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Great Expectations: Where to See Improvements for Syracuse’s April 19 Spring Game

The Fizz breaks down what you improvements you can expect at the April 19 spring game.

Follow The Fizz on Twitter for the latest SU football news

via Roger Barone

In his first year manning the sidelines for the Orange, Scott Shafer did something that is not easy to do: he took a group of young guys, including a first-year quarterback—all of whom were playing in a new conference—and took them to a Texas Bowl victory.

After dropping the first two games of the season to Penn State and Northwestern, this team didn’t look like it had what it took to compete down the stretch. It wasn’t until the final six seconds of the regular season that it became bowl eligible.

Remember Josh Parris’ touchdown against Boston College? That’s the play that made it all happen.

As the program inches closer to its second season with Shafer at the helm and Terrel Hunt under center, the expectations are high. The spring game is April 19 at the Dome. Last season, it was all about the quarterbacks. It was a four-person competition of Hunt, Charley Loeb, John Kinder and Drew Allen. Hunt completed 19 passes for over 200 yards in that game. This year, it’s an older and more experienced team. This squad knows the coaching staff and works behind Shafer’s positive attitude and hard-nosed mindset.

Expect this team to be extremely solid. Shafer and his coaching staff make no-name players into name players. The spring game is a way to get a glimpse of how this year’s team will perform and who will make the biggest impact.

Here are some notable players who should stitch their names into the minds of Orange fans.

Brandon Reddish

Entering his senior season, he’s been a very solid man on defense for the Orange. Very rarely does he make mistakes and he always makes his presence known on the field. As a senior, he has more responsibility for coverage. He’s the lone senior corner on this team. He’s going to have to help the juniors in Julian Whigham, Wayne Morgan and Eric Jackson get ready to take over the big role next year. 

The linebackers

There is upperclass talent in Dyshawn Davis and Cam Lynch. Starting with Davis, he’s a warrior. He’s eighth in SU history with 31 and a half tackles for yardage loss. With one more season to go in blue and orange, he must have this in the back of his mind – and the desire to win. Lynch wants his coaches, teammates and fans to know he’s there. He led Syracuse with eight tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in the Texas Bowl against Minnesota. Now a senior, look for him to be even better this season.

The running backs

Prince-Tyson Gulley and George Morris II are the two main guys to move the ball on the ground. Although they’re both extremely talented, that talent comes in two different ways. Morris is the speedster and Gulley is the small player who used his strength to keep moving the ball. The Fizz recently looked into the impact these two can half next season.

The receivers

Your choice. Throw all of the names in a hat and whichever one you choose will do something big. That’s how all of last season went. There were receivers who had very little mention. There were no Alec Lemons or no Marcus Sales on this team—very few “go-to” receivers. If someone was open, he got the ball. Parris in the end zone against Boston College is a perfect example of that, and even young guys like Brisly Estime, who is entering his sophomore year. The Delray Beach, Fla. native was third on the team in receptions last year. Most notably, he had a 70-yard punt return in the Texas Bowl. Most of these receivers are older and they are talented, but these young guys will certainly make a difference as well. 

46 Comments on this Post

  1. HCSS stated that he’s shooting for 8 wins!! I don’t see that. At best another boring 6-6 and I’d take that. The schedule is a killer!! And this team has way to many questions now any way!!

    DO NOT FORGET THE KIDS OF PSABUSEDU!! THE NCAA DID!!

  2. Dr. bill

    Good thing you are not the Coach Terry!

  3. orangeinva

    The schedule is funky….
    How good is Clemson w/out Boyd and 2 NFL receivers?
    How do we make up 56 points vs G Tech?
    How good is L’ville with Petrino and w/out Bridgewater?
    Can Duke be THAT good 2 years in a row?
    Can we kick our way to victory in Pittsburgh?(we left 4 points on the field due to kicking game).

    We could go 6-6 as easily as 8-4.

  4. I’ve been labeled ” overly pessimistic,old fashioned,hard headed,and always loyal to something/someone that I believe in.

    This statement says it all for me “Expect this team to be extremely solid. Shafer and his coaching staff make no-name players into name players”.

    Coach Shafer comes out and says that his goal for this season is to win 8 games and gets ridiclued for not telling everyone that his goal for 2014 is for the team to go undefeated. I truly believe it’s going to better than 8 wins and it all starts on April 19th.

    I believe that Syracuse “SHOCKS” Notre Dame in an upset win Sept. 27th down at MetLife Stadium and on Oct. 25th plays Clemson tough over 60 minutes,sends the game into OT where Syracuse has a chance to win the game.

    Like I said overly pessimistic and hard headed and too damn old to change.

    The thing that’s going to make this team good is the incoming freshman class. Watchout people here comes the Orangemen!!

  5. Like I said in the above post,I’m hard headed once I have my mind set,it’s hard for anyone to try changing the way I feel which leads me into my thoughts about the QB sisuation at Syracuse.

    Like Terry and I said last fall and over the winter I just can’t wrap my arms around Terrell Hunt as the starting QB. Might be the starter for the Villanova game but not for the entire year. I said watch out for Austin Wilson winning the #2 spot and replacing Terrell Hunt at some point during the season.

    This article was just posted on syr.com.

    “Austin Wilson might have the strongest arm, and he’s gunning for the No. 2 quarterback spot”.

    I’ve told everyone for over a year now that Austin Wilson has the strongest arm on the team. Article is a must read for anyone who follows Syracuse Football. This is why I’m predicting a 8 win or better for the CUSE this season.

  6. I think that AAM will greatly impact the running game this fall. as well as K J Williams who could show up big as a WR. It remains to be seen if Morris can or will do the same. PTG is an injury prone player that might get a run or two to get us excited and then limp off the field. DMF is another”?” If and when the Orange can beat one of the elite ACC teams it will have turned the big corner in its upward return to prominence in football. Recruiting has improved a great deal but not quite enough to be a real threat just yeynunless exceptional coaching pushes them over the top.

  7. orangeinva

    @Ron,

    I feel ya…spending the 1st 24 years of my life living in CNY, I live/breathe the Orange—IT’S A SAD EXISTENCE!!!

    The team/program is going in the right direction and Shafer is doing it right..no smoke and mirrors..no shortcuts. ‘Tis a hardnosed approach.

    We’re gonna know by the end of game 3 if HUNT is the answer..or Allen 2.0….I think he’s going to be very good but we’ll see.

    ND gets their starting QB back from 2 seasons ago Coulson(? something like that) and they have had 3 recruiting classes ranked 11//3//20..could there be just a bit too much talent for the CUSE to go toe-to-toe? I/m not sold on Clemson either but the game is at their place and THEY could have 12 men on the field(refs).

    I enjoy your enthusiasm and am not ready to have you walk down the hall and pee in a bottle just yet!

    Let’s Go OOORRRANGE!!

  8. dr. bill/orangeinva a good quality coach would not say what HCSS said about 8 wins!! Just keep your mouth shut and show it on the field not print!!

    Ron to me most of the time your overly optimistic on SUFB and that’s cool! But ND’s QB that led them to a NC game is back, most of the ACC has better talent, SU has played one season so nothing is quite new to them(ACC). Villy is beatable but their Division beat some DIV 1 team lately. OL has been hurting and history shows what hurts spring/summer will probably effect the fall schedule. 6 wins AGAIN is worthy!! Any more than that would be totally heaven sent. PS BC/PITT are better than last year too and SU was .500 against them. Pay attention. Being a true SUFB sees what there. I want 9 win seasons or better too, but SU is no where there yet. Better talent and coaching will do that and SHUTTING ONE’S MOUTH is part of good coaching. Ever hear of “The Bulletin Board”. SU does not need to help a team in any way!

  9. thesackster

    i feel if the players stay healthy i’m thinking 7 wins. i would be happy making another bowl game. i feel syracuse has potential and i hope rons prediction is correct..

  10. Terry I used the wrong word in my post it should have been optimistic. I don’t know what got into me. Thanks for correcting my mistake.

