In the aftermath of Syracuse football pummeling Wagner on Saturday in Central New York, I’ve read a lot of comments from ‘Cuse fans on social media as it pertains to the Orange’s 2022 season to date.
On the one hand, Syracuse football is 5-0 for the first time in 35 years. The Orange is nationally ranked in the latest Associated Press and Coaches top-25 polls (No. 22 and No. 21, respectively), which is awesome.
Additionally, as the ‘Cuse enters a much-needed bye week to rest and recharge, at present Syracuse football is one of two Atlantic Coast Conference teams, along with Clemson, that remain undefeated in the 2022 stanza.
National and ACC pundits are talking about the Orange, not as an afterthought but as a squad that should reach bowl eligibility and is one of the pleasant surprises so far in college football on a national scale.
But just how good is Syracuse football at this juncture in the 2022 season?
Conversely, some Orange fans are still taking a wait-and-see approach on the ‘Cuse before making any grandiose proclamations, and I totally get that.
For one, Wagner is not a good football team, and I mean no disrespect whatsoever to the FCS Seahawks (0-4). The home win over Purdue looks even better after the Boilermakers upset top-25 Minnesota over the weekend.
However, the Orange’s other three triumphs in 2022 are versus Louisville, Virginia and UConn. Again, no disrespect, but the Huskies are nothing special.
This past Saturday, the Cavaliers got stomped by a 4-1 Duke team. And the Cardinals fell by one point to Boston College. The ACC, it seems, is all over the place.
Save for Purdue, how impressive are the five conquests in 2022 for Syracuse football? I’d argue that 5-0 is still 5-0, but as I wrote about on Sunday morning, with the seven games that the ‘Cuse has left on its 2022 calendar, we’ll know soon enough whether the Orange is for real or not.
Injuries and the depth of the Syracuse football roster are always something to keep in mind. The ‘Cuse can ill-afford to continue piling up so many penalties.
If the Orange can play clean games with no turnovers, and the “Mob” defense comes up with takeaways versus tough foes moving forward, that’s a huge plus.
To me, quarterback Garrett Shrader looked so crisp with his passes in the romp over Wagner, as he didn’t have an incompletion. But it’s still, frankly, Wagner. How will Shrader perform versus N.C. State at home on October 15, then Clemson on the road, and on and on?
Running backs Sean Tucker and LeQuint Allen Jr., Tucker’s freshman backup at the position, helped propel Syracuse football to nearly 400 rushing yards against the Seahawks.
As the Orange contends with the Wolfpack, the Tigers and others in the coming weeks, the ‘Cuse offense certainly must have a strong balance between its passing and running attacks.
Syracuse football needs just one more win to get to a bowl game. After numerous years of disappointments, dating back to 2018 when the Orange went 10-3 overall, the ‘Cuse program and its fan base can see another bowl berth in their collective sight.
But for me, I’m hopeful for more than “just” a bowl invite. This team is special. It is nationally ranked. The Orange is in the national conversation.
How good – or great – is Syracuse football in 2022? Check back with me in a few weeks. For now, anyway, I’m enjoying the ride. It has proven exhilarating so far.