Between SU’s quarterback situation, injuries, the tension between the Orange’s coaching staff, and the dominance of Florida State, today’s contest looks like one of the most daunting tasks Syracuse football has faced. The Seminoles are a 24-point favorite, and after ugly losses to Notre Dame and Louisville, a drubbing at the hands of FSU might kill off more hope that SU can salvage something from this season. Scott Shafer, new offensive coordinator Tim Lester, and the Syracuse staff must rally the troops today to keep this game close.
To accomplish this Lester’s offense must find a way to stay on the field. This will be a tough task with young backups Austin Wilson and AJ Long likely to see time at quarterback today in place of the injured Terrel Hunt.
SU’s defense has proven this season that it can force turnovers and get stops; the Orange has created seven turnovers in the last two weeks alone. If the offense gives the ball right back to the Seminoles after a big defensive play or goes 3-and-out however, there’s only so much Cam Lynch and the Syracuse D can do.
Lester has a tricky quarterback situation on his hand,s but his biggest challenge today is establishing a successful run game, something George McDonald was not able to do. In the last two weeks the Orange has only managed 150 yards on the ground from its running backs and quarterback. McDonald’s offense relied too much on the short pass when the run game has failed in the last two games. Opposing defense’s recognized that and shut SU down.
The Orange’s season has taken a turn for the worst since the team started 2-0. The chances of Syracuse keeping this respectable may be slim, but something encouraging will be necessary for the fans to keep some hope for the rest of the season.
Posted: Connor Morrissette