    But it’s as usual for me this time of year to think that Syracuse is better than what people are saying about them. My feelings about the season and how well the team will do is based on my discussions that I have with the players. They practice it daily,they know the players,all of them are excited about the incoming freshman class. I believe that we have talent on this team Terry and I believe that the incoming freshmen will kick the upper classmen in the backside if they start to fall behind. I’m looking for a better than average 2014 season,better than a 6-6 overall record.

  11. concerning your statement about the Notre Dame QB coming back to the team this year.

    Wasn’t he released from school due to academic issues last year? If it’s true, what did he do over the course of 2013 to get him ready for reinstatement at Notre Dame? I think the NCAA ought to investigate,don’t you?

  12. Terry;

    Let me tell you why I think the Notre Dame game is winnable.

    There is no doubt that ND has talent year after year. Back in 2008 GROB’s last year as head coach,I set with my sons in the snow out in South Bend when the Orangemen upset the Irishman 24-23.

    This is a couple things I remember about the game;

    Freshman Antwon Bailey, who entered the game with 66 yards rushing on 13 carries, started the Orange rally with a 26-yard TD run up the middle with 12:30 left that cut the score to 23-17. Bailey finished with 126 yards rushing.

    The Orange trailed 23-10 in the fourth quarter before rallying as Notre Dame struggled mightily on offense. The Irish (6-5) came away with just six points after starting four times inside the Syracuse 23-yard line, including three times in the third quarter when they settled for a field goal.

    Do you remember back in 2004 when the #1 rated QB Jimmy Clausen arrived on campus? He arrived in a white stretch limo broadcast national television.

    Having the #1 QB in all the land didn’t help them win a national championship from 2004-2008 and having a team loaded with talent sure didn’t help them either in 2012 in the National Championship game where Alabama totally destroyed the Irish.

    I guess Terry that’s why they play the game. I think ND is ripe for the picking come September.

    Sorry for carring on again Terry. In the future I’ll try harder to keep things simple.

    GO CUSE;

  13. I know by posting this information that I’m going to open a can of worms and I apologize to all for doing so.

    Cameron Dantley was demoted to 3rd string QB behind Greg Paulis & Ryan Nassib.

    He came to Syracuse as a 6’1″ 218 lb N/R walk-on player. He started 11 of 12 games in 2007 after setting the bench in 2005 and 2006. After 2 1/2 quarters of play in the 2008 ND game,Syracuse down 21-10,GROB put him in the game,with 42 seconds left he threw the winning 11 yd TD pass to a N/R 2* receiver Donte Davis to win the game.

    Moral of this story is you should never judge a book by it’s cover. with all of it’s star power players on the team Notre Dame in 2008 couldn’t beat all of those kids that played the game with heart to win.

    Done preaching my sermon. Notre Dame is ripe for the picking Terry,I honestly believe that.

  14. Ron like I said your optimism is something else. I was at that ND game you talked about. Then to now that team and coaches at ND are totally different. They all sucked. Recent ND teams and coaches are of great talent. Remember NC chance in 2013 for ND!! As for the QB he led his team to a NC also!! Has HUNT done that??? Yes ND did lose some talent but we all know they reup their talent quite easily-EVERY YEAR. While SU struggles to get 50 rated teams into SU!! So you can probably(maybe) say ND wins!! I hate ND with passion and wish a win too for SU, but it just will not happen-sorry!!

  15. Ron,

    I like what you said about the ND game being a possible win. I’m not sure how many people thought Syracuse would beat Minnesota. I thought Minnesota had a little bit more than Syracuse.

    Since the 2011-2012 season, Syracuse has upset some big teams. WVU, Louisville. It didn’t beat Clemson or FSU last year, but those two teams were really really good (FSU of course won it all).

    I really agree — SU can beat ND, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    AP

  16. Terry;like I said earlier I’m just too damn old and set in my way to ever change my feelings about the Syracuse Orangemen.

