Starting the week with the team that opened the place
It’s the final week of the Syracuse Orange hosting events in the building known as the Carrier Dome. We’re going to take some time this week to look back at some of the top moments in the Dome’s history…along with some other content that you’d expect from us here. To kick things off we start with the sport that opened the Dome….football.
Syracuse beats #1
The 1984 Orange had started their season 2-1 but were coming off a 19-0 home loss to Rutgers when the top-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers came to town. Against any odds that could be thrown at them, Syracuse showed up and pulled off a 17-9 upset of thHuskers in their prime in front of 47,000 plus in the Dome. It broke a win streak spanning three seasons and sent the Huskers packing. It led to we the Dome crowd rushing the field, and I would say this one was justified.
Coach Mac’s Onions
With an undefeated season on the brink of being ruined by the rival West Virginia Mountaineers, Don McPherson drives the Orange to a late 4th-quarter touchdown to cut the deficit to 1 point. Rather than kick the extra point and take the tie, Dick MacPherson lets his team make the call and Syracuse goes for two and the win…
Throwback Donnie Mac
A long-staple of the Syracuse offense in red zone situations was the tight end throwback. With one final play to take the lead from the Virginia Tech Hokies, Paul Pasqualoni rolls the dice and has Donovan McNabb roll right as Stephen Brominski slips out on the far side into the end zone. McNabb’s throw is away from the defenders as Brominski rises up and hauls in the game-winner.
Reyes leaves his mark
As a junior, Walter Reyes was already a known commodity for the Syracuse Orange, but this game put his name all over the record books, even more than it already was. To close the season in 2003, Reyes went off for five touchdowns in the season finale against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in front of 48,170 in the Dome. He led the Orange in their 38-12 victory en-route to becoming the single season and career leader in rushing touchdowns that day. It also brought the Orange to 6-6 on the season.
Toppling the Tigers
Of course this one had to make it. Eric Dungey put on a show, running from his life and throwing for the win as the Orange hung on to a 27-24 win over the No. 2 Clemson Tigers in the Dome on a Friday night ESPN Primetime matchup. The Syracuse pass rush was immense, keeping Clemson on the back foot the entire game and Dontae Strickland put in workman like shift on the day on the ground to down a 22-point favorite.
Honorable Mention – Trill Williams Strip-Six
Yes, he didn’t need to do it. Yes, the game was won with the strip. Yes it was against Wake and it didn’t matter a whole ton. Yes, Sterling Hofrichter became the career leader in punts and punting yards that game. But damnit, Trill stripping that ball in overtime as Wake was probably on the precipice of winning the game and just running the full 94-yards for the touchdown was one of the craziest moments I (Steve) saw in person and the crowd loved it.
Honorable Mention: 1987 blowout of Penn State
Penn State and Syracuse have a long history but the Nittany Lions had won 16 meetings in a row when the entered the Dome in 1987. Both teams were ranked but the Orange wasted no time in letting their opponent know that this time things would be different as Don McPherson hit Rob Moore for an 80-yard touchdown off the freeze option on Syracuse’s 1st play. This set the tone that this game would be different.
Which ones are we missing? Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments.