With Dino Babers’ debut, Syracuse gets a new beginning

first_img Related Stories Mettus: What you can actually take away from Syracuse football’s 1st game under Dino Babers3 things Dino Babers said at his weekly press conference ahead of Syracuse’s matchup with LouisvilleSyracuse football depth chart: Week 2 vs. No. 19 LouisvilleSyracuse football visual breakdown: How SU recovered from Colgate’s 1st touchdown with one of its own For the middle-aged men in the Waverly Avenue parking lot across from Newhouse 3 jumping around for “Shots” by LMFAO and Lil’ Jon (2009), dating themselves with “Check Yo Self” by Ice Cube (1993) and getting only as current as “Cinderella Man” by Eminem (2010), this was new.For the two friends sitting on Marshall Street drinking Miller Lites talking about the 1959 national championship, SU’s only title, and tradition of Syracuse football, this was new.For Joe Mussi, a tailgater who kept season tickets through the Greg Robinson era, this was new.“I think Syracuse got the diamond in the rough,” SU fan Chris Niles said as he sat with a friend on Marshall Street. “Because every big name, big time college football coach started somewhere. They start out in small schools and they finally get hired by a big time college football program … Dino Babers is that diamond … I think we got lucky.”Jessica Sheldon | Photo EditorOn Friday, white clouds rounded out a baby blue sky. The sun was uncharacteristically bright and the temperature mild. The sign on the Marion parking lot was flipped upside down — just like Friday was.Syracuse won following a season full of losses.Earlier this week, SU defensive backs coach Nick Monroe and his wife Nicole had a child, Syracuse broadcaster tweeted before Friday’s game.At 6 p.m., a man dressed in a tuxedo and a woman in a long, flowing white gown took wedding pictures on the University Place promenade. They posed and held hands until the groom leaned in for a kiss.It’s been nine months, but Syracuse got the new beginning it needed on Friday. New could be good. New could be bad. But on Friday, new was enough.Babers did an on-field television interview as his players sang the alma mater. He stayed until nearly the whole team left the field, save for Eric Dungey, who took his turn with an interview.On his way to the locker room, Babers embraced a young fan wearing a No. 1 orange Syracuse jersey. Then he clapped, fist pumped and broke into a jog while high-fiving a few fans hanging their arms over the railing into the tunnel.Before the game, fans said they wouldn’t be mad if Syracuse lost — they know the team and coach are new. Both deserve time, they said. Fans refrain from specific long-term expectations but also just want the team to do well.As Stinson spoke about everything from the beers they were drinking to buying season tickets in the last three seasons to support a struggling team, the other tailgaters listened.“I’m going to put this in the journal,” one said. Comments A tailgater cracked open her Syracuse notebook. “Syracuse Orange” was printed in italics on the front and a block “S” sat centered above the school’s name.“New era, new journal,” she said, despite never having journaled an SU season before.Her crew of tailgaters had Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ales — the label is orange — a tent and some chairs. Stinson was scrawled along the worn side of a chair’s arm. She happened upon the journal when she went to the store and realized she could chronicle Dino Babers’ first season in it.Everything they eat, everything they see, everything they smell will be written in the new journal.On Friday, that was a 33-7 Syracuse (1-0) win over Colgate (0-1). The victory breathed life into a program that looked beaten down after last season. The feel of the win was different. The feel of the win was new.Some things, of course, never change. Students streamed out early. Fans only filled a little more than half the Carrier Dome. Tailgaters expressed hope for the season with the caveat of more hope they won’t be failed again.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd yet, the football on the field overcame that.Jessica Sheldon | Photo Editor“As a fan, I’m hoping we get a win, and after that I hope it’s a lot of yardage,” said Dan Stinson, who tailgated in the Marion parking lot. “We just want to see what Dino (Babers) can do.”With the exception of Colgate’s early touchdown, which came after a roughing the punter penalty on Syracuse’s Shyheim Cullen, nothing felt stale.Graduate transfer Amba Etta-Tawo caught the Orange’s first touchdown of the game.Freshman Moe Neal sped to his first career touchdown on his first career carry in his first career game.The offense chipped at offensive records, including Art Monk’s single-game receptions total — Ervin Philips tied the record with 14.MORE COVERAGE:Mettus: What can actually be taken away from SU’s win against ColgateSyracuse football visual breakdown: SU’s first drive of the gameSyracuse stock watch after an explosive Week 1 victory Published on September 6, 2016 at 12:31 am Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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