Syracuse Orange Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Syracuse Orange Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Syracuse Orange Preview 2022: Offense

That got interesting. Syracuse found something that worked for a while with a running game that turned into the best in the ACC. That came at the expense of the passing attack that all but stopped, and the offense overall only ended up averaging 372 yards and 25 points per game, but there’s a good mix of parts returning.

New offensive coordinator Robert Anae is going to make sure this thing goes fast, and there should be a little balance with more of a passing game into the equation. Now, what seemed like a settled situation is about to make for a fun fall camp because …

Is Garrett Shrader the guy? The former Mississippi State quarterback didn’t fit in with the Mike Leach style, and he found a home at Syracuse, using his tough running style to come up with 781 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had his moments through the air, but he only hit 53% of his passes with 1,445 yards and nine touchdowns.

Tommy DeVito is gone to Illinois, and rising up this offseason was Justin Lamson, a good young passer who might be a wee bit better a fit with Anae wants to do.

The receiving corps was really young, and a few of the parts took off with the shift to the ground-oriented attack, but Courtney Jackson is still around after leading the team with 37 catches, and Damien Alford is back after averaging over 19 yards per grab.

No matter what the passing game does, the star of the show is …

Sean Tucker deserves to be in the discussion among the best running backs in college football. The 5-10, 209-pound sophomore ran for close to 1,500 yards with 12 touchdowns averaging over six yards per pop. He took over games with nine 100-yard outings.

Tucker and Shrader handled most of the rushing work, and second-leading running back Jarveon Howard is off to Alcorn State after running for just 79 yards. In comes Juwaun Price, a quick back from New Mexico State who ran for 692 yards and ten scores last year to go along with 26 catches.

The offensive line still has issues in pass protection after years of getting quarterbacks killed, but there’s experience, great size, and a good left tackle in Matthew Bergeron to blast away.

Syracuse Orange Preview 2022: Defense

The defense struggled late, but overall it finished second in the ACC behind Clemson. It allowed 330 yards and 26 points per game, doing a nice job stopping the run against everyone but Florida State and Virginia Tech, and holding up reasonably well against the great ACC bombers.

The pass rush was terrific, averaging over three per game and getting constant pressure. Top sacker Cody Roscoe is done, but the heat should come from several spots starting with the linebacking combination of Stefon Thompson and Marlowe Wax. These two combined for 11 sacks, with four more coming from leading tackler Mikel Johnson on the inside to go along with his 110 stops.

The front three is very young, and very green. This is a small, quick group that’s missing the Coke machine on the nose to stop everything up, but there will be a rotation that keeps moving.

The secondary loses some good parts, but Garrett Williams is a broken up pass machine at one corner, Darian Chestnut led the team with three picks on the other side, and on the way are Alijah Clark from Rutgers and Bralyn Oliver from Louisville to step in at safety.

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