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SU football releases schedule, opens vs. Northwestern

Syracuse University's 2012 football non-conference schedule features two teams from the Big Ten, an SEC foe and a game against Southern California in MetLife Stadium. The Orange will play Northwestern and Minnesota from the Big Ten, Missouri, a new member of the Southeastern Conference, and USC from the Pac-12.
 
     A home date with Northwestern on September 1 will kick off the 2012 season. Syracuse will square off against USC in New York's College Classic at MetLife Stadium on September 8 before returning home to host Stony Brook (Sept. 15) in the Carrier Dome. The Orange will travel to play at Minnesota on September 22 and at Missouri on November 17.
 
     "Across the country conference realignment has dramatically impacted 2012 football schedules," said head coach Doug Marrone. "In our effort to fill the voids left by Texas Christian University, which was slated to be a home game, and West Virginia University leaving the BIG EAST Conference, we worked exhaustively to schedule a home game, but were limited by the number of schools that had openings on their schedules. Our discussions included Florida State, Arkansas, Boise State and Nevada. We did not pursue a second FCS opponent. Although we could not schedule the game at home, we are fortunate that another BCS team like Missouri was available. "
 
     The Orange is familiar with Northwestern, Southern California, Minnesota and Missouri, having already faced those schools on the gridiron. SU owns a 5-4 advantage in the series against Northwestern, including a 37-34 victory against the Wildcats in 2009.
 
     When the Orange meets USC at MetLife Stadium, it will be the fourth meeting between the schools, including the 1990 Kickoff Classic in the Meadowlands. The contest against USC is a home game for New York's College Team, in a stadium which is the football team's 'home away from home,' similar to Madison Square Garden for the Orange basketball team, with multiple games scheduled there in the next two decades.
 
     Syracuse last played Minnesota in the inaugural game of Marrone's tenure in 2009, battling the Gophers in a 23-20 overtime loss. The Orange holds a 2-0 advantage in the series against Missouri, having beaten the Tigers in 1986 and 1987. The 2012 contest against Stony Brook will be the first meeting between the schools. The Seawolves won the 2011 Big South Conference championship.
 
     Season ticket holders can renew their 2012 tickets beginning Wednesday, March 7 online via their MyCuse Account, or through the Carrier Dome Box Office (888-DOME-TIX).  Fans interested in purchasing new season tickets can put down a deposit for priority access to the best available seats by calling the Carrier Dome Box Office.  New season tickets will be available at the Spring Game on April 21.All season-ticket holder have the opportunity to purchase ticket s to Syracuse's game against USC at MetLife Stadium at a specially-priced  rate via their MyCuse accounts.
 
     The 2012 Orange begin Spring practice on March 20 and will host the annual Spring game on April 21 in the Carrier Dome.
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