It‚Äôs no secret through two games, things have been straight-up bad for the Orange thus far. After receiving a thumping against North Carolina and turning in a shaky performance (at best) in its bout with Pitt, Syracuse fans would be right to lack optimism for the road ahead. However, might it be fair to say things will improve? At least a little bit? For one, they sure can‚Äôt get much worse.
Let‚Äôs just say, this coming Saturday will be very, very telling. The Orange finally returns home, albeit without a Loud House Crowd, to face Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets likely won‚Äôt pose as serious a threat as SU‚Äôs first two opponents, especially considering the energy that will, hopefully, come with playing in the new-and-improved dome. Regardless, even with Saturday‚Äôs matchup being a bit more favorable (on-paper) than SU‚Äôs previous two, a win is still far from guaranteed.
Georgia Tech is better than the 3-9 team it was last season. Freshman quarterback Jeff Sims has already proven to be a legitimate dual-threat weapon on offense, through just two games. The Yellow Jackets started off the year with a three-point win over Florida State before getting thumped at home by UCF. However, Sims currently sits second in the ACC in passing yards and sixth in rushing, as a quarterback. There is a caveat though.
The freshman has already thrown four interceptions, which could bode well for an Orange defense that‚Äôs notched three picks, in the early going. Either way, Syracuse‚Äôs offense will still have to put up points against the Yellow Jackets, which is something it has struggled to do thus far.
A victory on Saturday would be significant for SU, beyond just capturing win No. 1. It would also warrant a sense of optimism, heading into the team‚Äôs next few games. After Georgia Tech, Syracuse remains at home to face a Duke team that has also looked rather underwhelming. After that, the Orange will see Liberty, which is the closest thing is has to a lock, all season ‚Äì assuming that game is played.
All in all, these next three games are imperative for Dino Babers‚Äô team. After starting its season against two tough opponents, the Orange has a chance to bounce back and head to Clemson with a 3-2 record. That is obviously best-case scenario, but truthfully, it may very well be the only scenario SU can afford to settle for.