Syracuse Football is Bowling!
By Brittany Ehrlich
Citrus TV Football Reporter
Syracuse (6-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast) is officially bowl eligible thanks to quarterback Eric Dungey’s impressive performance against No. 22 NC State (5-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast).
Dungey produced 443 all-purpose yards on Saturday night, eclipsing Donovan McNabb’s school record and becoming the first player in Orange history to break the 10,000-yard mark.
“This is a great win,” Dungey said. “Every win against a ranked opponent is big”
Earlier in the week it was unclear if Dungey would get the start against the Woldpack as freshman red shirt Tommy Devito replaced Dungey against North Carolina and led SU to victory when Dungey could not.
SU head coach Dino Babers thinks putting the pressure on his quarterback helped him to succeed against NC State.
“How about Eric Dungey being challenged all week,” Babers said. “He’s like Seabiscuit. You don’t hit him…you show him the whip.”
Dungey seemed to almost agree with his coach.
“I don’t want to say I was getting complacent but I was getting too comfortable,” Dungey said.
“I opened that can because that can needed to be opened,” Babers added. “If you have a racing car you don’t need to drive it like Miss Daisy. You don’t decelerate. You need accelerate. We need guys playing on the edge. It needs to look right. We’re gonna drive it that way. If we do go off the road… we crash…. We’re gonna drive it on the edge.”
Teammates Sean Riley and Nykeim Johnson said they knew Dungey was going to have a huge performance. Those two were Dungey’s main targets for the night. Riley received for 164 yards and Johnson for 136. Dungey said his chemistry with the two especially Riley who he practiced with over the summer was key for the success.
A final reason Dungey believes the orange were victorious was the crowd of 40,769 people. This was the largest crowd of the season to the Carrier Dome.
“The crowd played a huge role,” Dungey said. “Especially on defense. It get’s the momentum behind us when they bring the noise. It’s really fun also.”
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