What do SU fans want to see most from their team in 2016? The Fizz breaks it down.
A smooth transition
At his introductory press conference Dino Babers talked about having a “relentless defense,” “well coached special teams,” and a “fast offense that doesn’t huddle.” If Babers can show SU fans that their team is on the path to this vision in his first season, then he will most definitely be on the nice in 2016.
A healthy Eric Dungey
With Terrel Hunt not returning for a sixth season next year, Syracuse is Eric Dungey’s team. This past season Scott Shafer and Tim Lester didn’t do the best job of keeping the freshman healthy (cough, cough the Louisville game). A healthy Dungey should mean a competitive SU with many offensive starters returning next year. The Oregon native makes Syracuse fun to watch.
A Ron Thompson replacement
Orange fans were dealt a tough holiday blow when SU’s top defensive lineman tweeted that he will be entering the 2016 NFL draft just two days before Christmas. Thompson recorded four forced fumbles and seven sacks in 2015. He would’ve really helped a defense that will now learn a whole new scheme under new defensive coordinator Brian Ward.
Better secondary play
SU ranked 102nd in Division I in passing defense last season. The Orange only loses senior Julian Whigham from this unit heading into next year, so the secondary play should at least get a little better from an experience stand point. Cornerbacks Juwan Dowels and Corey Winfield as well as safeties Rodney Williams and Chauncey Scissum need to be better for Syracuse to compete for a bowl berth.
A bowl appearance
Syracuse fans won’t care if they don’t get everything on this list if the team makes a bowl game. A combined seven wins in the last two seasons has been a tough pill to swallow. The road to six wins in 2016 starts now.
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Posted: Connor Morrissette