Syracuse Orange College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Syracuse Orange Biggest Key: Offense
Stop someone from hitting the quarterback. Tommy DeVito might be the next Tom Brady, but it’s hard to know if he’s getting battered around in game after game. That goes for anyone who takes the Syracuse quarterbacking gig.
The offensive line hasn’t come close to getting the job done in pass protection over the last several years. It allowed 38 sacks in 11 games last season – and that’s an improvement after the 50 it gave up in 2019.
The Orange O line allowed just 21 sacks in 2015. For all of the good things head coach Dino Babers has done since taking over in 2016, the team has allowed 195 sacks – an average of 39 per year.
To put this into perspective, only two teams – South Alabama and Kansas – allowed more than 39 last year.
Syracuse Orange Biggest Key: Defense
Be a bit more consistently strong on run D. The Orange allowed 209 yards per game on the ground last season, giving up 2,300 yards and 24 touchdowns. It wasn’t so much that the run D was gouged for big dashes; it was more of a steady drip of production.
Four teams managed to come up with 275 rushing yards or more, but to be fair, it did a decent job at times allowing fewer than three yards per carry against Pitt, Louisville and NC State.
Syracuse Orange Key Player To A Successful Season
OT Matthew Bergeron, Soph.
It’s not that there isn’t talent and potential on the Syracuse offensive line that’s had so many issues. The 6-4, 315-pound Bergeron is a two-year starter who was a nice get for the Orange – he was one of the top prospects from Canada – and now he seems to have settled in at left tackle. This is where he has to come into his own as an all-star caliber pass protector to finally give the Syracuse quarterbacks time to work.
Syracuse Orange Key Game To The 2021 Season
at Florida State, Oct. 2
After going 1-10 last season there’s no safe game on the schedule, but if Syracuse is going to do anything this year, it needs to beat Ohio on the road and take down Albany, Liberty and – forget the blowout loss last year – Liberty at home.
Overall, the ACC schedule isn’t all that bad, but again, the Orange can’t take anyone for granted. Beat Florida State in Tallahassee – they’re 1-11 against the Noles since winning the first meeting back in 1966 – and a bowl game should be a near-lock.
2020 Syracuse Orange Fun Stats
– Time of Possession: Opponents 35:43 – Syracuse 24:17
– Red Zone Scores: Opponents 40-of-50 – Syracuse 14-of-21
– Rushing TDs: Opponents 24 – Opponents 5