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Syracuse needs 1 more win to become bowl eligible

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Syracuse needs 1 more win to become bowl eligible

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Coming off their biggest win of the season, coach Doug Marrone and the Syracuse Orange are looking forward to becoming bowl eligible.

What they want to avoid is a repeat from last fall.

A year ago, the Orange surprised 11th-ranked West Virginia 49-23 on a Friday night, then lost five straight Big East games to finish at 5-7 and miss any chance for a second straight postseason appearance.

Syracuse put itself in position for an extra game this year by toppling previously unbeaten Louisville, demolishing the then-No. 11 Cardinals 45-26 on Saturday. The Orange need to win one of their remaining two games, both on the road, to be in play for a bowl.

``This year's team is different, as every year's team is different,'' Marrone said Monday. ``We've been striving to make less mistakes and execute better. We were able to do that against a very good football team this past weekend. How you prepared last week, what you did - how do we mirror that so that we can have the same type of performance? That's what we're trying to do.''

The Orange (5-5, 4-2 Big East) scored three touchdowns in the second quarter against Louisville (9-1, 4-1), which allowed more points than it had in any game this season.

``I was proud of how we can play when we don't make mistakes that have hurt us throughout the year, when we can execute at a high level,'' Marrone said. ``Now, it's a challenge to keep that going. The schedule doesn't get any easier going out to play an SEC team on their home field - and a very talented team.''

That comes Saturday night against Missouri (5-5), which rallied from a two-touchdown halftime deficit to beat Tennessee 51-48 in four overtimes on Saturday. The Tigers are struggling with a 2-5 record in the Southeastern Conference as they make the transition from the Big 12, and both teams are aiming for that sixth win to become eligible for a bowl game.

Playing a nonconference game so late in the season presents problems for both sides.

``They don't probably know as much about us, and we don't know as much about them,'' Marrone said. ``I think that's equal. It's good and bad. You've got to do a lot of extra work ... to make sure you're not missing anything.''

The task at hand became a little more daunting on Monday when it was announced the season finale against Temple (3-6, 2-4) will be played at 11 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. That makes for a very short week for the Orange, who probably won't return to Syracuse until almost sunrise on Sunday.

``It is what it is,'' Marrone said. ``You've just got to go out there and play and keep fighting. No need to crush sour grapes or create excuses. Just go play.''

At least the Orange seems to have the right focus.

``We really haven't thought about the bowl game,'' center Macky MacPherson said. ``We knew we had to win the next two, but it's not something we have been focusing on as a team.

``What we were focused on was beating a very good Louisville team. Now we need to focus on the Missouri team. We need to get ready to go down to Columbia and play a good football team in Missouri. We are not focused on win No. 6 as much as we are about beating Missouri.''

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This Caps Stanley Cup tat has everyone's beat

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This Caps Stanley Cup tat has everyone's beat

Since the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup for the first time over one month ago, Caps fans, (and players), have rushed to their local tattoo parlor to get some ink commemorating the win.

We've seen the classic Capitals logo with the Stanley Cup, but nothing that comes close to the masterpiece that is Shane Peacher's tattoo.

Peacher tweeted to Joe B and Courtney Laughlin the finished tat: a work of art featuring Alex Ovechkin kissing the Stanley Cup for the first time as it's hoisted over his head.

Joe B replied making sure Shane had enough room on his other tricep for next year.

Shane replied that he's thinking of Evgeny Kuznetsov's iconic celebration that has since been dubbed the "birdman."

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Strasburg, Scherzer get in heated conversation after ugly inning

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Strasburg, Scherzer get in heated conversation after ugly inning

The Washington Nationals have had a less than ideal season thus far.

The reigning N.L. East champs entered the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of first place, have a new manager that has gotten his fair share of criticism, are riddled with injuries contributing to a lengthy disabled list and seem to be frustrated to no end on the baseball field.

In his first game back following a right shoulder injury that landed him on the DL for over a month, Stephen Strasburg started Friday night's game in Washington against the Braves, one of tewo teams above the Nats in the East standings.

Following a poor outing in the fifth inning in which Davey Martinez decided to pull Strasburg, fellow ace Max Scherzer attempted to greet the starter. Strasburg brushed Scherzer off as he sat down on the bench and the two got into what seemed like a very heated exchange.

The Nationals never recovered from Strasburg's start and fell to the Braves 8-5 in Washington.

The frustration was evident as Martinez met with Scherzer and Strasburg to hash out the argument, delaying postgame clubhouse access to the media while their meeting was going on.

The meeting was kept under lock by Martinez, Scherzer, and Strasburg, who chalked it up to just being a part of the "family."

According to Martinez, the dugout conversation was hashed out and he immediately brushed it off when pressed for questions.

The Nationals look to even up the series against The Braves in Washington tonight.

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