Syracuse Football: Scouting the Orange’s week-two foe, Western Michigan

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

As you likely know, Syracuse football beat Colgate, 65-0, to start the 2023 season at 1-0. And as you also might know, the games will get harder as the month of September and into October go on. The ‘Cuse week-two opponent will be the Western Michigan Broncos of the MAC.

And I could sit here and tell you that they’re expected to be better than Colgate or that Syracuse football could still win decisively but instead, I thought I’d share some notes and observations I’ve made/found about this Broncos team as they get set to face the Orange on the road in a few days.

Thank you to the power of the Internet, I was able to check out some of the Broncos game in week one versus St. Francis. They did defeat the St. Francis Red Flash, 35-17, but it should be noted that St. Francis remained fairly competitive most of the game until late in the 3rd quarter when the Broncos finally pulled away in the 4th.

The Broncos defense looked okay at times but the offense ran an RPO (run-pass option) effectively against their defense. Running backs, including co-offensive player of the week for the MAC West Division Jalen Buckley, rushed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns combined. The Broncos offensive line looked good and gave them plenty of opportunities.

Scouting the next opponent for Syracuse football.

Western Michigan quarterback Jack Salopek had 36 yards rushing, 170 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 1 interception in the end zone on the first drive of the game. He seems to be comfortable throwing flats or on the run if the pressure comes in. The defense is capable of containing him but I do think he’s going to make it interesting at times too and give the 3-3-5 some work.

And as I mentioned, the Broncos’ defense was fine at times but I definitely saw a few plays where St. Francis players were wide open in the secondary leading to scores or at least big gains. I would not be surprised if offensive coordinator Jason Beck saw that too and tests that secondary early.

But in Beck I trust and after setting the new record for total yards of offense in his first game as OC, I’m not going to tell him anything and hope the Beck family stays Orange for many years to come.

And now onto a few quick random notes about those Western Michigan University Broncos we will be playing on Saturday at 3:30 pm in the awesome JMA Wireless Dome.

– Did you know former NFL wide receiver Greg Jennings played for WMU? And before he sang Vanessa Carlton’s hit song “A Thousand Miles” in “White Chicks,” actor Terry Crews played for them as well. And one of my favorite singers ever, the late Luther Vandross even went there for a year before leaving to pursue his singing career.

– Last season, WMU finished 5-7 and 4-4 in the MAC West Division. They actually played better on the road (3-3) than at home (2-4) but hopefully, the Dome crowd will be rocking to make everything they try more difficult.

– Did you know that current WMU head coach Lance Taylor was the offensive coordinator at Louisville last season? He played at Alabama and has been a position coach in the NFL as well as at Notre Dame and one of the newest members of the ACC, Stanford University.

Next. Syracuse Football: 4-star Willy Love focused on 2 schools, including ‘Cuse. dark