Syracuse Football: Interesting factoids and tidbits as season opener arrives

Syracuse football (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

In recent years, Patriot League member Colgate has stunned Syracuse basketball to snap a massive losing streak for the Raiders to the Orange, and I’m praying a similar outcome doesn’t occur for Syracuse football this Saturday in the team’s 2023 season opener.

Orange football is back, as the ‘Cuse will host fellow Central New York team Colgate this Saturday, Sept. 2, beginning at 4 pm from the JMA Wireless Dome.

Syracuse football is hoping to make a bowl game for the second season in a row, after the ‘Cuse went 7-6 overall in the 2022 term and made an appearance at the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.

I have to admit, I didn’t know that Colgate is the third-most frequent opponent for Syracuse football in the history of the Orange program. On Saturday, the Raiders and the ‘Cuse will do battle for the 68th occasion, per SU Athletics.

The only squads that Syracuse football has faced more than Colgate are two groups from Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh (78 meetings) and Penn State (71 encounters), according to Fun! (Well, it won’t be fun if the ‘Cuse loses on Saturday.)

Syracuse football better not take Colgate lightly on the Hill.

The Orange and the Raiders first played back in 1891. That’s crazy to think about. In their all-time series together, the ‘Cuse and Colgate are tied up at 31-31-5, but Syracuse football has 16 games in a row versus the Raiders.

The last time that Colgate defeated the Orange in football came in 1950. To reiterate, I have visions of the Raiders knocking off Syracuse basketball at the Dome in November of 2021 after having not beaten the ‘Cuse in decades. I repeat, decades.

For some context, though, in recent years, Colgate basketball has proven really good, making the NCAA Tournament a couple of times. The Raiders are an FCS team in football and went 3-8 during the 2022 term. Just to be clear, I do not think that Colgate will conquer Syracuse football this Saturday.

Per SU Athletics, Syracuse football is 20-0 against FCS opponents, but earlier this week, head coach Dino Babers stressed that his players cannot look past Colgate and assume Saturday will prove an easy game.

“We know what our standards are. We know what our standards need to be for us to compete on the highest level, if we meet those standards, we’re going to be ok. The issue with teams like this is guys think it’s going to be easy and it’s not going to be easy,” Babers said, according to a media statement.

Interestingly enough, the ‘Cuse has captured 13 straight contests versus fellow Empire State teams, outscoring those groups by a combined 553-128. That being said, the Orange is under .500 against squads from New York, sporting an overall mark of 75-78-11.

In 2023, Syracuse football can improve that all-time record versus Empire State units, as the ‘Cuse hosts Colgate this Saturday and also welcomes Army to the Hill later on in September.

Babers, who is set to begin his eighth stanza as the Orange’s head coach, is 6-1 in season openers with the ‘Cuse. The Syracuse football program is 93-34-4 in home openers, and that includes a 24-19 mark since the Dome commenced operations in 1980, according to SU Athletics.

What do you think, my friends? Will the Orange move to 7-1 in Babers’ tenure in season openers?

dark. Next. Syracuse Football: Projecting the Orange’s record during the 2023 season