It’s the battle for the basement in the ACC, as Syracuse and Wake Forest were picked to finish last and second to last in the ACC in some order by most publications before the season. And for the Orange, it’s a big game early in the season. So let’s get to the keys to getting the Orange a win.
- Eric Dungey
This was obvious right? He steps in for Hunt and the Orange offense doesn’t even skip a beat, and probably got on track, against Rhode Island. The true frosh was all right in game one, impressive due to him being a true freshman and the situation, but on a regular basis, what he did against Rhode Island will not be enough. Dungey did basically what was asked of him, however this week he may need to throw the ball more. Dungey threw just 17 passes against URI and that got the job done because the Orange was ahead for much of the game and wanted to keep the clock moving. It will be interesting to see how he—and Tim Lester—reacts if the Orange gets behind and he needs to throw the ball more.
- The Running Game
Who takes hold of the running back position? Devante McFarlane is set to come back this week after sitting out the season opener. Jordan Fredericks was incredibly impressive in the opener, even winning ECAC Rookie of the Week—for whatever that’s worth. Jacob Hill put together some nice runs in garbage time, Dontae Strickland had a rushing touchdown, and let’s not forget that George Morris II started the game and performed well picking up more than 70 yards. So the Orange have a good problem with so many options, it will be interesting to see how Lester and Coach Scott Shafer decide to use all the options in the ACC opener.
- Turnover Battle
Win the turnover battle again. 4 turnovers? Probably not going to happen again this week, but get a couple and limit your own. At the end of the day, the team that wins the turnover battle usually wins the game. The SU defense still has plenty to prove as a young unit, and helping the Orange to an ACC win would help.
- How does the Defense Follow up Last Week?
The defense was incredible last week, albeit against Rhode Island. Zaire Franklin started laughing in the post game press conference when asked about the success because a reporter told Franklin the Orange held the Rams to 0 rushing yards through 3 quarters. Overall, Rhode Island tallied just 64 yards in the game. Yes, it’s Rhode Island, but if the Orange can keep the Wake Forest offense under wraps, then it may really provide a glimpse at what the unit can be.
- Don’t Forget the Orange Jerseys
Finally. Orange jerseys for the Orange. It only makes sense that Syracuse would wear Orange and this is the first chance we get to see SU decked out in the color. Orange helmets, Orange jerseys, Orange pants. Head to toe. It will be a sight not seen in the Dome in a while.