(SU ATHLETICS) - There will be a strong Orange presence at the New York's College Classic when Syracuse (0-1) plays No. 2 USC (1-0) this Saturday, Sept. 8 at MetLife Stadium (3:30 p.m., WWTI-ABC50). Along with Syracuse football greats Joe Morris and David Tyree tossing the coin prior to the game, 26 members of the Orange football team will play closer to home.
"We're going down to play a good football team in USC down in MetLife Stadium," said head coach Doug Marrone. "We understand the advantages of us going down there from a recruiting standpoint, from a development standpoint, from the opportunity to be able to play in a great venue which entices us specially in recruiting. We understand as a university, as an athletic department, as the football coach, that there are a lot of challenges for our fans especially in these economic times. I sit here today and understand that. We are working very hard with the schedule."
Morris, who is Syracuse's career rushing leader with 4,299 yards, and Tyree will be reunited with their alma mater to participate in the pre-game coin toss. Besides sharing a common history of both playing for the Orange, the two also had impressive careers with the New York Giants. Both Morris and Tyree each won a Super Bowl title with the Giants. Morris was a part of the Super Bowl XXI championship and played in two Pro Bowls while Tyree helped capture the Super Bowl XLII championship.
"It's a great opportunity, playing USC," Marrone said. "It's a very challenging task. Having been on both sides of the fence, when you start talking about the top three or four teams in the country, you're talking about great football teams with great players. Obviously we are not at that area yet where we would like to be. That is where we are ascending to and trying to get accomplished. When you do that you have a great opportunity."
The Syracuse football roster features 26 players from the New York and New Jersey region that are close to East Rutherford, N.J., home of MetLife Stadium. The Orange squad boasts 19 players from the New York City area and seven who call the state of New Jersey home. These players will have the unique opportunity of playing a home game closer to their family and friends.
"We've had a good week of practice," Marrone said. "Our players know exactly the situation they're in and that opportunity that's out there for them. We have to go out there early. We have to withstand what USC has."