Orange Fizz


An Early Look At The 2024 Syracuse Orange

Clarence Lewis

As a “Power Five” school, the Syracuse Orange seems to be anything but powerful over the last decade. Not since 2012 has the team won a conference title and it has been sixty-five years since they claimed a National title. 

In 2022, things began to look up for the Orange as they jumped out to a 6-0 record, before finishing the year with just one more victory and five losses. Last year looked equally as promising as they opened the season 4-0, but dropped seven of their final nine games of the season, including an embarrassing 45-0 loss in the Boca Raton Bowl

With the 2024 schedule recently announced and the Orange Spring Game just finished, let’s take an early look to see how new head coach Fran Brown and the Orange may fare this season. 

Coaches Playbook

While he started the 2022 and 2023 seasons off with impressive records, Dino Babers struggled to lead the Orange to winning records each season, leading to his dismissal with one game left on the 2023 schedule.  

Enter Fran Brown, long-time defensive backs coach, and first-time head coach. Known as the nation’s top recruiter, it would only be fair to give Brown a couple of seasons to etch his brand and style into the Orange playbook. A key staff member of the 2022 Georiga Bulldogs National Championship team, Brown has plenty of on and off-field experience and expects nothing less than to elevate the Orange and return Syracuse to the Top 25 rankings they once experienced in the 1990s and early 2000s under coach Paul Pasqualoni. 

Returning Stars

Brown will have a number of returning players to plot his playbook around, highlighted by running back LeQuint Allen, tight ends Oronde Gadsden II and Dan Vallari and receiver Umari Hatcher. 

After ringing in over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns on 245 carries as a full time starter, Allen looks to build on those numbers this season.  Injured in just the second game of the 2023 season, a healthy Gadsden II returns to the Orange as one of the most dynamic playmakers on the team. An All-ACC member in 2022, Gadsden is capable of reaching 1000 yards and 8-10 trips to the end zone. Last season Vallari found himself playing tight end, quarterback and running back for the Orange due to very odd circumstances. This year Vallari can return to focus on blocking and catching passes under offensive coordinator Jeff Nixon. 

Hatcher will be pushed by a freshman and a pair of transfers to be even better than he was last season. As a sophomore, Hatcher notched 32 receptions for 482 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

On the other side of the field, linebacker Marlowe Wax and defensive back Justin Barron return to lead the Orange’s defensive unit. Wax finished his junior season with a career high 74 solo tackles and 34 assists to go along with 4 sacks. Barron also posted a career best with 54 solo tackles and 35 assists. 

Fresh Faces

The Orange have been ranked by pundits in the mid-thirties of the overall recruiting rankings and as high as seventh in the ACC. To be fair to Brown who was a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to the 2024 class due to his hiring in November, the Orange do not have any five-star recruits. Look for edge rusher KingJoseph Edwards, running back Yasin Willis, and wide receiver Emanuel Ross as the three brightest young stars to join the squad. 

As for transfers, quarterback Kyle McCord (Ohio State) and wide receiver Yazeed Haynes (Georgia) are both four-star players along with Jackson Meeks (Georgia), will immediately be slotted into starting spots. 

Despite piloting the Buckeyes, one of the favorites to win the 2023 National Championship, to an 11-1 regular season record after taking over the team in his junior season, one that included 3,170 passing yards and 24 touchdowns, it seemed like Ohio State wanted to go a different direction from McCord, one which will only benefit the Orange. Praised by former Orange star QB Donovan McNabb, McCord looks to not only prove his former team wrong but also improve his odds of becoming a potential first-round pick. 


Although the NFL dominates American sports betting, NCAA football is extremely popular among football fans throughout North America, including those who engage in sports betting in Canada. The Orange have gotten off to hot starts the last two years only to fizzle out at the end of each season.

Fran Brown is ready to usher in a new era of winning football at Syracuse. From impact freshmen to the alumni, Coach Brown wants to take the Orange to the top of the mountain. “I’m not doing this right now to be 19th in the country and be happy about it. I want to win a championship. I came from a program where we were winning championships. That’s what I want to do. That’s the reason you play this game. You play to win a championship. I’ll keep busting my butt until we get to that. I’m at a place where I believe we’ll be able to do that. 

Will that happen this coming season. No. But a winning record for the second time in six years and a third straight Bowl appearance, this time with a positive result is not out of the question for Brown and the Orange. 

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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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