Syracuse searches for toughness on Army base

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Doug Marrone didn't hesitate when the opportunity arose to take his Syracuse Orange to preseason train on an Army base.

"My thought process was very simple," Marrone said. "I'm bringing my football team up there to get better, to get tougher, to work hard. All the things anyone would look at on the outside."

So the Orange, 5-7 last year and 1-6 in the conference, spent a week at Fort Drum in northern New York. And any toughness they might have found along the way will be needed After all, they finished 2011 on a five-game losing streak.

That is Marrone's mission. And it's a big one. This is the start of his fourth season at the helm of his alma mater, and it is the Orange's last in the Big East before they depart for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The pressure is on.

"It's a very big help. Coach brought us here for a reason," defensive tackle Davon Walls said. "He really wanted us to come together as a unit and be accountable for whatever we do."