2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 44 Syracuse Orange
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Syracuse Orange
Syracuse Orange Prespring Status
The Orange had an okay first season under head coach Dino Babers, all things considered. No, 4-8 isn’t good enough, and no, losing the final four games with no defense whatsoever wasn’t a plus, but the passing game was terrific at times. In a season-was-half-full sort of way, the seeds were planted for a potentially wild 2017 from the offense. At least that’s the hope under Babers.
Breakthrough receiver Amba Etta-Tawo is gone, but nine starters are back on O, while the defense that was so woeful down the stretch at least returns experienced with all 11 starters back and almost all of the key backups.
Syracuse Orange Biggest Issue
Yeah, everyone returns on D, but can it stop anyone? This was the group that got bombed on for 76 points by Pitt to close things out, and allowed 210 points over the final four games. To be fair, it was a young, young, young defensive front at the end of the year – Babers started four underclassmen – but this year, the defense has to hold its own and give the offense a little bit of help. It’s got a long way to go.
Syracuse Orange Biggest Positive
Along with the experience across the board, but Orange should be deadly if QB Eric Dungey can stay in one piece. On a tear before getting hurt against Clemson, Dungey threw for close to 2,700 yards with 15 scores. While Zach Mahoney proved he could help keep the passing game going, Dungey’s the star of the show over the next few years. With receivers Ervin Phillips and Steve Ishmael back, this should be fun. Meanwhile, the running game might not have been all that great, but everyone returns.
Really, Why Are The Syracuse Orange Ranked Here?
The Orange should be better and more consistent in Year Two under Babers. The offense should push everyone in the ACC, while the defense can’t and won’t be any worse with all the starters back. It’s not time to start thinking conference title, but it’ll be track meet time for everyone that has to deal with this O.