Dungey has exceed expectations so far this year when he’s been out there. I mean the dude is actually kinda in the Heisman conversation. Tommy D struggled initially, but while playing with the first stringers in the second half of FSU—the redshirt freshman delivered. That’s the difference between this year and years past. SU can still get by if Dungey goes down.
Running Backs: C+
It’s unreasonable to ever expect a Dino offense to put up big run numbers. That’s just the way football is heading. Having said that, SU has showed no signs of being able to run the ball effectively at the goal line. That’s a legitimate issue.
Offensive Line: A-
With the exception of Koda Martin being treated like a turnstile for that sack at the end of the Clemson game, he has been one of the most valuable players on the Syracuse roster. Overall, this is the most improved unit from a year ago and a huge reason why they’re knocking on the top 25 door.
Jamal Custis and Devin Butler stepped up and played like the receivers SU needs them to be on Saturday. As a whole, though, they’ve been too inconsistent. Custis oozes potential, which makes the costly drops even more infuriating. Also shoutout, Taj Harris, the freshman has been a welcome surprise to a position group that needs a few of those.
Defensive Line: A
This unit has gotten better each game. They simply out-dueled Clemson in the trenches at their place Saturday. Few teams have the ability to do that in the country. Outside of Dungey, Kendall Coleman has been the player of the year so far for the Orange. Credit Vinson Reynolds and Brian Ward for their blitz schemes this year. The D-Line is the strength of this Syracuse team.
In a game with plenty of positives for Syracuse, two things stand out.
-Defensive line dominance. SU's front four has performed like they're the ones with all they hype surrounding them.
-Wide receivers have been productive. Custis obvious one, but Butler is there too.
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) September 29, 2018
The young backers kinda got exposed in the second half against Clemson. We knew they weren’t going to be as good as last year and that’s okay. Going forward, they need to cut down on the missed tackles. On the bright side, this is not the Achilles heel we thought it might be.
I’ve been hard on the SU secondary for awhile and it’s time for me to fess up a little. They were much better than I thought they would be against Clemson. Granted, with only one half of Trevor Lawerence but still. After Western Michigan, I thought it was going to be a long season for this group. They have improved each week. This unit probably determines the ceiling for this team and SU needs them to continue trending in the right direction.
Special Teams: A+
CFB Special Teams Efficiency
1 Syracuse 90.5
2 Louisville 86.7
3 Brigham Young 84.7
4 Toledo 83.7
5 Virginia Tech 81.8
6 Troy 81.4
7 Illinois 80.5
8 Appalachian State 80.4
9 Florida 78.8
10 Oklahoma 77.5
— CFB Focus 🏈 (@cffmwachsman) September 30, 2018
Forget Beamer ball, how bout Babers ball? I’m half kidding of course but man has this unit been vital to the early season success. Special Teams will never be the thing that stands out in the box score, but Andre Szymt has been a revelation, Hofrichter has been great and they are helping Syracuse win the always-important field position battle each and every week.