2019 Syracuse Orange College Football Preview
BET ON THE SYRACUSE ORANGE
49,262 Seat Stadium
Syracuse, New York
Last year’s record (10-3, 6-2 ACC)
Head Coach: Dino Babers
Record at School (18-19) 3 years
Career Record 55-35) 7 years
Coach Babers three years ago said he would turn the program around, and he was not lying. His first two seasons brought only 4 wins each year. Apparently his recruiting and game plan came together in 2018.
It was the most exciting, winningest season in Syracuse in almost 20 years. The Orange finished with 10 wins including a bowl win. They finished ranked 15th in the country. The past two seasons they are 1-1 vs Clemson and could have won both games.
Not many teams can say that. The losses last year were by 3 at Clemson, an OT loss at Pitt and they only bad game they played all season was a 36-3 loss vs #3 ranked Notre Dame, nothing to be ashamed of there.
Last season brought the Syracuse football program back into the limelight, certainly in the ACC and now nationally as well.
Last season Syracuse was ranked 2nd in scoring & total offense in the ACC. They should be pretty solid again with (6) starters returning. The key loss is QB Eric Dungey who was a dual threat throwing for 2,565 yards and running for 732 yards. He is what made the team go, but he was not a great passer with only 17 TD passes against 7 interceptions.
Sophomore Tommy DeVito will be taking over. If what they say he true, he is going to be better. It is said he has a huge arm and better passing skills. He does not have the legs that Dungey had, but coach Babers prefers more passing and less running from their QB’s. He has plenty of talent to throw the ball to with (2) returning WR’s.
Sean Riley led the team in catches last season, while sophomore Taj Harris/Nykeim Johnson caught 75 balls for over 1000 yards between them.
Senior RB Moe Neal brings his 827 yards with him from last season. The offense line is the only real concern with only two starters back. They love the size of the players replacing those lost linemen. Should be another productive year for the offense.
Even with the 10 win season last year, the defense, at least stat wise was not as good as you might think. They were ranked 6th in the ACC & 64th nationally in scoring defense.
Total defense was 10th in the ACC & 88th nationally. The one thing they did do well was sack the quarterback, ranking 6th in the country. The Orange have (7) starters returning from that unit and it only makes sense they will improve.
The guys missing are in the middle. Losing LB’s Guthrie and Whitner and their 207 tackles hurt, but they have adequate replacements with experience as well as some recruits they are very high on. The secondary has the potential to be very good this season.
Safety Andre Cisco is supposed to be amazing. Last season he had 60 tackles and picked of 7 passes. There is no doubt this group will be better than last year’s edition.
SYRACUSE SPECIAL TEAMS
All-American placekicker Andre Szmyt returns after making 30 of 34 field goals last season including 3-3 from 50 plus yards, and a perfect 57-57 in extra points. I dare you to find someone better. All-ACC punter Sterling Hofrichter returns as well. There is nothing for coach Babers to be concerned about with this group.
2019 SYRACUSE ORANGE OUTLOOK
You have to love what coach Babers has done with this program. This is going to be a pivotal season for the Orange. It is one thing to rebuild a team and get them in the top 20, it is another to keep them there now that people are aware this is a good team.
They have the coach and the talent. If the new QB is as good as advertised, the offense will be fine. The defense needs to continue to improve and they should as well. No doubt this team will go bowling for the 2nd year in a row, but they are not ready to overtake Clemson yet.
BETONLINE has listed the regular season win total at 7½. There is only one true automatic loss on the schedule and that is Clemson. If it were not the 3rd game of the season, even that might not be automatic seeing how tough they played them the past two seasons.
Liberty, Western Michigan & Holy Cross should be automatic wins. That leaves 8 games that all appear winnable, with road games vs NC State & Florida State being the toughest. I cannot imagine them not winning at least half of those 8 games and getting to 8 wins.
They made be hard pressed to match last year’s 10 wins, but 9 is very attainable. I feel the bookmakers set this one a little to low and it should be 8½. I am taking OVER 7½ wins this season.
Don’t forget to check out our NCAA College Football Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings in College Football throughout the 2019 Season.