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Syracuse projected to inaugural Fenway Bowl vs. UCF

At 5-4, Syracuse’s season has been a thousand times better than most could have imagined. Coming off the disastrous 1-win campaign last year, not much was expected of this year’s squad. Yet, with three games to go, the Orange are one win away from a likely bowl game. None of the three games will be easy, so there’s plenty to sweat this month. But if SU can find a way to beat either NC State, Louisville or Pitt, they’re almost guaranteed to get into a bowl.

Right now Athlon Sports is projecting Syracuse into the Fenway Bowl on December 29 vs. UCF. It will be played of course at the home of the Red Sox, and is the earliest kick of a Wednesday triple-header for the ACC on ESPN. The Fenway Bowl kicks off at 11a, then the Pinstripe Bowl at 2:15p, culminating in the Cheez-It Bowl at night. Ironically, it was Athlon Sports who published inflammatory comments from an opposing coach on this supposed lost season.

Athlon has Virginia vs. Maryland in the Pinstripe and Pitt vs. Iowa State in the Cheez-It. A Fenway Park bowl game would mean easy travel for plenty of SU fans. Boston is only a few hours drive from CNY and NYC, the deepest pockets of SU fans. UCF would provide an interesting opponent as well, since the Knights are coached by former Auburn coach Gus Malzhan.

The Fenway Bowl was supposed to make its debut last season but the pandemic canceled it. This will be the first edition of the game. Syracuse is 3-0 all-time vs. UCF, with three wins between ’01-’03 under Coach P.

The Knights aren’t their usual bracket-busting selves this season, although they are one of the 3-4 best teams in the American. Behind Cincinnati is a group of good, but not great, teams like Houston, UCF and SMU. The Knights have lost to Louisville, Navy and Cincy this year, while its best win was a frantic comeback in the opener against Boise State.

UCF’s season was toppled when star quarterback Dillon Gabriel suffered a broken clavicle in September. Backup Mikey Keene has been the starter ever since. SU still needs to collect its sixth win, but a Fenway Bowl slot would be a fun end to a shockingly enjoyable season.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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