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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm

4-0 In Consecutive Seasons: A Flashback to the Ernie Davis Era

By Liam Griffin | @RealLiamGriffin

Let’s rewind back to 1960. Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee are topping the charts, Spartacus hits the box office, and Syracuse Football is 4-0 for the second straight season with Ernie Davis roaming the backfield. In 1959, the Orange built off that 4-0 start all the way to an undefeated season, culminating in a Cotton Bowl victory over Texas and being declared national champions by the major polls. 1960 wasn’t quite as successful, but SU still finished 7-2. Fast forward 63 years, and Syracuse is 4-0 in consecutive campaigns once again, and this year’s roster seeks to reach the level that Ernie Davis and others reached all those years ago.

“We all know how last year went, we know we have to stay level-headed,” Orange LB Marlowe Wax remarked. “Just worry about the family, worry about the Ohana, stay locked in, go 1-0 every day, and every Saturday.”

“It gets a lot easier now because you’re playing great opponents every weekend,” Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader said. “We’ve got a great squad and we’re deep, guys are getting hurt and guys are stepping in, next man up, so we just have to make sure we’re ready to go, and we’ve done a great job of that so far and we have to keep that up.”

Both the 1959 and 1960 teams won game number 5 in decisive fashion- a 44-0 blowout over West Virginia in 1959, a 45-0 decimation of the same opponent a year later. Last season, a 59-0 victory over Wagner propelled Syracuse to 5-0 for the first time since 1987. But, 2022 didn’t end so well. A 1-6 slide landed the Orange at 7-6. But, like (Marlowe) Wax mentioned, the team has to stay level-headed to avoid last year’s fate, and replicate the success of the 1959 and 1960 squads, and that could start on Saturday with a victory over Clemson.