#65 Syracuse Football 2013 Preview

Syracuse Orange

Overall Rank: #65
Conference Rank: #9 ACC

Syracuse Team Page#65 Syracuse Football 2013 PreviewBuy Syracuse Football Tickets

Goodbye Big East, hello Atlantic Coast. Syracuse jumps from one tough football conference to another without switching locations, due to the magic of realignment. Syracuse overcame a rotten 1-3 start to last season and ended the year on a four-game winning streak that included a stomping of West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Instead of feeling confident about things going into the season, Syracuse enters an era of uncertainty thanks to the departure from the Big East, the loss of some top talent, and more importantly Doug Marrone’s departure to coach the Buffalo Bills. Defensive coordinator Scott Shafer takes over.

2012 Record: (8-5, 5-2)
2012 Bowl: New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. West Virginia (W 38-14)
Coach: Scott Shafer (first season as a head coach)
Offensive Coordinator: George McDonald
Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Bullough

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jerome Smith, RB, 1,171 yards
Passing: Charley Loeb, QB, 8 yards
Receiving: Jarrod West, WR, 588 yards
Tackles: Dyshawn Davis, LB, 69
Sacks: Cameron Lynch, LB, 4
Interceptions: Keon Lyn, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: RB Prince-Tyson Gulley, RB Ashton Broyld, FB Adonis Ameen-Moore, TE Beckett Wales, WR Jeremiah Kobena, SS Ritchy Desir, K Ross Krautman, LB Marquis Spruill, FS Jeremi Wilkes

Key Losses: QB Ryan Nassib, WR Alec Lemon, WR Marcus Sales, SS Shamarko Thomas, LB Siriki Diabate, DE Brandon Sharpe

Well, at least Syracuse has a running game because the Orange will need it. Jerome Smith’s 1,171-yard effort helped the Orange achieve an eight-win season, and the pass-catching ability of Jarrod West helped matters as well. Ross Krautman brings back a solid kicking game that the Orange may have to rely on for the time being. As far as the coaching staff goes, Scott Shafer may be new to the head ranks but he has been around football for a long time. Shafer coached 10 All-Big East selections while he served as the defensive coordinator.

Unfortunately, Shafer is going to need all the help he can get. Syracuse lost its main quarterback to graduation, as well as its top receivers, top two tacklers, top threat to sack the quarterback, etc. You name the player, he’s probably gone. Actually, the situation isn’t as dire as that, but the bottom line is until Shafer names his starting quarterback later on this summer it is.  This quarterback will have big shoes to fill as well, as Ryan Nassib did a good job directing the offense under Marrone. Defense isn’t exactly bare in the cupboard, but when a linebacker is your top tackle leader returning, it means some key members of that offensive line are no longer with the team.

The Bottom Line:
This is definitely a season in transition for the Orange. What will save the season is how well Shafer guides things. The beauty is Shafer does not go in as an inexperienced football coach. His specialty is defense, but there are some time-tested assistants helping Shafer out and that should make some difference for Syracuse. The Orange should do well enough to become bowl-eligible, but an eight-win season might be asking too much, especially with Syracuse joining the tough ACC in 2013.

Projected Bowl:  Military Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 187.00 (40th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 289.00 (29, 2)
Total Offense: 476.00 (17, 1)
Scoring Offense: 30.00 (55, 3)
Rushing Defense: 144.69 (43, 5)
Pass Defense: 234.15 (62, 5)
Total Defense: 378.85 (48, 5)
Scoring Defense: 24.77 (46, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.15 (69, 5)
Sacks: 2.00 (59, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 1.23(22, 2)


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