There is still a long way to go in the 2022 season for Syracuse football, and the back end of this fall’s schedule could prove hugely challenging.
At the same time, I and many other Orange fans out there are brimming with excitement as the ‘Cuse takes its 3-0 record into a Friday-night showdown with fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Virginia.
After crushing Louisville at home and destroying UConn on the road, Syracuse football found itself in a big-time non-conference battle with Purdue this past Saturday afternoon on the Hill.
Orange head coach Dino Babers noted that the fourth quarter, when the ‘Cuse and the Boilermakers combined for 42 points in a thrilling 15 minutes of action, “was like a 12-round heavyweight fight,” according to a story from James Finneral of 247Sports.
Some last-second heroics from quarterback Garrett Shrader and tight end/wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II lifted the Orange to a 32-29 triumph over Purdue.
Syracuse football has a boatload of momentum at this point in the 2022 term.
At 3-0, and with the team’s next two games at home versus UVA and then Wagner, it’s easy for us Syracuse football fans out there to dream of the ‘Cuse getting to 5-0 and entering the major top-25 polls.
However, Babers says to slow down that line of thinking just a tad, and I respect his sentiments here.
Syracuse football is 3-0 for the first time dating back to 2018, when the Orange went 10-3, captured a bowl game, and finished at No. 15 in the national rankings.
In recent years, though, it’s been rough sledding for Babers & Co. The ‘Cuse dropped three in a row to wrap up the 2021 stanza at 5-7. In 2020, amid the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Orange sported an awful 1-10 mark, and it was 5–7 in 2019.
Understandably, Syracuse football fans are eager for the team to get to a place where the ‘Cuse, annually, is contending for double-digit wins and consistently earning bowl berths.
So far in 2022, things are looking pretty darn good. I’m jazzed about what I think this Orange roster can do on the field this fall, and it’s not hard to fathom that Syracuse football could be 5-0 in the near future.
Babers, though, says that his players “need to lock in and focus on the process,” according to the 247Sports piece. “The process is being 1-0 every week.”
The ‘Cuse is a fairly sizable betting favorite over UVA. There could be some emotions in this ACC encounter, as Orange offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck both left Virginia in the off-season to join Babers’ staff.
Babers recognizes this. At the same time, he says Syracuse football needs to “bottle up that emotion until the final whistle.”
We’re all pumped that the ‘Cuse is 3-0 to begin the 2022 season. The Orange, hopefully, is on a journey toward a truly special campaign in the coming weeks and months.
"But for now, the focus is on Virginia – and Virginia only, Babers says, adding of his guys, “If they keep doing the process and stay with it and understand we are playing one team a week and this is a short week, it will give us our best opportunity to win.”"
Well said, Coach.