If you‚Äôve been going through Syracuse sports withdrawal over the past few weeks, never fear. The Fizz is here to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. ‚ÄòCuse sports start up again tomorrow with a men‚Äôs basketball game against Brown, but SU football stirred up some exciting news today.
This afternoon, it was announced that former Virginia offensive coordinator Robert Anae (pictured, above) and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck have been reportedly hired by Syracuse. The hirings have yet to be finalized, but reputable reporting leads us to believe they‚Äôre legitimate. The two have been tied to Syracuse for the past week, and they‚Äôd be the latest assistant coaches to depart Virginia after head coach Bronco Mendenhall‚Äôs resignation and the team‚Äôs Fenway Bowl cancellation. Just hope these two don‚Äôt welch the same way former defensive coordinator Zach Arnett did.
Anae and Beck would be a boon for Syracuse and its largely one-dimensional offense that ranked last in the ACC in passing yards per game in 2021. Any blame heaped on ‚ÄòCuse‚Äôs point-producing in 2021 (10th/14 ACC in PPG) likely shouldn‚Äôt be placed on the players or even Dino Babers. Former offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert was an objective failure, but he has since been relieved of his duties. Anae and Beck now arrive as a package deal with a track record of success.
Prior to UVA, Anae has coaching experience dating back to 1986 including an early stop at Hawaii – Dino Babers’ alma mater. Beck played quarterback at BYU in the mid-2000s before coaching stops at Brigham Young, Weber State, and Simon Fraser.
Anae and Beck thrived together during Mendenhall‚Äôs UVA tenure. Over a six-year span, the team amassed a 36-38 record (including a 2-10 first season dud) with three bowl appearances, but the team put up impressive offensive numbers every season. Prior to Anae and Beck‚Äôs arrival, UVA had played 126 seasons of football and never had a 3,000 yard passer. Since 2016, they‚Äôve had three different players accomplish the feat. Functioning within Anae‚Äôs up-tempo spread offense, junior southpaw Brennan Armstrong rewrote UVA‚Äôs passing records and set program marks for single-season passing yardage and total yardage last season. Prior to Armstrong, dual-threat QB Bryce Perkins powered the Cavs all the way to the 2019 ACC Championship Game.
This is all great news for Babers and incumbent SU quarterback Garrett Shrader. Shrader proved last season that he‚Äôs a capable Division I quarterback, but he showed his limitations and frequently looked uncomfortable throwing the football. ‚ÄòCuse didn‚Äôt make an effort to secure another quarterback in the transfer portal or recruiting trail, and the only viable alternative might be sophomore JaCobian Morgan, who is still unproven. Shrader is here to stay, but he‚Äôll now be under the tutelage of dual-threat quarterback whisperers.¬†
Both Anae and Beck are intriguing offensive minds, and there‚Äôs reason for legitimate excitement if they come North to SU. Syracuse already has a strong option game with Shrader and All-American running back Sean Tucker. The team is trying to improve upon its 5-7 record and reach a bowl, and hiring new offensive minds to jumpstart a struggling unit is a strong step toward that goal.