Thursday, August 5, 2010
Big East 2010-Syracuse Orangemen
2009 Record: 4-8 (1-6)
Head Coach: Doug Marrone (4-8, 2nd season)
Offensive Coordinator: Marrone
Defensive Coordinator: Scott Shafer (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Far, far away
Offense: Ryan Nassib will take over at QB this season for Doug Marrone's team. That's really not a ton to get excited about. RB Delone Carter will return after posting a 1021 yard rushing total in 2009, but he missed the spring game due to an arrest on a misdemeanor assault charge. Of course, he's the lone weapon on the team, so of course he was cleared for fall ball. There is zero depth at the wideout spot, but three starters do come back on the O-Line. This unit is in trouble.
Defense: Derrell Smith moved inside to MLB last season and led the team in sacks. Taking his place on the outside, Doug Hogue racked up 6.5 TFLs against Rutgers. This LB group should be the strength of the Orangemen's defense in 2010. The D-line is not horrible either, as they led a push in 2009 that drove a number 6 ranking nationally in sacks. The safety position is in good shape as well, as both Max Suter and Mike Holmes return for another go. The D will be asked to keep Syracuse close in games as the inexperienced offense will tend to stutter through games.
Special Teams: Ryan Lichtenstein is a solid PK, and he gets better from farther out. P Rob Long was 2nd in the Big East in punting average in 2009. Both of these guys will be leaned on heavily, much like the defense, to support a thin and inexperienced offense.
Wins: 9/4 @ Akron, 9/18 Maine, 9/25 Colgate
Toss Up Games: 11/6 Louisville
Losses: 9/11 @ Washington, 10/9 @ South Florida, 10/16 Pittsburgh, 10/23 @ West Virginia, 10/30 @ Cincinnati, 11/13 @ Rutgers, 11/20 UConn, 11/27 Boston College
The Orangemen can only hope to steal a game or two, but they are still only in year two of a massive rebuilding project. However, let's be honest, that two game stretch with Maine and Colgate is a complete joke. You don't get better playing teams like that, and hell, Maine is a team that can actually play a trick and beat you. Playing Colgate is just a disgrace.
Outlook: I call them the Orangemen, because that is who they are...not the Orange. Let's start a public boycott of that name right now. Who were they offending? Citrus? Spray tanners? Let's really grow up and get off the name changing kick here. This team is not going to be much better than they were a season ago, and frankly, could be a little bit worse. Marrone is working hard, but this is a direct reflection of the damage that complacency in the 90's has done to this program on a national level, and it could take a really long time to fix.