Michigan (2-0) Saturday, Sept. 16 at 3:30 p.m. The Chippewas beat Kansas on Saturday, 45-27.

Middle Tennessee (1-1) will be on the road Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 against the University of Minnesota (2-0.) The Golden Gophers rolled over Oregon State, 48-14.