head coach Dino Babers has only produced one winning season during his..."/> head coach Dino Babers has only produced one winning season during his..."/> head coach Dino Babers has only produced one winning season during his..."/>

Syracuse Football: There’s something about this team that has me excited

Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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I know that Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers has only produced one winning season during his tenure in Central New York.

I recognize that, a year ago, the Orange was in a legitimate position to secure a post-season bowl berth, and then the ‘Cuse dropped three in a row to finish at 5-7.

I get that many of my fellow ‘Cuse fans are frustrated. A contingent wants a new head coach. Some are rethinking whether to renew their season-ticket packages, especially if Syracuse football is disappointing in 2022, yet Babers isn’t fired.

I acknowledge, on paper anyway, that Syracuse football will have to navigate a daunting docket this fall in the hopes of notching at least a half-dozen triumphs.

But even still, I just find myself enthusiastic about Syracuse football in 2022.

Not too long ago, I watched the ACC Road Show make a trip to Central New York to visit with the ‘Cuse in a broadcast that aired on the ACC Network.

Throughout the show, those in the Syracuse football program to speak included Babers, running back Sean Tucker, quarterback Garrett Shrader, linebacker Mikel Jones, cornerback Garrett Williams and cornerback Duce Chestnut.

There were some light-hearted moments when the ACC Network personalities, led by Wes Durham, had some fun with these Orange guys.

However, the ‘Cuse players also got down to business and talked at length about the upcoming campaign. Maybe it was just me, but I could feel the energy, confidence and optimism from them.

There is a keen sense that even with Syracuse football set to face numerous nationally ranked squads in 2022, the Orange has a path to a bowl game. Heck, Chestnut recently laid out an even more ambitious goal for the ‘Cuse.

With a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterbacks coach, Shrader hopefully will improve in the passing game. By many accounts, Tucker could be even better in 2022 than he was as an All-American in 2021, and that includes doing more as a pass-catcher.

There is talent at wide receiver for the Orange, although which guys end up getting the most reps, at least to me, remains to be seen. Placekicker Andre Szmyt, I’m confident, will return to his 2018 form, when he collected the Lou Groza Award.

The 2022 offensive line, often a question mark in recent years when ‘Cuse quarterbacks were sacked at a high clip, I believe will be the best the ‘Cuse has possessed in numerous years. Of course, that is contingent on the key offensive linemen staying healthy.

On defense, we’ll have to see how the defensive line holds up. I think there’s promise there, but it’s a young group for sure.

For my money, the line-backing trio of Jones, Stefon Thompson and Marlowe Wax will be among the elite LB groups in the entire country.

The secondary will feature star cornerbacks in Williams and Chestnut, both of whom I think will be playing on Sundays down the road. There is additional depth in the secondary that will prove vital as well.

Throughout the roster, Babers has noted that he thinks the team has solid depth, which will prove important should injuries come up, as they always do in this sport.

Of course, all of my rambling here doesn’t change the fact that the Orange has proven a sub-par unit in recent seasons. We’ll have to see if 2022 is more of the same, or a step in the right direction.

Call it a gut feeling, but based on all of the media reports I’ve read about the ‘Cuse since it began its pre-season camp, plus the recent ACC Road Show on the Orange campus, and there is something about the 2022 Syracuse football squad that has me excited.

Admittedly, my prognostications are often not accurate, but maybe, just maybe, this time around, my instincts will prove somewhat in the ballpark of correct.

Next. Syracuse Football: Projecting Orange’s ACC record during 2022 season. dark