Hello Orange Nation, and I am so excited watching this Syracuse football season so far! It hasn’t been perfect, but 3-1 is a heck of a lot better than 1-3, and I take joy in moments where the team I enjoy is doing well.
Syracuse football has definitely been like in the theme song to “Facts Of Life,” where you have to “take the good and take the bad,” but the good is outweighing the bad and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.
This week I want to try something new and break down ways that I think the Orange can win against their opponent. I used to love it when I listened to Syracuse football games and they had the “Key Banks Keys To Victory,” so I thought I would take a stab at it myself.
Please note that I am not a former head coach nor am I a prognosticator with any success but just an excited fan talking about what I think or what I have seen. Here are 5 keys I think could make an impact and possibly lead Syracuse football to a win.
If Syracuse football focuses on some of these areas, it will be on a path to beat Florida State.
Contain FSU’s Running Game
FSU’s record will show you a team of struggle and desperation. It will show you a team that may not be what many think of when they think of FSU, but one aspect of their game they do seem to be doing well is running the ball.
Treshaun Ward and Jashaun Corbin provide a tandem of playmakers who if Syracuse football isn’t prepared for, could make it a long day on the field for the Orange defense.
Run Tucker Run
I feel like once a week or more I am writing something about Sean Tucker and his impact on this Syracuse team and how well he is playing. And while I talked about it earlier with FSU, Syracuse will likely utilize Tucker quite a bit in this game as well.
Abdul Adams has done some good work at times and Garrett Shrader has been impressive running the ball as well, but I would assume that with the success Tucker has had so far this season, the team will rely on him again to make some good plays to keep them in this game and have a chance to win.
If Sean can manage another 100-yard game against a roster as talented and loaded as FSU or at least have a big impact in some form or fashion in the game, Syracuse football and Orange fans may just be in for a good season this year.
To get there though, he will have to deal with FSU defensive end Jermaine Johnson II, who has 5.5 sacks already this year as well as 31 tackles. And maybe, just maybe we see the return of the Rhino to help provide more experience and weapons to make the run game more successful.
Score Big Early
Obviously, the fan response when one does something similar to this is to say, “score more points than your opponent.” So when I say to score big early, the possible response might be “DUH!” but while listening to the On The Block with Brent Axe show from earlier this week in podcast form, he brought up that FSU has had a tendency to face a deficit early and the inability to recover.
The Orlando Sentinel essentially points that out as well in its article. One other incentive if Syracuse football is able to score early includes allowing the chance to take FSU fans out of the game early, possibly cause a lack in confidence on the FSU sideline (especially after starting 0-4 on the season already) and make FSU desperate enough to leave their game plan and make riskier plays to overcome the deficit.
Complete More Passes Than Last Week
Garrett Shrader was named the starter last week against Liberty. Syracuse football won the game but many noticed a lack of complete passes in the game, including players and staff. If Garrett is slated to start at FSU, I am sure he worked on this during the past week extensively.
I am willing to bet that nobody wants more to prove he can do it more than Garrett Shrader himself. If I had to take a guess, I would speculate that we will see Garrett start to find more of a rhythm with either Taj Harris or Damien Alford or maybe both…or maybe another receiver.
Respect Thy Opponent But Crush Them
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY! A win here could have big repercussions for this season. This is a game where Syracuse football should ignore their opponent’s record because this isn’t Ohio or Albany struggling, this is a desperate and hungry Seminoles football team that will be looking to use Syracuse football as a stepping stone back to reclaim their glory and avoid a potential disaster of a season.
FSU is actually favored in this game, so that Vegas can get money to move on it one way or another or because some people who decide these things believe that FSU is the better, more loaded talent-wise team and will put it together.