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Predicting SU Football’s 2022 Season: Part 1

College football is creeping up on us Fizz Nation! The final members of Syracuse’s 2022 recruiting class just joined the team recently in the Salt City. SU opens up its season in less than two months. Now, this team is really hard to get a read on so it’s very difficult to go about projecting what they could accomplish this fall.

That’s not going to stop us from giving it our best shot though. Word of advice before we get going, don’t put any money on win totals with this team. The Orange could go 3-9, but they could also go 9-3 there’s just so many toss up games this year and things like momentum could tell the tale of the season. Instead, use your money weekly because we expect Syracuse to once again be one of the best squads against the spread this year. SU finished 8-4 ATS in 2021.

Okay, without further ado here’s how we see the first half of the ‘Cuse’s 2022 campaign playing out.

Week 1 vs Louisville, L (80% Confidence)

This matchup has all the makings of a win for Syracuse. Dome opener, probably a sold out crowd, chance to get the season started off with a HUGE ACC win. Right now it’s see it to believe mode though. Louisville has derailed SU under Scott Satterfield since 2019. Here are the recent scorelines: 56-34, 30-0, and 41-3. One thing is clear, UL can score points thanks to Malik Cunningham, and SU can’t tally enough.

There’s no way the ‘Cuse offense is clicking on the cylinders needed to keep pace in a shootout in week one. The Cardinals have a three-headed monster at running back which will eat up the SU front six. There may be some question marks at wide receiver but there’s a lot of talent and there’s also an all-conference tight end still in Marshon Ford. Oh, plus four of the five offensive linemen are back from last year’s team.

The Louisville defense isn’t the greatest and has talent sprinkled throughout but it doesn’t matter. UL will win this game with its offense, Syracuse won’t be able to keep pace.

Week 2 @ UCONN, W (100% Confidence)

It’s UCONN.

Week 3 vs Purdue, L (65% Confidence)

Kind of like Louisville, this is another contest in which Syracuse could win but it’s just not the smart prediction. Again, it all comes down to offense and at the end of the day, whoever scores more points wins right? The Boilermakers return one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten in Aidan O’Connell. The signal caller has a solid offensive line in front of him along with one of the best tight ends in the Midwest in Payne Durham. Additionally, this Purdue defense is just down right nasty.

The defensive line brings back four very experienced players. Behind them are a pair of linebackers who can make plays at every level and in every facet of the game. In the secondary, the safety tandem could be one of the best in the Big Ten west division. Finally, the Boilermakers brought in an electric playmaker in Iowa transfer Charlie Jones who is a dangerous receiver and returner.

The question marks for Purdue surround their run game which isn’t great and having to replace some prolific receivers in David Bell and Milton Wright. The sentiment around the skill position players is that it’s plug and play because Jeff Brohm, the Boilermakers head coach, is one of the most gifted offensive minds in the country. Could Syracuse win this game, yes. Are we going to predict that to happen? No.

Week 4 vs Virginia, W (60% Confidence)

This is going to be a fun one. A Friday night battle, inside the Dome with some revenge on the line. In one corner, an All-ACC quarterback who saw his coach and coordinator hit the exits. In the other corner, those same coaches that walked through the turn styles and opted for a new location. It’s Brennan Armstrong and the Cavs against Robert Anae, Jason Beck, and the Orange.

What will this game boil down to? You guessed it, offense. Armstrong passed for just under 4,500 yards last year and he has two of his top targets back. Additionally, Keytaon Thompson is back at his “football player” position and will be a matchup nightmare for the Orange defense. The versatile playmakers recorded about 250 rush yards in 2021 and reeled in 78 passes for 990 yards.

On defense, the second level is solid with linebacker and secondary production returning. The biggest questions surrounding the Wahoos come in the trenches. The top six offensive linemen from last year’s Cavs team are gone. On the defensive line, just one player with meaningful experience is back. Football is won in the trenches and Syracuse should have the upper hand there.

Expect big rushing outputs from Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader and for Syracuse to turn Virginia one-dimensional and force them to run the ball well to win the game. SU snags a big time crossover ACC win.

Week 5 vs Wagner, W (100% Confidence)

It’s Wagner. It hasn’t won a game in three years.

Week 6 vs NC State, L (80% Confidence)

Got some petty cash lying around? Throw it on the Wolfpack to win the ACC in 2022. NCST returns an All-conference quarterback in Devin Leary, an experienced back in Jordan Houston, and two of the best receivers along the east coast in Thayer Thomas and Devin Carter. Protecting Leary are four returning o-line starters with an experienced tackle to replace Ikem Ekwonu at left tackle.

On the other side of the ball, this might be the best defense in the ACC. An All-conference defensive lineman returns, three all-conference linebackers, and a secondary loaded with proven talent. With all this experience and talent, the Pack is a program that’s trending up and quickly. Syracuse is just another stop on NC State’s road to the conference title game this year.

Record through six games: 3-3 (1-2)

That’s solid, Syracuse still has an opportunity at hitting six wins in the second half. Worst case scenario, SU is 2-4. Best case scenario, the Orange could be 4-2 or 5-1. So let’s sit in the median and take 3-3.

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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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