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Three Questions for SU Football after the Spring Game

Cuse.com

The Syracuse football spring game has come and gone. While last week’s preview of a new offense and a strong bunch of returners on the defensive side gave the Fizz plenty of positive takeaways, there are still some questions we need answered about Syracuse football.

Does Garrett Shrader Work in the Robert Anae Offense?

Shrader didn’t play in the spring game because of a nagging hamstring injury, and Justin Lamson shined.

Now let’s not get confused here. This is still very much Shrader’s job, although he’s going to be pressed by the redshirt-freshman from California. For Shrader, the offense will pressure him to do two things well. He has to be accurate, and he has to read defenses pre-snap and identify matchups. Anae called plenty of short, middle-field passes along with a couple of deep balls. Tempo was also a big part of the offense, signaling things in extremely quickly. Shrader last year wasn’t always throwing darts when called upon. If he struggled to find the right receivers and get the ball out on time, expect to see a bit of Lamson in the early going.

Can the D-Line Hold Up?

The defensive line has been a source of controversy for us here at the Fizz. While on one hand, it seems like Tony White and D-Line Coach Chris Achuff have picked a clear starting three (Caleb Okuchukwu, Terry Lockett and Jatius Geer), there isn’t much depth. In fact, there were a pair of true freshmen playing defensive end with the twos. Francois Nolton Jr. and Denis Jaquez Jr., two players who haven’t been through a full summer of strength training yet, saw plenty of snaps against the second team offense. Does this bode well for Syracuse? No. All six of the defensive lineman on the two-deep are undersized, and against the road graders of Louisville, Clemson, Wake Forest and others, this could be a real issue.

Will the Special Teams Unit Return to Greatness?

Last year was horrific for Andre Szymt and company. The 2018 Lou Groza award winner looked nothing of the sort, and the punting, led by James Williams was also horrific. New special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky looks to turn the unit around in 2022. All kickoffs, field goals and punts were just done with specialists on the field, and no pressure or linemen. We won’t be able to tell what this group of capable of until September 3.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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