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Crystal Ball Time: The Fizz Staff Predicts Syracuse Football’s 2012 Future

  • D.A. (6-6, 3-4 in Big East)

There are three certainties on the SU schedule. Win over Stony Brook, losses to USC and Mizzou. Everything else is a toss up for the Orange, and the coin will flip 5-4 in SU’s favor over the other nine contests. The Orange will find a way to win a close one tomorrow against Northwestern, and win by ten on the road at Minnesota. That means SU needs to dig up just three wins in conference to become bowl eligible. The Orange will knock off Pitt at home with more Friday night Dome magic, return the favor on Coach P vs. UConn, and down Cincinnati. Temple will get an upset win over the Orange, the low point in the season. But it’s enough to go bowling. Pack your bags for Tampa, we’re headed to the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl.

  • Andrew Kanell: (7-5, 4-3)

Looking at the other 11 games on the Syracuse schedule, including its brutal non-conference slate, there’s no ignoring Northwestern as the most important game of the season. It’s bizarre, to say that about a season opener, but in this case it’s true. Syracuse will come ready to play in the Dome Saturday and earn the victory. The Orange will split its other four non-con games, will do just enough in the mediocre Big East, and head to the Pinstripe Bowl with a 7-5 record for the second time in three years.

  • Kevin Fitzgerald: (6-6, 3-4)
Syracuse will be bowl eligible unlike last season simply because it’s bigger, faster and more physical than ’11. Ryan Nassib and the offense look like a more comfortable unit, and the defensive front seven has its most depth in years. Only problem is the schedule. SU will win three of those non-conference games, but still needs to battle to win three Big East contests. The Orange won’t have a blowout win this season. SU will do it by the skin of its teeth, but will be bowl eligible when December rolls around.
Wins: Northwestern, Stony Brook, Minnesota, Pitt, UConn, Temple
Losses: USC, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati, Louisville, Missouri 
  • Jake Moskowitz: (7-5, 4-3)
SU’s breakout player will be Marcus Sales. Syracuse escapes the Big East with a winning record this year after being ranked a lowly 7th by the press earlier this summer at Media Day.  From the way Marrone has dealt with reporters, it seems his squad has something to prove. There are a lot of questions about a new-look offense that graduated a few of its top contributors last year, but there are also a few key advantages SU has this year that it didn’t last season. Sales will be SU’s top vertical threat. This week receivers coach Rob Moore told the Daily Orange “Marcus is the fastest and strongest he has ever been in his career.” His 40-yard dash time is down to the 4.5 second range for the first time. Add to that a big year for Ashton Broyld and a strong season from a matured defense,and SU will find itself on the winning end of games against Northwestern, Stony Brook, Minnesota, Rutgers, UConn, Cincinnati, and Temple.
  • Brendan Glasheen: (6-6, 4-3) 

The Orange will manage to increase its win total by one from last season and finish at the .500 mark. More importantly, SU will rally together 4 wins in the Big East and leave the conference with a postseason appearance. Ashton Broyld will become a cornerstone player for the program and will help attract big name recruits when others see how creatively he’s utilized. This offense won’t run completely smoothly because there are too many new pieces. But that’s where the defense bails SU out and keeps the Orange in a lot of games.

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