Syracuse fans let themselves be heard.
The there were 45,265 people at the Carrier Dome on Friday to see Syracuse upset No. 11 West Virginia, 49-23, the largest crowd since Doug Marrone’s debut with the Orange on September 5, 2009 against Minnesota.
Besides the large number, the crowd was into the game almost immediately after SU took a 7-0 lead with 4:15 left in the first quarter. Smelling the upset, fans were deafening the rest of the way.
“Going into the game we knew that was going to be a big crowd,” senior tight end David Stevens said. “But I don’t think some of the young guys haven seen a crowd like this or heard a crowd like this. They were really loud.”
Attendance for football has been curiously down this season considering the Orange’s recent resurgence. Against Rhode Island on Sept. 10, just 36,421 fans were in the seats.
But that wasn’t the case on Friday, as the capacity crowd even got a wave going in the second half.
It was an atmosphere that had largely been missing for the past 10 years, as Syracuse football went into it worst decade in the program’s history.
That seems like a distant memory now.
“I think the fans were a big part of helping us win,” Marrone said. “It matters. It matters to these kids. These kids care about this community.
“This University cares about the community. It’s great to have people out there, and we feel that the core values of this program reflect not only the University, but also the community. Credit to those fans. They helped us win this game, and a game ball goes to them, as well.”
Corey Mallonee contributed to this article with reporting from Syracuse.