The 2019 football season has been disastrous for the Syracuse Orange. A few months ago, picking the Orange to finish in the bottom half of the ACC was a hot take. Now, Dino Babers’ squad is the only team in the league without a conference win. Ouch.
We could produce pages of content exposing media outlets for predictions that could fill a room full of college football fans with laughter. We won’t. Why? A lot of the content would come from our page. Personally, I’ve been saying the phrase “Orange Bowl” since January.
The biggest reason Syracuse hasn’t met those lofty goals is a struggling offensive line.
The Orange have allowed 35 sacks this year, three more than any other FBS team after seven weeks. Veteran Sam Heckel hasn’t played since week one in Lynchburg. That doesn’t help. However, how much better would the Orange be up front with him in the lineup? My guess is they wouldn’t be dead least. That doesn’t mean they’d be that much better.
We asked Babers about the offensive line at ACC Kickoff in July. He told us the group would be the key to SU’s season. So far, he’s been proven right. The Orange O-Line has had an awful season and Syracuse could enter November without a power five win.
Why Didn’t We Believe Him?
Great question. Even after hearing that Babers wasn’t optimistic about the group, I chose the Orange to finish second in the ACC behind Clemson.
Starting tackles Cody Conway and Koda Martin were rock solid for SU last year and quarterback Eric Dungey had a set of skills that helped hide the group’s deficiencies.
Honestly, Martin’s success likely swayed people towards thinking South Alabama transfer Ryan Alexander would follow a similar path. That hasn’t happened. There’s been no stability on the offensive line and Babers told the media after the Pittsburgh game that everyone’s job is on the table.
Babers was right. We just didn’t want to believe him.