Syracuse football got an offensive explosion in Week 4. Here’s why the Orange needs to find a way to get Abdul Adams more involved to continue that success.
At 2-2, it is quite obvious that this Syracuse football team has underperformed.
While realistically they’re truly only one win below what their expectation would’ve been at this point in the season, the way they’ve gotten to .500 hasn’t been pretty.
The Orange shut out Liberty in Week 1, but only scored 24 points, in spite of their offense. Then, it all went downhill, as the ‘Cuse got throttled at the hands of Maryland in College Park, and then, while they had numerous chances, got trounced again, this time at home against Clemson.
Finally, just last week, the Tommy DeVito led offense looked a lot better, but it wasn’t a convincing win, as Syracuse won at home against a high-powered Western Michigan offense, 52-33.
Now, as the regular season is now already one-third of the way through, the Orange have a virtual write-off win against FCS Holy Cross, before a bye-week, and then the start of ACC play.
Coach Dino Babers has said that he hopes all injured players will be ready for that North Carolina State game on October 10, as well as an offense that needs to get all of its kinks figured out before that game if it still wants to reach the coveted Orange Bowl.
While most of this relies on the growth of sophomore quarterback, Tommy DeVito, there’s work needed in the running game as well.
While lead back Moe Neal has played up to his standards – three rushing touchdowns and on pace for the 1,000 yard mark that he had set for himself in the preseason – the Orange should take advantage of the slew of running backs they have on their roster.
The name that comes up here is Abdul Adams.
Adams, a highly coveted transfer from Oklahoma, has been decent thus far – 3.5 yards per carry with one rushing score, along with six catches for an additional 69 receiving yards.
However, given his track record at Oklahoma, as well as his ability to use his strength and his speed to his advantage, the Orange need to start using Adams more often for the sake of their offense.
The junior had over 500 yards on just under 60 carries in his second season for the Sooners, proving that he has the ability to take off for very long runs – with multiple 50 yard rushes at his previous stop at Oklahoma. However, he has yet to do that in Syracuse.
While his 43 rushing attempts as the second choice to Neal isn’t shameful – you have to wonder if he could benefit from a few more touches per game.
After all, Adams was a four-star recruit, as would be the lead back on most teams in college football, so upping his average carries per game really couldn’t hurt, and may just help. Of course, Babers loves the air game, especially with how well DeVito played against the Broncos last weekend, but he shouldn’t shy away from an offense built around a talented running back core.
In the end, this is Dino Babers team to do with as he pleases. The man has exceeded Syracuse’s wildest expectations and more and has not only brought renewed hope but stability to the program. However, Abdul Adams is a very talented back, and maybe giving him more of a workload could prove to be a huge difference for this underperforming offense.