Preview 2018: Syracuse Orange. Can Dino Babers Break Out?

Preview 2018: Syracuse Orange. Can Dino Babers Break Out?

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Syracuse Orange. Can Dino Babers Break Out?

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What You Need To Know About The Syracuse Defense

– The Orange defense was the second-worst in the ACC – allowing 444 yards per game and a league-worst 32 points per game. And now it has to replace three of the top four tacklers – they’re all linebackers.

The departure of Paris Bennett, Zaire Franklin, Jonathan Thomas and Austin Valdez ranks along losses at receiver as the team’s biggest issue. Will the Orange go to more of a 4-2-5 alignment? Probably, with the pressure on the recruiting class to step up right away, and hoping for former JUCO transfer Ryan Guthrie to become a stud in the middle.

– The pass rush wasn’t much last season, but Alton Robinson is back at one end after leading the way with five sacks. He has to do more behind the line overall, but he has the quickness to get to the quarterback on a regular basis – he needs to.

320-pound Chris Clayton brings the size on the inside, but the run defense has to be much tougher, and the deep group of ends have to be more effective because …

– The secondary needs to do more, too. The Orange D came up with just four interceptions, and all of them came in the first four games – there weren’t any picks over the final eight weeks for the ACC’s least-efficient pass defense. Evan Foster is back at one safety spot after making 64 tackles, but the star of the group is veteran corner Christopher Fredrick. He’s a tall, rangy coverman who can hit.

Biggest Key To The Syracuse Defense

The takeaways have to come. The defense – for all of its problems – was great on third downs, and it did its part more than in the previous seasons, but the turnovers weren’t there. Again, the four interceptions were way too few, and there weren’t a whole lot of fumbles recovered, either. The Orange D forced seven turnovers in the first three games, and five over the remaining nine.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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