It's deja vu for Syracuse, and the Orange are banking on a different ending this time.
A year ago Syracuse was at .500 with four games to play and needed just two wins to become eligible for a bowl game in its first season under coach Dino Babers. The Orange lost all four and stayed home.
There's a big differenc this time _ quarterback Eric Dungey is healthy. He missed all but a few minutes of those four losses after he was knocked out of the first one _ a 54-0 loss at Clemson.
"I think the biggest difference is our quarterback is still standing," Babers said. "Last year we didn't have him. We went four games without him. This year we've still got him. Hopefully, we'll get a lot of players back that are hurt."
Syracuse (4-4, 2-2 ACC) is on a bye week before traveling to Florida State. The Orange's final three games are against Wake Forest at home, Louisville on the road, and the Boston College at home.
Syracuse upset then-No. 2 Clemson 27-24 at home two weeks ago to gain a big dose of confidence, then lost 27-19 last week at unbeaten No. 8 Miami as Dungey suffered through perhaps his worst game in Orange, throwing four first-half interceptions.
"It's just the mental preparation that w'ev got to have, stay locked in on our goal," Dungey said. "The bye week's going to help a lot of guys that are banged-up recover. It's been a grind. You look at our schedule, it's not getting any easier."
Despite Dungey's awful half, he helped move Syracuse within 20-19 late in the final quarter before Travis Homer's 33-yard touchdown run with 2:48 left sealed the victory for the Hurricanes.
Two straight wins over top-10 teams would have been extra sweet, but batting .500 in this instance isn't so bad as Babers's second season winds down.
"Year two. I think a lot of the guys are starting to buy in," Dungey said. "Last year, we were losing games by a large margin. I hope they see what we can be and what we're going to be."
Added Babers: "I guarantee you, people aren't excited about playing us. The four teams that are left, they're not saying, 'Oh, goodie. Here comes Syracuse.' I guarantee you that.
"I've got to calm down," Babers added with a self-effacing grin."