Editor’s Note: This is part seven of an eight part series giving analysis of each of the eight teams in the Big East Football Conference, proceeding alphabetically, but ending with Syracuse. Two new teams will be released each weekday for the next four days, leading up to the start of the Syracuse Football season. Feel free to use the comment section to supplement the facts and analysis presented, however the opinions will stand. Enjoy and I hope you are looking forward to the new Big East football season as much as I am. Part 7 can be found here.
Preview – Syracuse begins their 2010 campaign under 2nd year head coach Doug Marrone with one very specific goal; get to a bowl game. Seems simple enough, but for a Syracuse team that has not headed to a bowl since 2004 and has not had a winning season since 2001 that is easier said than done. New starting QB Ryan Nassib (36/68, 422yds, 3 TD, 1 INT, sacked 7 times) proved a nice asset to Syracuse, and proved a skilled pocket passer in spots last season but he is truly untested in the starting role. Syracuse does have back a major offensive weapon however in senior RB Delone Carter (236att, 1021yds, 4.3avg, 11 TD) who should earn another 1000 plus yard season. The receiver core is a little suspect but should be adequate for the job at hand. As for the defense, Syracuse returns nine starters from last season that will start this time around. Both the defensive line and the linebackers will be absolutely solid and should provide another year of stingy run defense. The secondary all returns from last season and should be better at preventing the long plays this season, though this will be the most vulnerable of the defense again. Syracuse will be improved this season and should be able to compete even better this year than last year.
Key Returning Players – RB Delone Carter, DE Chandler Jones, LB Derrell Smith
Key Losses – WR Mike Williams, QB Greg Paulus, DT Art Jones
My Thoughts – Syracuse is a decent team this year. The offense should be improved compared to last season with Doug Marrone taking over as offensive coordinator and Ryan Nassib is progressing fairly well. If Syracuse can prevent big home run balls games should be a lot closer than they probably should be according to the teams on paper. Syracuse opens up a favorable schedule until the Big East starts. A good start will be key, and Syracuse fans should see some exciting games.
How Will We Do? – Syracuse will again finish around seventh in the league, but getting some lucky breaks and staying healthy could allow them to surprise some people and move up even higher. Syracuse should get around two Big East wins at minimum and they have a great shot at winning six on the season, including a 3-1. It looks like a rough October as they take on the top teams in the league. But November looks a little brighter as we face Rutgers, Connecticut, and Boston College to end the season. Rivals ahoy. Syracuse could steal a game here, but I think this is where Syracuse will thrive with three home games and some winnable games in the stretch. Syracuse will be competitive, but sadly I think a bowl game is just out of their reach this season. But winning six games and a couple in the league is a big time improvement.
Labels: 2010 Big East Football Prospectus, Big East, Football