We are officially one week away from the start of Syracuse football season. For the die hard fans, there is no better time of year. Their beloved Orange are about to take the field for another three-plus month grind full of ups and downs.
The casual fan is not necessarily looking forward to the September 4th opener against Rhode Island. The Orange are coming off a terrible 3-9 season that was, for the most part, hard to watch. As a result, Syracuse fans are clearly thinking twice before investing too heavily into the Orange this season.
All of the evidence needed is on ticketmaster. There are seats available for Opening Night in every section, including thousands in the lower bowl. Clearly fans are not yet convinced that this year will be any different. However, a great performance on Friday can turn all of this around.
Last season, the Orange had a similar opportunity to come out and dominate week one and get fans excited for the season. They won the game against Villanova, but it took a missed chip field goal and a touchdown throw from punter Riley Dixon to do it. That won’t cut it this year.
This year’s opponent, Rhode Island, is even weaker than Villanova. The Rams went 1-11 last season in FCS, winning only their last game of the season against Towson, and they gave up over 35 points per game. In short, this is a chance for the Orange to win and win big.
A dominate win will certainy put some minds at ease. Friday is the first chance for Tim Lester to implement his new and improved, highly anticipated offense.
More so than finding that win column, the Orange need to become watchable, something they failed to do for most of last season. With strong offensive showings, and defensive performances at the level Syracuse fans have come to expect, the wins will come and the passion will return to Syracuse football.
What will it take from the Orange on Friday for you to feel confident they can be successful this season?