College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Syracuse Orange season with what you need to know.
5. College Football News Preview 2020: Syracuse Orange Offense 3 Things To Know
– It was supposed to be a little bit of a rebuilding year for the Syracuse offense, but not like that. QB Tommy DeVito struggled, but that’s partly because he had too many defensive players jumping on his head.
The offensive line had a rough year. Four starters are expected back, and senior Airon Servais is an okay veteran at left tackle, but overall the front five can’t be among the three worst in college football in sacks allowed.
There’s bulk, there’s the versatility to play around with the lineup, and there’s the upside with experience to be better. But the offense that didn’t average 400 yards per game and scored 27 points or fewer seven times needs time to operate.
CFN in 60 Video: Syracuse Orange Preview
– DeVito, again, didn’t get a whole lot of help, and now his numbers could skyrocket under new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. The junior-to-be has the talent and the arm, and he held up reasonably well despite all the pressure. He took his lumps, only threw five picks, and he was accurate enough to get by. Rex Culpepper is a bigger passer with just enough experience to be totally lost if he gets thrown into the mix.
Now the receiving corps has to rise up with leading receiver Trishton Jackson leaving early for the NFL and with three of the top four pass catchers gone. Junior Taj Harris is a good-sized deep threat, and senior Nykeim Johnson can move, but someone has to rise up and replace the volume catches from Jackson.
That might come from the tight ends – Aaron Hackett can catch and 292-pound Chris Elmore is the blocking option.
– The ground game started to come on over the second half of the season after getting stuffed for a dead stop far too often over the first half. Leading rusher Moe Neal is gone, but the good tandem of junior Jarveon Howard and senior Abdul Adams should be able to handle the workload without a problem. There’s enough depth to shoot for the second 2,000-yard rushing season since 2013.