Losses to Purdue, Virginia and Florida State held back the team's progress, but the Orange are in position to earn their first bowl berth since 2001.
Syracuse (6-5) handed Boston College a 43-17 loss on Saturday,
earning a share of the Big East championship and a likely bowl invitation.
Syracuse, No. 19 Pittsburgh, No. 23 Boston College and West Virginia
finished in a four-way tie for the conference title.
The Orange was squeezed out of Big East's guaranteed tie-ins, but
there are plenty of other bowls needing to fill open spots.
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Syracuse's rushing offense, which is ranked
second in the Big East (190.4 ypg.), took a hit when reserve tailback
Damien Rhodes left the Boston College game on Nov. 27 with a knee injury.
With starter Walter Reyes already sidelined with a shoulder ailment,
strong safety Diamond Ferri stepped in and rushed for 141 yards and two
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Syracuse owns the Big East's fifth-ranked
scoring (26.6 ppg.) and total (418.9 ypg.) defense. LB Jerry Mackey leads
the team with 97 tackles.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "If they want to leave the Big East, we'll send them
out with a loss." -- Diamond Ferri, in the Boston Globe, on spoiling
future ACC member Boston College's hopes for a BCS bid.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
NEXT GAME: Syracuse (6-5) awaits word on its postseason future.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: SS Diamond Ferri -- The senior turned in one of
the season's most impressive performances against Boston College on Nov.
27, while playing three positions. He rushed for 141 yards and two
touchdowns, returned an interception 44 yards for a score and made six
tackles in a 43-17 win. He also returned punts.
QB Perry Patterson -- The sophomore completed 9 of 16 passes for 88
yards and rushed for a 5-yard touchdown in the victory over Boston
ROSTER REPORT: TB Walter Reyes (shoulder) missed Syracuse's final
two games, but he might be ready for a postseason appearance. TB Damien
Rhodes (knee) left the Boston College game in the first quarter and
NOTEBOOK: Orange likely looking at bowl bid
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