2008 Syracuse Orange Football Preview
2007 Syracuse Record: (2-10, 1-6 Big East)
2007 Bowl: none
Offensive Coordinator: Mitch Browning
Defensive Coordinator: Derrick Jackson and Greg Robinson
Returning Leaders for Syracuse:
Other Key Returnees: OT Corey Chavers, CB Nick Chestnut, G Ryan Durand, CB Mike Holmes, DT Arthur Jones, C Jim McKenzie
Key Losses: S Joe Fields, LB Jameel McClain, WR Taj Smith
After three straight losing seasons, Coach Greg Robinson likely has one last chance to turn things around at Syracuse. The Orange went 2-10 last season with their lone wins coming against Louisville and Buffalo. The schedule was pretty rough, but that is of little importance to the fans of a once proud program. A winning record is not necessarily a necessity for Coach Robinson to keep his job, but the team better at least start showing some progress.
More 2008 Big East football previews:
The offense has some decent weapons, but they just need to develop some consistency and blossom into the players they could be. Quarterback Andrew Robinson did not exactly set the Big East on fire his first year as a starter, throwing for 2,192 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. At times he showed what he is capable of and hopefully, for the Orange faithful, consistency will come with experience. He has a solid target in Mike Williams, a 6-2 wide receiver and youngsters like incoming freshman Marcus Sales could make the receivers a very quality group. The running game is more than capable as long as Curtis Brinkley and Delonte Carter can actually stay healthy.
Unfortunately for the skill players on offense, the o-line is a mess. Injuries at running back and inexperience at quarterback certainly played a part in the Orange having one of the worst offenses in the nation last season, but the line deserves their fair share of the blame. Robinson was sacked an amazing 4.5 times per game, ranking 118 th of 119 teams. That also is the reason why Syracuse rushed for under 63 yards per game. For better or worse, three linemen return, but they will need some help from younger players like Tucker Baumbach and Ryan Bartholomew if the line is going to make drastic improvements.
The Bottom Line for the Orange:
As bad as the offensive numbers were last year, the defense was not much better. Coach Robinson is a defensive minded leader and has even taken over co-defensive coordinator duties. The biggest problem was getting to the quarterback. The team only recorded nine sacks on the entire season. Two years ago end Jameel McClain had 9.5 by himself. The Orange might not have enough confidence in their secondary to blitz a lot, but standing back and letting teams pick you apart has not proven to be very effective either.
By Joel Welser
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