    Another thing that I remember about that 2008 game was that the Notre Dame fans were unhappy with their team and was booing and throwing snowballs at them during the game. I loved it, just has to be great to be a fan of the “Fighting Irish”.

  17. Ron Terry

    Welcome To the Ron and Terry Show folks. We’ve got a great show lined up for you tonight. Ron is here, Terry is here as well as the musical stylings of The Ron and Terry Experience.

  18. Who ever made the above post;jealously will get you nowhere.

    There are those who do and there are those that sit around on there asses and do nothing,but bitch and complain.

    Terry and I are one of the people who gets things done. Most often we are at the opposite ends/sides of a debate,sorry if our discussions irriate you,but knowing that they do,I’ll try harder next time to send you into orbit.

    Have a nice day crybaby.

  19. @Russell Dangerfield;

    Well Russell;it use to be the Ron & Russell show. Now we have another member(Terry) that would like to join us in the broadcast booth. What say you old friend,is there enough room for him to join us?

    I vote to let him join us.

  20. @Terry;

    I’ve read the post 3-4 times now. Are you the one that made it? Were you trying to show the rest of us that you have a sense of humor?

    If it wasn’t you then I apologize for insulting you this morning.

  21. Dr. bill

    What is up with our recruiting? Penn State has 12 commits and some highly regarded prospects. Penn State is coming off of season of scandal, on probation..etc….We should have beat them last year….are they that far ahead of us?..It is obvious to me that we will never get highly regarded recruits to commit to us early until they view Cuse as a top program. At this point, we can only get top recruits after other “top” programs pass them up. Even kids that say..”Cuse is my Dream School”..don’t pull the trigger. When a recruit says Alabama is my dream school..and they get the offer…they commit!!!!!!!

  22. Nope Ron that was not me. No idea who this scoundrel is!! But I’m pissed because it should be called Terry and Ron-sorry!! Come on that sounds better huh!! LOL! Ron its just some poor individual still living in his/her grand moms cellar or maybe DA himself!! LOL!!

    Ron SU will not beat ND. I hope SU does beat ND, but my true fan feeling and all other info points to really a bad game against ND!!

    Hey Austin don’t forget about Georgia Tech smashing of SU or NW’s defeat. That was not pretty either.

    Ron after the games recently I do miss the hatred of the loser walking out of the DOME. WV and Virginia Tech were two teams where that always showed!! And if SU won it was great not so great if SU got beat though!!

  23. @Terry;

    Nope,I get top billing solely based on our names. I learned long ago the letter “R” comes before the letter “T”. Nice try though. One other thing,you know that we can’t/shouldn’t leave Russell out of this. He’s been here from the beginning. a show with the three of us on it talking syracuse Athletics would really set the neighborhood’s a blaze. The three of us could really get people’s blood pressure to rise. I think it would be fun.

    Guy has to be a WVA. No sense of humor at all.

  24. When speaking about”improved teams you MUST include the Orange. The addition of quality WRs must be a factor this coming season. I expect Cornelius to play at a higher level. West is a vey high quality possession receiver . EEstime can get down field for big plays assuming he catches the ball. If Broyld finally comes out and plays the way we all hoped for when he arrived he too will impact the offense. It will require him to catch the all while he is running a route. Sofar his receptions are standing still flairs and attempting to shake and bake downfield which he rarely does.

  25. Hey Ron…looks like Terry is stealing/earning my spoy lol….I’ve been too busy with reality to spend much time on the computer but maybe its a good thing!?! I’ll email ya when I get a minute to get myself together *thanks DA*….We got to “pick it up” in recruiting as I see RU got another “15” athlete commit from NJ…say hes a Mo Sanu type? Maybe Terry can school us? Love from Schenectady…lol

  26. Terry,maybe someday you Ron and myself can work out a meet at a game or otherwise…has to happen sooner or later…I’d like to see 1 or 2 others too(i like “superfan” Malone +”real”Carlton) not to mention several others here!! Terry can supply the cocktails and Ron the food at the tailgate? Just a thought?Must visit someone(Ron knows) in hospital soon..later guys.

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