During an unpredictable 2020 campaign for Syracuse football and its peers around the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Orange won just a single game, frustrating the fan base and leading some ‘Cuse fanatics to call for head coach Dino Babers to be fired.
Fast-forward to the present, and it’s undeniable that the Orange is one of the more pleasantly surprising teams nationwide to date in the 2021 stanza.
As Syracuse football prepares to commence Atlantic Coast Conference competition this Saturday afternoon at winless Florida State, the ‘Cuse sits at 3-1 overall after wrapping up its non-conference docket.
Syracuse football scored a solid win on the road versus Ohio, trounced Albany at home, and survived previously undefeated Liberty on the Hill this past Friday night following a last-second field goal. The Orange’s lone setback, at home to Rutgers, isn’t a totally terrible loss, either.
A national writer is praising the Syracuse football start to 2021.
It’s true that the ‘Cuse still has eight games left in the 2021 regular season, so a lot can happen over the next few months. However, at least for the time being, the narrative on the Orange is shifting in a positive direction, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports wrote in a recent article on the state of football in the ACC.
A term ago, the Syracuse football defense left a lot to be desired. But so far in 2021, the ‘Cuse is strutting its stuff on defense, and the most recent evidence is how the Orange stifled Liberty in week four.
Yes, the passing attack certainly has room for improvement, and we’ll have to see moving forward whether Garrett Shrader or Tommy DeVito is the main guy under center.
Thamel notes that the team’s 3-3-5 defense is providing a jolt of energy for the ‘Cuse, as the offense hopes to find more consistent balance.
Running back Sean Tucker is among the leaders nationally in rushing yards, however, the quarterback position has to be figured out for Syracuse football to reach its full potential. At least in my opinion.
Make no mistake, though. The entire Orange squad should be commended for what it has achieved through four contests.
Thamel calls the Syracuse football defensive performance in 2021 “one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the sport this season.” He adds that with the ‘Cuse halfway to reaching bowl eligibility, the Orange is “much further along this season than anyone expected.”