Syracuse Football: For ‘Cuse, a beautiful start followed by disastrous finish

Syracuse football (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images) /

Regardless of the team’s record on the field at the end of the 2022 season, I love this Syracuse football roster. These guys never stop fighting, never stop grinding, never quit and never throw in the towel.

Yes, the current Orange roster has unfortunately been hit hard by injuries, particularly on the defensive side of the field. But all college football squads have to deal with injuries.

So I don’t want to make excuses here. The buzz, not too long ago, was fabulous for the ‘Cuse, which stormed out of the gates to a 6-0 start, its best beginning to a season dating back to that ultra-special 1987 stanza.

We all knew the backend of the 2022 schedule was going to be tough. I wasn’t kidding myself in thinking that the Orange was going to run the table in the current term.

Syracuse football is in the midst of an awful, awful setback streak.

But to go 6-0 and follow that up with an 0-5 stretch, which could extend to 0-6 if Syracuse football loses to long-time rival Boston College this Saturday night in Massachusetts?

While I love my Orange, such a deflating second half of the 2022 campaign, to me, would prove not only disappointing and frustrating, but also unacceptable.

To start things off, Syracuse football had then-No. 5 Clemson on the ropes in Death Valley, but the Orange couldn’t seal the deal. Notre Dame throttled the ‘Cuse on the Hill, although to the Fighting Irish’s credit, they’ve played quite well in recent weeks.

Over the next two games, including its senior day at home, Syracuse football couldn’t even score just one touchdown in losing at Pittsburgh and then to Florida State at the JMA Wireless Dome.

This past weekend, the ‘Cuse offense finally got some positive things going, but the Mob defense allowed 45 points in a 45-35 loss at Wake Forest.

This 0-5 stretch for the Orange has included multiple good opponents, but I have found it to be inexcusable for the ‘Cuse to go 6-0 and then get blown out by multiple opponents in recent games.

Obviously, starting quarterback Garrett Shrader hasn’t been fully healthy all season long. Running back Sean Tucker was strong versus the Demon Deacons, but his number of touches throughout the 2022 term has been inconsistent.

To reiterate, the Orange has lost multiple key players to season-ending injuries, and if that hadn’t occurred, might Syracuse football have won a game or two or three during this recent five-contest setback streak? Maybe. But maybe not.

All I know is that this squad continues to fight and continues to grind, but the play-calling seems out of sorts in recent weeks. The roster appears a bit out of sorts in recent weeks. Hopefully, the ‘Cuse can wrap up the 2022 regular season with a triumph at Boston College.

Because if the Orange falls to the Eagles on the road, and the ‘Cuse loses its upcoming bowl game, then Syracuse football conceivably could have gone 6-0, followed by 0-7, to finish 2022 under the .500 mark.

Should that sort of scenario transpire, the Orange fan base would go absolutely nuts, calling for head coach Dino Babers to get fired. As much as I love, love, love Dino as a human being and a motivator, if Syracuse football ends 2022 at 6-7, I could find myself in the camp of wanting a new head coach on the Hill for the 2023 season.

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