History isn’t in favor of Syracuse as it prepares to play Wake Forest on Thursday in its season opener at the Carrier Dome.
The Orange has struggled at home in recent years, as the home field has been anything but an advantage. Last year, the Orange went 2-4 at home with the two wins coming against Football Championship Subdivision teams Maine and Colgate.
“We haven’t had a winning home record since 2004,” Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone said during Monday’s Big East football conference call. “You have to realize how good we had been at home. From 1983 to 2004, we never had a losing home record.”
Then again, history has not looked kindly on anything Syracuse has done in recent memory.
“We haven’t produced back-to-back winning seasons since 2001 or back to back bowl games since ’99,” Marrone said. “Recently, we have not been a good football team.”
That all changed last year, when the Orange became the Big East’s surprise team of the season, clinching its first winning season since the 2001 season, culminating in a 36–34 win over Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl.
But that seems like a distant memory right now.
“Until we start winning and become consistent, history will be against us because of what we’ve done recently,” Marrone said. “One year doesn’t make you consistent.”
The step toward consistency will come against a Wake Forest team that went 3-9 last year, winning just one game in the ACC. A win would be the first time in three years the Orange have won a season opener.
“This is what we’re trying to change,” Marrone said. “It’s not just the season opener, but it’s every single game we play.”Wesley Cheng