Syracuse comes into Saturday’s game against Stony Brook on a seven game losing streak dating back to last season. Though the Orange has played better through the first two games of the season, it has no wins to show for it.
Will Syracuse defeat Stony Brook? Here are three other questions to ask.
CAN SYRACUSE END ITS LOSING STREAK?
Syracuse certainly showed that it can hang with the top teams in the nation when it lost 42-29 against No. 2 USC on Saturday. It was about as positive a loss as there could be.
“We did win the moral victory,” receiver Alec Lemon said. “We lost the game, but we feel great about what we did.”
Still, moral victories don’t help in the win/loss column, nor do they count toward bowl eligibility.
It’s been since Oct. 21, 2011 since the Orange last won a game. So Football Championship Subdivision team or not, SU is hungry for a win.
“We’re looking for our first win,” quarterback Ryan Nassib said. “So that’s the biggest motivation right now. We are going to pick this up and take it to a whole different level.”
WHO ARE THE SEAWOLVES?
Stony Brook isn’t going to be a cupcake team for Syracuse. Though the Seawolves started 0-3 last season, it reeled off 11 straight wins, including a 41-31 win over Big South favorite Liberty. In the FCS playoffs, the Seawolves advanced to the second round before being knocked out by Sam Houston State University.
That momentum has carried into this season, as Stony Brook has won its first two games of the season. Last week, the Seawolves demolished Pace 77-7 at LaValle Stadium, backed by 521 rushing yards. Six different players rushed for more than 50 yards, including All-American Miguel Maysonet (7 rushes, 53 yards, two touchdowns) and Iowa transfer Marcus Coker (11 rushes, 81 yards, two touchdowns).
Like Syracuse, Stony Brook is in its final season in its respective conference. The Seawolves will bolt the Big South for the Colonial Athletic Association in 2013.
WILL THE FANS FILL THE SEATS?
Last season, against FCS Rhode Island, just 36,421 fans came to the Carrier Dome to watch the Orange. And that was when the team started 1-0.
Attendance was a glaring issue for the Orange last week playing against USC at MetLife Stadium in what was billed as a “home” game. With Syracuse about a four hour drive away as opposed to a six hour flight from Southern California, it was embarrassing for the “home” team that out of the 39,507, at least half were rooting for the Trojans.
Although SU has looked better in its first two games, it is still 0-2 and playing a lesser known team. Even the promotion of a free ticket for children age 12 and under may not be able to save the attendance numbers.