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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Best Syracuse Offensive Player

QB Eric Dungey, Sr.
When he’s healthy, he’s a force. He’s had problems over the last two years, but he’s also been the offense, leading the team with 595 rushing yards and nine scores last seasons and hitting close to 60% of his passes for 2,495 yards and 14 touchdowns. He threw too many picks – nine – and didn’t push the ball down the field enough, but when he was playing, he was a big producer.

At 6-4 and 228 pounds, he’s got NFL size and a strong arm to go along with the mobility, but he takes a whole lot of big shots – and that’s the problem. Concussions have been an issue, and now expect more passing from the pocket and fewer runs.

2. TE Ravian Pierce, Sr.
3. OT Koda Martin, Sr.
4. WR Devin Butler, Jr.
5. RB Dontae Strickland, Sr.

Best Syracuse Defensive Player

S Evan Foster, Jr.
The 6-0, 210-pounder finished third on the team in tackles with 64 stops, and returned his lone interception for a touchdown. Steady, he was a good-popping last line of defense, finishing with a season-high ten stops against Boston College. He needs to do more when the ball is in the air, but he’s got the quickness to get around the play – now the bigger plays have to follow.

2. DE Alton Robinson, Jr.
3. DT Chris Slayton, Sr.
4. CB Christopher Fredrick, Jr.
5. P Sterling Hofrichter, Jr.

Key Player To A Successful Season

WR Devin Butler, Jr. 
The 6-3, 196-pound junior got in plenty of starting work last season, finishing third on the team with 33 catches for 327 yards and a score. But now he has to be the main man for a passing game that lost Steve Ishmael’s 105 catches and Ervin Phillips’ 89 grabs.

The offense makes stars out of the top receivers – Amba Etta-Tawo caught 94 passes in 2016 – and Butler has the skills to be the next star up. He’s got the speed, the size, and the physical ability. This year, he’ll get the ball his way more, too.

Key Game To The Syracuse Season

Florida State, Sept. 15
The Syracuse Orangemen were on a nice six-game winning streak when Florida State made the trip to Archbold Stadium in mid-November of the 1966 season. Floyd Little and company came up with a 37-21 win on the way to an 8-3 season. FSU has won ten straight in the series since then, including a 27-24 nail-biter in Tallahassee last season. This time around, it’s the ACC opener, and it’s a chance for the Orange to make a massive statement in the Dino Babers era.

The program proved last year it could beat a good team in the Carrier Dome with the win over Clemson, and this year’s FSU squad will be nowhere near as strong. Win, and Syracuse should be 4-0 – Western Michigan, Wagner and UConn the other three – before going to Clemson.

2017 Syracuse Fun Stats

– Sacks: Opponents 32 – Syracuse 16
– Punt Return Average: Syracuse 7.2 yards – Opponents 2.7 yards
– Interceptions Thrown: Syracuse 16 – Opponents 4

NEXT: Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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