2018 Syracuse Orange College Football Preview

by | Jul 18, 2018 | NCAA Football


Syracuse Orange
Carrier Dome
49,262 Seat Stadium
Field Turf
Syracuse, New York

The Syracuse Orange come into the 2018 NCAA College Football Season with some high expectations in returning 14 starters, from a team that upset the Clemson Tigers last year. The Orange will bring back 8 starters on offense and 6 starters from the defensive units.  Syracuse will try to turn around a trend that has crushed them over the past two years under Head Coach Dino Babers. Under Babers, they are 8-8 in their 16 games played in September and October but 0-8 in their games played in November. They must find a way to close out strong and end the season on a winning note if they want to turn around the past two losing seasons.

Syracuse Orange Coaching

Dino Babers is back as the Syracuse Orange Head Coach. Babers is in his third season with the Orange, but he has yet to produce a winning season with Syracuse. In his first two seasons with Syracuse Orange, he has gone 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the ACC in both seasons.

Heading into the Syracuse job, he has composed a combined record of 18-9 as the Head Coach of Bowling Green and 19-7 as the Head Coach of Eastern Illinois. This Syracuse job has been the first losing experience of his career. Babers will be looking to get back to a winning record and take the Orange to their first bowl game since 2013.

Syracuse Orange Offense

The Syracuse Offense will be anchored in 2018 by Quarterback Eric Dungey. Dungey played in 9 games last year and passed for 2,495 yards, with 14 touchdowns through the air and another 595 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. Dungey’s main issue was trying to stay healthy. He has had major issues over the course of his career with concussions, which are normally a lingering injury that reoccur over time.

Dungey made his name in the Clemson game, where he passed for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the country! Barring injury setback, he could be on the way to putting together a really strong season in Syracuse. If Dungy goes down with an injury or lingering concussion symptoms in 2018, he could potentially lose his job. Redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito is an exciting quarterback that is waiting in the wings.

Unfortunately for Dundy, or DeVito, the Orange lost their two top receivers in Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips. This Wide Receiving unit is going to be young and they are going to need to mature, much faster than normal. Devin Butler and Nykeim Johnson will be the two main guys at the receiver spot but neither is really a player that would start on most teams in the ACC. They are fast and athletic but they both lack game experience and the ability to get off the line, to make moves in the open field.

There will be a Running Back competition in Syracuse, as Senior Dontae Strickland and Junior Moe Neal battle it out in the next six weeks to determine who will get the bulk of the carries. Most believe it will be Strickland due to his experience and consistency, however, Neal is not going to go away without a fight. He is going to make it tough on the coaches to decide on a #1 starter, and very well could force them into making this a two-headed monster in the backfield.

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Syracuse Orange Defense

The defense could have some issues in 2018. In 2017, they allowed over 32 points per game and that is a number that no DI team in the nation can put up wins against. They are going to be without their two top defenders in Parris Bennett and Zaire Franklin. Replacing your two top defensemen is never easy, especially when the unit really wasn’t that good in the first place.

The Orange will have defensive tackle Chris Slayton back for his fifth year. Slayton is one of the best Nose Tackles in the ACC and could develop into a high draft pick this year. Slayton is a very big and strong man, standing in at 315+LBS but being agile enough to run sprints with the linebackers.

Both Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson will be back for the Orange on the edge. Both of these guys are fast off the end and bring some experience to the line, which they will definitely need with only returning 6 players on the defense this year. Most of the loss comes from the linebacking crew, which was strong in 2017.

2018 Syracuse Orange Schedule

Some people would say that Syracuse has a friendly schedule, knowing they will face Florida State, Louisville and NC State at home but they are forgetting that they have to go on the road and play Clemson, BC and Pitt. After the first two games, things are going to be rough for the Orange. They are going to struggle with putting together a winning season, knowing they will face Florida State, Clemson, Boston College, Notre Dame and Louisville. Not going to be any room for them to mess up and drop one of their easy games.

  • September 1 @ Western Michigan Broncos
  • September 8 Wagner Seahawks
  • September 15 Florida State Seminoles
  • September 22 UConn Huskies
  • September 29 @ Clemson Tigers
  • October 6 @ Pittsburgh Panthers
  • October 13 Bye Week
  • October 20 North Carolina Tar Heels
  • October 27 NC State Wolfpack
  • November 3 @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  • November 9 Louisville Cardinals
  • November 17 @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • November 24 @ Boston College Eagles
  • December 1 ACC Championship Game (Charlotte, NC) *If Applicable*

2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Syracuse Orange

I have listed Syracuse as the 14th team in the Spooky Express Power Rankings. Sorry Orange fans but this defense is worse than last year's……and last years was BAD! They play some really good teams this year that are capable of scoring some big numbers of points. They will be lucky if they can put together a 5 win season.

The first wager I want to point out is the Syracuse regular season wins. MyBookie has them listed as 6 games. In order for them to win 6 games this year, that means they are going to have to upset at least one of their big named opponents. It ain’t happening this year. They just don’t have the defensive talent to prevent teams from running up the score on them. I will be playing the Orange to win UNDER 6 games.

Next, you would need to be a big risk taker if you think the Orange can win the National Championship or the ACC Championship. Neither one will happen but if you are interested, you can play both at MyBookie for +30000 on the National Championship and +6500 to win the ACC Championship.

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 2018 Season.

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