The out-of-conference schedule is supposed to be a warm up. A time when a team can really master its skills to get ready for the games that really matter. There didn’t seem to be much skill mastering for the Orange this season. In fact, Syracuse still looks like a team that hasn’t found its identity.
Here is the team’s out-of-conference report card:
Offense: CThe Offense has had its moments. There have been times where Marcus Sales and Ryan Nassib have looked unstoppable. But the unit has just been so inconsistent. The running game is still trying to find its rhythm and hasn’t really been reliable at all this season. In order for this unit to be successful during Big East play, the running games needs to pick up and the passing game needs to find some consistency. No more dropped passes, no more runs for negative yards, but most importantly, no more turnovers. This team can’t afford all the turnovers. It needs all the time on the field it can get.
The defense has looked somewhat respectable in the past couple of games. They’ve put the ball in the hands of the offense, but the offense just didn’t capitalize. The big problem on the defense is that it gives up big play after big play. If a team has one dynamic player, it can beat Syracuse because he’ll blow by the defense one play at a time. This unit needs to wrap up, finish tackles and it needs to find a way to grab some momentum away from the other team. Those big plays the defense keeps giving up gives the other team’s offense confidence that Syracuse can’t afford to give them.
Special Teams: F
Can we just overhaul the entire special teams unit? They showed a little hope against Minnesota but the overall assessment of special teams thus far has been awful. The Orange needs to back up teams as far as possible and also needs to snag the best field position it can get. Both of those tasks lay on the shoulders of the special teams unit. There isn’t much else to say for these guys. Just … get better.