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This is it.For USC’s senior class, Saturday will be its last hurrah at the Coliseum. Although the season may not have gone as planned for the 19 players suiting up for the final time at home, establishing bowl bids and the Pac-10 pecking order will still be at stake when No. 20 USC (8-3, 5-3) takes on Arizona (7-4, 5-3) Saturday at 12:30 p.m.Saying goodbye · Sixth-year defensive back Josh Pinkard will be among the 19 seniors that will suit up at the Coliseum for the final time on Saturday against Arizona. – Mike Lee | Daily TrojanA bid to the Holiday Bowl could be on the line for both the Wildcats and the Trojans, pending the result of Thursday night’s game between Oregon and Oregon State. Both USC and Arizona could finish the season either tied for second in the Pac-10 or tumble down to sixth place.“We’re kind of feeling good about getting back on track after the two weeks prior,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “We are looking forward to this last go round.”Safety Taylor Mays is among the seniors who will be playing for the final time in the Coliseum. Cornerback Josh Pinkard and offensive guard Jeff Byers will also be making their final starts after six years with USC.“It’s a great group of kids and we hate seeing them go,” Carroll said. “We’d love to send them off on a great note.”Despite securing two late touchdown drives against UCLA, including a controversial decision to throw a touchdown to redshirt junior wide receiver Damian Williams in the final minute, Carroll is still looking for more out of his offense. He said he was especially concerned with the team’s performance on third downs, where penalties and plays for negative yards kept the Trojans behind the chains.USC converted four of 12 third-down attempts last week and ranks 100th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in third-down efficiency.“It continues to be an issue,” Carroll said. “Because of the long yardage situations, we gave up on some of them just to kick the football back. We have to improve there.”With junior running back Joe McKnight sitting out practice Wednesday, redshirt junior running back Allen Bradford could see an increased workload following a two-touchdown performance against UCLA. Bradford carried the ball 14 times against the Bruins and helped USC control the ball and keep the clock running late in the game.“We love him being part of the offense,” Carroll said. “So it wouldn’t be any problem for me at all to run him 25 times if that was the case in the game.”The Wildcats have experienced a rocky season in which six of their games have been decided by eight points or less. Last week, Arizona needed a last-second field goal to defeat rival Arizona State.But for all the progress that Arizona has made this season, USC remains one of the few great tests. The Wildcats have not beaten the Trojans in the last seven years, despite holding the contest close in each of the last two years.Arizona coach Mike Stoops said Saturday’s game would be a good measuring stick for how far the program has come.“Competing against USC, I think tells you a lot about where you’re at,” Stoops said. “I think you learn more and more about your team as you go through it. Certainly we’ll see how we match up with USC Saturday.”The Wildcats are still sorting our a series of injuries to several key players on their explosive offense. Junior running back Nic Grigsby is not expected to play Saturday because of a shoulder injury. Sophomore quarterback Nick Foles has a broken non-throwing hand but will still try to play against the Trojans. Backup sophomore quarterback Matt Scott is expected to see time on a handful of plays as a change-of-pace player.But even with the injuries, Carroll noted that the Wildcats’ attack was dangerous because of its versatility.“We have a big preparation in store here to get ready for this thing,” Carroll said. “They’ve scored a lot of points this year and done a lot of good stuff with their offense.”
Courtesy of SU AthleticsChris Fox turned Syracuse from afterthought to champion as the head of the cross country program, and even Jim Boeheim knows how good of a coach he is. “Boeheim would always say to me,” former director of athletics Daryl Gross said. “‘Chris Fox is the best coach in the department.’”When athletes look to transfer, schools have all the powerIllustration by Lucy Naland | Presentation DirectorWhen college athletes want to transfer to another school, their own college can hold them back, “blocking” their transfer to specific schools. This happened to SU softball player Baylee Douglas when she tried to transfer from her previous college, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.John Bonamego had his dream job, not even cancer could slow him down Facebook Twitter Google+ Part of The Daily Orange’s coverage of Syracuse Athletics — and more — this fall is the numerous features written by our staff. As the fall semester comes to a close, we compiled a list of our 10 best-written stories from the past five months. In this list are stories about the photo of a cheerleader that become the symbol of the Pan Am 103 bombing, the tale of former football head coach Scott Shafer’s return to the Carrier Dome and how Gerry McNamara is still beloved in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.Read the whole list below.THE WHOLE PICTURE: How a cheerleader became the face of Syracuse University on the night of the Pan Am Flight 103 attack.Courtesy of Lawrence MasonIn the hours after Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, Syracuse played a home basketball game. At the game, cheerleader Catherine Crossland, now Catherine Hauschild, turned and embraced fellow cheerleader Amy Jo Eveleigh as then-SU professor Lawrence Mason snapped the above photo which would soon become a vivid memory of the tragedy.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRUNNING IN PLACE: Eric Dungey has always said he will run less. Then he runs anyway.Jessica Sheldon | Staff PhotographerIn high school, Eric Dungey said he’d run less. Early in his college career, Eric Dungey said he’d run less. Before his junior campaign, Dungey said he’d run less. He didn’t.BEHIND THE NUMBER: The death Gabrielle Cooper’s father fueled her passion for basketball, which led her to become a star at Syracuse.Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerGabrielle Cooper’s father died in 2011, spurring her passion for basketball and setting her mind on wearing No. 11 to honor her late father. As the only returning starter for a Syracuse team two-years removed from a national championship run, Cooper will play a leading role for the Orange.Chris Fox molded Syracuse cross country from one of the worst college programs into a national powerhouse Courtesy of Paulette BonamegoJohn Bonamego had always wanted to be Central Michigan’s head football coach, but when he finally got the job he got life changing news: He had cancer. Never missing a practice or meeting, Bonamego beat cancer and was on the sideline as scheduled for the Chippewas and has been there ever since.Isis Young embraces her name’s roots over negative associationsJosh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerIsis Young is named after an Egyptian goddess, but recently, her first name has become associated with terrorism. Still, Young refuses to let the negative connotations of her name drag her down, instead choosing to embrace the roots of her name.Syracuse pulls off monumental upset of No. 2 Clemson, 27-24Todd Michalek | Staff PhotographerOn Oct. 13, a Friday night, then-No. 2 Clemson came to the Carrier Dome for a matchup with Syracuse. What ensued was one of the biggest wins in Syracuse’s history. The game stayed tight, but a few key plays — a late Cole Murphy field goal, a botched fake punt by the Tigers, a critical chain-moving run by Eric Dungey — swayed the game in SU’s favor.15 years after arriving at Syracuse, Gerry McNamara still beloved in hometownTodd Michalek | Staff PhotographerThere is little in Gerry McNamara’s childhood home to indicate he is one of Scranton, Pennsylvania’s, biggest stars. Elsewhere around town, like at Stirna’s Restaurant, McNamara is still idolized as a hometown hero.Former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer to return to Carrier Dome as MTSU’s defensive coordinatorDaily Orange File PhotoSyracuse fired Scott Shafer as head football coach in late 2015 after SU knocked off Boston College in Shafer’s final game at SU. Two years later, Shafer returned to the Carrier Dome as Middle Tennessee State’s defensive coordinator helping guide MTSU to an upset of the Orange. Comments Published on December 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm