Syracuse comes into the season with more experience. That is the major plus. Now that it is officially August, it is time to start breaking down the Syracuse football schedule and taking a look at some of the top games for the Orange.
Villanova: This is a big game because it’s the first game. It sets the tone for the entire season. A first win will be a confidence booster for the Orange, coming off a bowl victory against Minnesota. The Wildcats finished 6-5, but took on some tough opponents. In Villanova’s first game, it visited Boston College in Chestnut Hill. Credit to the Eagles, they have overcome perhaps a rough part in the program. Chase Rettig led the team at quarterback and had a quality receiver in Alex Amidon. Of course there as Andre Williams, the running back who was a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. The Wildcats lost 24-14, but had shown the ability to keep up with a team that won a bowl game.
Notre Dame: This is one of the biggest games not only because of the Fighting Irish, but it is huge for recruiting. The game at MetLife is likely going to be televised nationally, and played in a major stadium in one of the nation’s largest cities. This game will get a lot of attention from Syracuse recruits to see if they can keep with Notre Dame. Like the Texas Game against Minnesota, high school kids want to see these big games to see how Syracuse manages it.
Florida State: Although last year’s game for the Orange was a roller coaster for the entire game in Tallahassee, the Orange get their shot at the national champions on their home turf on October 11 as part of homecoming weekend. Although the Seminoles will go into that game as heavy favorites, the Orange are familiar with Jameis Winston, his offense and his defense. Now that these two teams know each other a little better, perhaps the game will be a little closer. This should bring in a large attendance for the Orange at the Carrier Dome, as Orange Nation gets its chance to see the champs in action.
Duke: Florida State beat Duke to win the ACC last season, and again this is another chance to see talented competition in the Dome. For recruiting, this may be the time when high school students come to make their official visits. Games against the major opponents, the opponents who have proven themselves as contenders, always gather a large crowd. Big crowds put on a good reputation for the university and it gives the players that “I want to play here” feeling.
These are just four of the big games. Kicking off the season with a win over Villanova can give the Orange momentum heading into tougher matchups.
A win sets the tone for confidence during the regular season. A win in front of the home crowd could lead to big things in Syracuse.
Posted by: Austin Pollack