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Syracuse Orange football seek first bowl win since 2018

Yankees Media Relations (New York Yankees)

The Syracuse Orange football team takes on the Minnesota Golden Gophers Thursday afternoon in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl.

Syracuse Quarterback Garrett Shrader said the team was focused on making it to a bowl game since the start of the season. The team started out strong with six consecutive wins but stumbled soon after with a five-game losing streak.

"We definitely feel like we have underachieved in terms of what we were capable of," Shrader said. "It was tough schematically to go out there and win football games there for a little bit. We've bent, but we didn't break."

At a recent press conference, Orange Head Coach Dino Babers said his team earned the right to play in the bowl game and what matters now is representing the university the right way.

"We understand that it's difficult," Babers said. "We understand there's certain guys that aren't playing. There's certain guys that are playing on the other side. But the great thing about football is once the ball is kicked off none of that stuff matters."

Several Orange players opted out of the game, are injured or are transferring. Babers said although a bowl game typically marks the end of a season, he's viewing it as a start.

"The guys that are out on the football field, it's their first opportunities for a lot of those guys to shine. I'm excited to see what some of the young people are going to do. They're going to make some mistakes, but if they make them full speed and as the game goes on, if they progress and get better, then that's going to be exciting for our future."

Syracuse is making its first bowl appearance since 2018, the team's 27th in total with a record of 16 wins, nine losses and one tie.

Kickoff is at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.