Syracuse is coming off of a bye week that has done wonders for the Orange in terms of recovery. Two key players are set to return for the game against USF on Saturday as quarterback Eric Dungey and Wide Receiver Ervin Phillips have both been given the green light.
Zack Mahoney performed admirably after he was forced to start against LSU, a top ten team in the country, but this is Eric Dungey’s team. Dungey, in his limited playing time, has been able to make Tim Lester’s offense look like everything Syracuse fans had hoped it would be.
Now, not only is Dungey back, but he gets another guy who can catch the ball, Erv Phillips, who has not played since week one. Phillips was a favorite target of Eric Dungey in the (very) limited time they had together as Phillips snagged two touchdown catches in the first half of the 47-0 victory over Rhode Island.
With Josh Parris coming back against LSU and Steve Ishmael healthy, this is the first full-game look at the future of the Orange offense– at least for another couple of years. This game is certainly one that has the potential to excite Orange Nation. It is a winnable game and that win would bring the Orange to 4-1 on the season.
The Orange offense has the chance to break out against a defense that has struggled this season, allowing 31 points per game over the last three weeks. This is an offense, that for the first time this season, is really at full strength.
More than that, it is the offense that Syracuse fans will hope to see beyond this week and even this season. Eric Dungey is a freshman, Steve Ishmael is a sophomore, Brisly Estime is a junior and out of the backfield the Orange have a redshirt junior in Devante McFarlene and a pair of freshmen in Jordan Fredericks and Dontae Strickland.
After last seasons painful offensive performances, the Orange seem to finally have reason for optimism and this week, Tim Lester gets his offense at full strength.