"It's an effort to show team unity," says coach Paul Pasqualoni. "Plus, we're not overly blessed with big-name stars this year, anyway."
Unlike last year. The '93 Orangemen, with wideout Shelby Hill and quarterback Marvin Graves, were coming off consecutive 10-2 seasons. But they seemed self-absorbed and finished a disappointing 6-4-1. This year's team set out to create a new attitude. Says number 70 (defensive tackle Wilky Bazile), "Who needs to have their name on their jersey? You make a name for yourself on the field."
And the Orangemen are doing just that. With last Saturday's 49-42 win at Temple, Syracuse has won six straight and is ranked 14th in the country. Had Oklahoma not kicked a field goal with 11 seconds left in the season opener, the Orangemen would be 7-0.
If there is one flaw in the no-name scheme, it's that the wonderfully redundant surname of tailback Kirby Dar Dar hasn't been seen on the field this season. "I miss seeing it too," says Kirby's mom, Gerry, who lives in Tampa. "It's a Cherokee name, and as far as I know, we're the only family in Florida that has it. But they do hang a sign in the upper deck of the Carrier Dome that says KIRBY KIRBY DAR DAR FAN FAN CLUB CLUB, so his name hasn't entirely disappeared."
Neither have the Orangemen. And if they keep winning, their days of anonymity will be numbered too.
Keeping the Faith
If you need confirmation that Auburn, a team that has won a goodly number of its 18 straight victories by the skin of its teeth, has a guardian angel, talk to Tiger long snapper Brian Brinsfield.
"My family has had as many close calls with disaster off the field this season as my team has had on the field," says Brinsfield, a senior from Fairhope, Ala.
On Aug. 30 Brinsfield's 15-year-old brother, Kevin, was driving with their father, Paul, on U.S. Highway 98 in Alabama when a drunk driver rammed their BMW from behind. "Their car slid down an embankment, and a telephone pole sheared off the side-view mirror," says Brian. "The car, which was totaled, missed a billboard support by a foot." Kevin and Paul escaped serious injury.
Four weeks later, on the eve of the Auburn-Kentucky game, Brian's mother, Rhonda, phoned Brian.