They say the third time is a charm.
How about the fifth time?
Syracuse will try to become bowl eligible for the fifth straight game in its finale at Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Orange have lost four straight, blowing those four chances to make it to a bowl game for the second straight year. Coach Doug Marrone understands his team has had the rare opportunity to get so many chances to get to six wins.
"We talked about that after the game a little bit. A lot of times as you get older in life, you don't get many second chances," Marrone said at his weekly news conference. "You definitely don't [get] a lot of third, fourth, fifth or sixth chances. We're in a position now where this is our fifth opportunity. It's probably the last time that we'll ever have this opportunity where you have five opportunities to get to a bowl.
"You have to take advantage of it, and we haven't been able to do it for four straight weeks. We have that opportunity, and obviously that should be good motivation, but there has to be more to it than that because that's been the motivation for the past four weeks."
Marrone has put it on himself to get his players to play their best game of the season.
"Some of the opportunities that we've had in games that we've lost to put us in this situation," Marrone said. "It's one of those things when you ask, 'How did we get to where we are?' You look and evaluate it and look at what you've done. At the end of the day, you are what your record states, and we're a 5-6 football team right now. None of us wanted to be that type of team. Those are the things that you're constantly looking at and evaluating so that you can change. Like I said before, it's something that we have to work through and we have to keep pushing and get over the top. This has to be our best coaching job and our best performance on the field that we've had all year. That's our goal."