Strong defensive effort not enough as Syracuse falls to Rutgers, 17-7 (full coverage)

The Syracuse defense held Rutgers to under 200 yards of total offense, was flying around getting stops all afternoon, but the Orange could not overcome special teams and offensive mistakes as the Scarlet Knights spoiled the home opener with a 17-7 win. The loss drops Syracuse to 1-1 on the season, while Rutgers improves to 2-0.

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When the Orange run out of the tunnel at the Loud House prior to Saturday’s 2 p.m. contest against Rutgers, 650 days will have passed since they last played in front of their hometown fans.

Syracuse ended the 2019 season with a dramatic 39-30 overtime victory against Wake Forest on Senior Day in the Dome on Nov. 30. That was the last time fans were permitted in the building for football as last season’s six home games were played with no one in the stands due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That will all change on Saturday.

“I know the community is going to be excited to get back into the Dome and we can’t wait to have our 12th man back with us,” head coach Dino Babers said. “It’s going to be an exciting game. It’s going to be a physical game and we’re looking forward to it.”

Over 50-percent of the Orange roster have never played a game in front of fans in the Dome.

When fans do come back on Saturday, they will see their team take on a familiar foe. The Orange host Rutgers, renewing a series that dates back to 1914. The squads last met in 2012 when both were members of The BIG EAST Conference. Syracuse leads the all-time series, 30-12-1.

The Orange are 92-33-4 in home openers – a record that excludes the 1889 and 1979 seasons when they didn’t play a home game. Since the Dome opened in 1980, Syracuse is 23-18 in home starters.

Saturday’s game marks the first time football fans will experience a new stadium experience. It features a new fixed roof, a massive center-hung coreboard, air conditioning, improved concession stands, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, improved accessibility and added Wi-Fi capabilities are just a handful of features.

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