Syracuse Football: Six keys to success for the Orange in the 2023 season

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Last season, Syracuse football started off 6-0 and ended up with 7 wins and a Pinstripe Bowl appearance. Many great players who contributed to that success are no longer with the team. However, that doesn’t mean this still can’t be a great team.

I mentioned many contributors left but there are many who will return in 2023. Those guys plus changes here and there and the hunger in some will prove to be very motivating and I believe will take Syracuse football at least to back-to-back bowl games.

So as a fan and looking more at what we do have than what we don’t, I thought I’d share my 6 things I think are key to Syracuse football success. The corny part of me wanted to do a funny “score more points, stop them from scoring more than us, flatten their bus tires, etc.” type of post to give you more of a laugh but this time I think it’s fun to point out the haves and not the have- nots as we get closer to the start of the 2023 season.

So here are my 6 keys (not sponsored by Key Bank, unfortunately) to success for the ‘Cuse in the 2023 season. Maybe they’re vague or maybe you think other things are more important but these are my top 6. Everyone usually does lists in increments of 5 but I just wanted to be different haha.

Here are six keys for Syracuse football to have success this coming season.

Offensive line cohesion

One of the biggest reasons I always like playing “easier” games first is it allows game experience and cohesion as a team. You can get the timing down, figure out the best players at the position when the game starts and especially on the offensive line, you can see who blends together the best.

The offensive line needs size and talent but it’s also one area that needs camaraderie the most. They need to blend and gel as a unit to pick up blitzes and assignments and allow the offense time to develop the play.

And while some experience and talent from last season are gone, that doesn’t mean that the players here can’t form a good team.

Enter the new offensive line coach Steve Farmer. Coach Farmer was successful at Tulsa and Texas Tech and now brings his 25 years of experience to Syracuse football, and I have faith he will find the right combination for this team to win.

Beck to Shrader to Gadsden

Also new in 2023 is Jason Beck as the new offensive coordinator. Jason was previously the quarterback coach and has a great reputation for mentoring quarterbacks who play at the next level.

Now the offense is in his hands and he’s got a healthier quarterback in Garrett Shrader, an NFL prospect in Oronde Gadsden II, a new offensive line coordinator and a young running back room and receiving corp looking to prove they belong.

But the biggest key to me is calling plays that utilize Shrader to Gadsden the most. Not just because I can see where both guys have the opportunity to play in the NFL soon but also if they’re successful, teams will be forced to focus on them and that will open up chances for others to make plays. If Oronde is the guy they want to bring over an extra man or two to prevent him from making plays then that means someone else is possibly open.

Plus as I said, I think both guys can be professionals soon so why not be the focus to show scouts your worth? Work together to make big plays and prove you can do big things.

Depth chart production

Last season, part of the reason the team struggled as the season progressed was injuries adding up. Unfortunately, that’s part of the game often but also gives others the opportunity to step up.

And as head coach Dino Babers’ tenure continues, it seems like his depth is improving. Through the transfer portal and recruiting, more and more players who finish further down the depth chart are still contributors when the time comes to play.

This season will not be any different. This Orange team will need contributions from as many players as possible especially if injuries happen again like they did in 2022.

Corn on the COBS (Carter, Oliver, Barron and Simmons)

The one area that seems to have taken the biggest hit from 2022 is the secondary. But again, not focusing on the have-nots but the haves and that leads me to the core of a new era or the COBS if you will: Alijah Clark, Bralyn Oliver, Justin Barron and Jason Simmons Jr.

In the last few years, talented players have come, stepped up big time, and become NFL talent. Who’s next? Who is that next Syracuse football player in the secondary to step up and prove they belong on that list of guys playing in the NFL? Along with the COBS, there is a lot of youth who will have opportunities in a 3-3-5 scheme to prove they can make plays too. Garrett and Trill and Cisco are gone but that doesn’t mean the position is “Barron” of talent.

Pressure, pressure, 3-3-5 pressure

One constant in football is that if you pressure the quarterback and don’t allow him time to make plays or rattle him with turnovers and great coverage, your odds to win are increased. In 2023, along with that group in the secondary, the defense will also need players like Marlowe Wax Jr., Caleb Okechukwu and several others to get to the quarterback to hurry him up or turn the ball over if they can.

Don’t rule out guys like Stefon Thompson if healthy, Terry Lockett, Anwar Sparrow, Chase Simmons, Denis Jaquez Jr. and Francois Nolton Jr. stepping up when they get the opportunity. With Rocky Long coming to Syracuse football as the defensive coordinator, a guy VERY familiar with the 3-3-5 scheme, I’m confident he will utilize the players to their best potential and the defense will remain one of, if not THE key factor to this team being successful again.

Bring the Loud to the Loud House

This is a blog called Inside The Loud House so let’s talk about that too. When the Dome is loud and proud, opposing teams seem to struggle to make calls or adjust the play calling/hear the snap count.

And as someone who is working weekend nights now, I’ll likely be relying on radio and TV broadcasts this season and I love it so much when you can hear the electricity in the crowd in the broadcast. It’s an advantage and a feel of elation and pride when I can hear that noise knowing the players have to hear it too and feed off of it.

So here’s to another season of some good fun and loud fans. I believe Dino Babers and this program are on a roll and will be more consistent and improved than ever. I believe in this staff, this team and this program altogether as we continue to work establishing Syracuse football as a top-tier ACC team that might possibly contend for the ACC championship if not the NCAA as well.

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