There’s not many gimmes on the Syracuse schedule. Two weeks ago fans could dream of a bowl game. At 3-1 the work had been done in the non-conference season, a foundation had been built. Today, it’s a little bleaker. The Orange have lost a pair of three-point games, at Florida State and home to Wake Forest, to fall to .500.
The good news is, of their final 6 games only one opponent is ranked (#22 NC State). But how many of these foes are inferior teams to the Orange? The answer is probably none. The bad news is there are no “should wins” left on the slate. Every game will take a really solid effort from SU and a break or two.
Knowing the Orange were a few plays away from being 5-1 is painful. FSU was looking for its first win and finally notched it against SU. Wake Forest was against the ropes, and SU allowed them to work their way off it (aided by Dino’s questionable decision at the end of the half). We documented how a bowl path would look two weeks ago. Is it still possible?
The good news is SU seems to be punching above its weight class. The Demon Deacons are in the midst of their best season since WW2 and are ranked. For SU to hold a two-possession lead on them shows talent. Garrett Shrader has clearly become a playmaker for the Orange, who accounted for more than 300 yards and 3 TDs. Sean Tucker is one of the best backs in the country. But the defense has broken in big spots, especially the last two weeks. An opportune turnover in either of these losses and SU would have survived.
Clemson isn’t the power house of the previous 7 years. Louisville is one of the lesser teams in the ACC. No one is unbeatable in the conference. Wake Forest is probably the best team in the league (yikes) and SU should’ve beaten them. So the glass is half full, but it should have been filled to the brim.