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Sunday, Nov 26, 2023 at 2:29 pm

Syracuse Football Secure Bowl Eligibility with 35-31 Win Over Wake Forest

It would have been very easy for you to find yourself on Senior Day for Syracuse Football (6-6, 2-5 in ACC) as it took on Wake Forest (4-8, 1-6 in ACC). Who could blame the fans for not showing up; head coach Dino Babers was fired after the Georgia Tech loss and SU itself hasn’t played its best football as of late. But if you did come, the game was well worth the price of admission, as the Orange took down the Demon Deacons, 35-31.

SU clinched bowl eligibility behind interim head coach Nunzio Campanile, who said Babers’ firing was something he and all the other assistant coaches used as motivation to get the players ready.

“I totally encouraged them to address it, to communicate with it, to talk to the assistant coaches about it,” Campanile said. “But at the same time, they did an excellent job of staying focused on winning this game. They practiced great all week and there are some special guys in that locker room.”

The acting voice on the sideline wasn’t the only thing different about the game. The whole strategy and game plan were different too. The Orange aired the ball out more than they have in recent memory.

Dan Villari, who’s been known to catch a couple of touchdown passes also threw for one. Senior quarterback Garrett Shrader also had himself a day, tossing three touchdowns for the first time since the Colgate game. The performance wasn’t just for him, it was for all the seniors that played their final game at the Dome.

“I had a lot of different voices in my ear, just in terms of what I should do regarding my career,” said the gunslinger. “But there’s too many guys on this team that work too hard. I’m grateful for them, I wanted to send them off the right way. We had a lot of guys beat up but we got it done, so I’m happy for them.”

While it may be some of the player’s last game at the Dome, it wasn’t SU football’s last game at all this season. The ‘Cuse will be in the postseason for the second season in a row. Although the Orange don’t who know they’ll play, or when, they look to send the seniors off on an even higher note.