The temperatures are barely reaching the 40s, which means it must be time for Syracuse’s Spring Preview in the Carrier Dome.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already in the third year of the Dino Babers era. With that, expectations undeniably go up for the program. We won’t learn a lot on Friday night, but we’ll learn a few things. Here’s what I’ll be keeping an eye on this weekend.
1. Who steps up at linebacker?
This is going to be a challenge. Anyone who watched the Orange last year knows Zaire Franklin, Paris Bennett and Jonathan Thomas were all over the field for SU. Well, all of those guys are gone. So that begs the question: who’s going to step up? It’s easy for us to highlight someone like Andrew Armstrong, but it’s going to take more than one player to replace that group. In my eyes, this is Babers’ biggest challenge in 2018. Without decent replacements, the SU defense could go from the lower-tier of the ACC to the absolute basement (if that’s even possible).
2. Antwan Cordy’s move to WR
This is fun. When the spring depth charts came out last month, this was by far the most surprising move. Will it last? Who knows, but we should expect to see Cordy get some run with the offense on Friday. Ironically, wide receivers is the other position where Syracuse needs guys to step up. Outside of Cordy, the obvious choices are players like Jamal Custis, Devin Butler and Sean Riley. All three of them showed flashes at times last year, but the consistency wasn’t ever there. With Dungey being at full strength this spring, chemistry shouldn’t be a problem in the passing game.
Ok, just for fun, let’s stay on the offensive side of the ball. Eric Dungey is the starter, we know that. But, we also know how injury prone he is. If you’re Babers, and you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your plan if Dungey goes down, you’re not doing your job properly. After all, Dungey is yet to play a full season, so why would that change this year? I want to see how improved DeVito is after sitting out his freshman season. You know how the saying goes: next man up. DeVito better be ready for that in the fall. Friday should give us an idea of how he’ll perform when his number is called.
The 2018 Spring preview in the Carrier Dome wraps up SU Football’s spring schedule. You can catch the game on ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN. As always, we’ll have updates for you on OrangeFizz.net and Orange Fizz on twitter and facebook.