There are a lot of reasons why Syracuse football can be successful in 2022 and be better than their 5-7 record in 2021. This is just part one of a four-part series detailing what could make the Orange a better football team, and allow them to have more success this season than last.
So, let’s start on a micro level, and look at a couple of key facets of the SU offense and how if they are better than last season, it can make a huge difference in the standings.
Offenses rely on their quarterbacks, and last season SU started with one guy, and then switched to another. The move turned out to be the correct one, and Shrader made an immediate impact and kept SU close in a lot of games last season. Specifically, FSU, Wake Forest, and Clemson all come to mind in games that likely would have been bigger margins if not for Shrader’s heroics.
If Shrader takes the next step, specifically with his arm, and continues to use his legs effectively without dangerously putting his body on the line, he can be a very successful quarterback. With a new QB coach and offensive coordinator, it is feasible that could ber the tutelage Shrader needs to take the step from run-first quarterback to the true dual-threat guy we all saw in the Orange’s dramatic road win at Virginia Tech last season.
If Shrader can do that, then it opens things up dramatically for Sean Tucker. The third-year running back is already one of the best in the nation, but because teams were able to key in on him because of Shrader’s deficiencies, he was not as successful as maybe he even could have been, despite still breaking SU’s all-time single-season rushing record.
So, if Shrader improves, that will allow Tucker to have more opportunities for running lanes because teams are scared of the SU passing attack. Utilizing play-action more this season would be a very effective way of doing that this season.
Big plays down the field did not happen as much under Sterlin Gilbert’s offense, but maybe with Robert Anae and Jason Beck in charge, the Orange offense can be much more aggressive pushing the ball down the field, and playing to the strengths of their personnel.
Syracuse football can be successful, and maybe even get to a bowl this season if Garrett Shrader’s development is taken to the next level, which will allow opportunities for his teammates on offense to be successful as well.
If Babers’ offensive coaching staff hires hit, that will allow his players to take the next step on the field, and hopefully, do enough to finally win more games than they lose for the first time since 2018, and only the second time since Babers took over the SU program.