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Biggest Question Syracuse Fans Need Fran Brown to Answer in His First Season

The excitement around Syracuse football couldn’t be much higher since Fran Brown arrived as the program’s new head coach. Brown’s prowess as an elite recruiter has immediately paid dividends both in the transfer portal and with the Orange’s 2024 recruiting class. But there are still questions that Brown will have to answer during the 2024 season. The biggest question is what kind of in-game coach will Brown be.

Talent-wise, Brown has upgraded the Syracuse roster more than anyone could have hoped. He’s brought in potential difference-makers on both sides of the ball, most notably quarterback Kyle McCord. Brown also helped to persuade some of the Orange’s top players with remaining eligibility to stick around for the 2024 campaign. But every team in the ACC has talent. What is Brown going to do with that talent?

What kind of in-game coach is Brown going to be? Will he be aggressive or conservative with play-calling and fourth-down decisions? Can he build an organized and disciplined team that limits the type of dead-ball penalties that plagued the Orange throughout the Dino Babers era? Has Brown created a staff that can create game plans week after week as well as they recruit? Amidst all of the excitement that Brown has brought to the program, these are still unanswered questions that will need to be answered in 2024.

To be fair, these questions aren’t specific to Brown. These are questions that need to be asked of any first-time head coach. After spending the last two years with Kirby Smart at Georgia, not to mention previous experience under well-known names like Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule, and Greg Schiano, nobody should doubt that Brown has been well-schooled. However, in-game decisions that he’s never had to make before are now on his shoulders. As much as Brown has excelled as a recruiter, he still has much to prove as an in-game coach.

This shouldn’t take away from any of the excitement surrounding Syracuse football. The Orange has every opportunity to be a contender in the ACC in 2024. In fact, ACC football games should be popular in New York sports betting this year if Syracuse ends up being relevant. There is certainly no shortage of sportsbooks operating in the Empire State.

However, it could be Brown’s coaching that ends up deciding how good Syracuse football is in 2024. The new head coach has surely collected enough talent to put together a winning season and potentially reach the ACC Championship Game thanks to a favorable schedule that avoids powerhouses like Clemson and Florida State. But talent alone isn’t going to do it, even with the Orange making massive upgrades in that area. It’s going to come down to Brown’s game-planning and in-game coaching. Those are still questions we’ve yet to see answered.

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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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