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Saturday, Nov 10, 2018 at 3:35 am

No. 13 Football Rolls Over Louisville on Senior Night

By Luke McGrath

CitrusTV Football Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. –No. 13 Syracuse (8-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) demolished Louisville (2-8, 0-7) 54-23 Friday night in the final home game of the season.

The Orange finished off a perfect season in the Dome for the fourth time since it was built in 1980, the other years were 1987, 1988 and 2001.

Syracuse notched its eighth regular season win for the first time since 2001 and put up five 50-point games in a season for the first time in program history.

On senior night the Orange dominated a Cardinals squad that this year’s group of seniors had never beat, or even compete with. In 2015 SU lost 41-17 on the road, in 2016 SU was embarrassed in the dome 62-28 in a game where Lamar Jackson totaled 610 yards and in 2017 the Orange lost 56-10.

“Louisville’s the one team that’s really smacked us the past three years so you know this felt good for us and,” Eric Dungey said. “I really wanted to win by a lot so I’m happy we did.”

SU head coach Dino Babers made sure to not let his team get complacent against a struggling Louisville team during the week. Babers wrote on a whiteboard the last two years’ scores to make sure his team knew they still had to prove themselves to the Cardinals, said senior linebacker Kielan Whitner.

“He really just like took a moment of silence and just like and you know made sure everybody saw it,” Whitner said. “It cut deep for a lot of us, so it was good to get out there and try to get a little back from what happened.”

One key factor that allowed the Orange to jump out to such a big lead was Louisville turning the ball over in their own territory on four consecutive drives in the second quarter. With the short field Syracuse was able to quickly flip those Cardinal miscues into two touchdowns and two field goals.

Now sitting at 8-2 SU has a big challenge ahead of itself with a neutral site game at Yankee Stadium up next against No. 3 Notre Dame (9-0).

“It’s a game that gives us an opportunity to prove that we belong. To prove we are better than what people think we are. It doesn’t mean we are going to prove it. It just means that we have an opportunity. This football team [Syracuse] was picked to be dead last, and now we are at where we are. We’re on the map. Now, we have the opportunity to get a red circle on the map,” Babers said.

The Irish host Florida State (4-5, 2-5) this Saturday before they head to New York to play the Orange. Kickoff for the Yankee Stadium game is set for Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Senior Circle:

This year the Orange started a new tradition where after the final home game the teams seniors will take a lap around the dome to say goodbye and good luck to all the fans before leaving the field for the final time.

“It was a great feeling. I felt a lot of love and support from a lot of loyal fans. We’ve been through a lot. I’ve been here for five years, and we’ve been through a lot for the past five years. For the fans to be happy for us like they were, it felt like we were a family. It was good to do that for them,” Custis said.

After the game Coach Babers was thrilled with the showing the SU fan base gave with an attendance of 42,797.

Record Setter:

Redshirt freshman Andre Szmyt continued his incredible season with a 4/4 night hitting from 31, 35, 38 and 39 yards and converting all six of his extra point attempts. The 18 point showing gave Szmyt the Syracuse single-season scoring record, surpassing Walter Reyes (128). Now at 132 points for the season, Szmyt is posting some eye popping stats. He his 27/29 on field goal attempts (93.1%) and has added 51 PATs. With his 27 made field goals he now tied for the ACC single season record and is just four away from tying the all-time NCAA record.

Lumcgrat@syr.edu | @L_McGrath14