The Orange have done as well as anyone could have expected going into their bye week, winning their first three games and playing SEC giants LSU very tough. Now, with a 3-1 record, Syracuse enters a week off, giving them extra time to prepare for their next opponent, the University of South Florida.
This bye week falls at a very interesting time. An optimist can easily say that this is a great time for the Orange to have a week off as it allows some key players, namely Eric Dungey, time to recover from injuries. However, it could easoly be argued that the Orange are on a roll and playing some great football and this bye week could kill that momentum.
To keep it simple, it is both. Eric Dungey has returned to practice but Orange fans don’t have to worry about whether or not he will be able to suit up this weekend. Though Dungey was the biggest name to be on the injury report, there are other key players who played against LSU who have been bitten by the injury bug this season and could benefit from a week off.
Steve Ishmael and Josh Parris have both missed time with injuries this season and there health and ability to stay on the field the rest of the year could be crucial for the Orange to make a bowl game push.
Despite the injury woes, the Orange have been playing some great football and, as a result, the Syracuse community has really gotten behind the team. The Carrier Dome was the loudest it had been the past two seasons during the game against LSU and optimism in Orange Nation is definitely on the rise.
This bye week could prove to be a buzzkill. The casual fan may find it hard to hold onto the feelings from the LSU game for two weeks and of course, nothing is harder for a die hard fan than a bye week.
It is important for the Orange to have a good week of practice to keep any and all momentum going on the field. With luck, the Orange will hit the ground running once again on October 10th against USF.