As we countdown to kickoff in August, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Tuesday over the summer. SU will finish its 2014 regular season schedule when they play BC on Nov. 29.
GREAT START: Steve Addazio couldn’t have asked for a better first season at Chestnut Hill. The Eagles exceeded expectations in nearly every way en route to a 7-5 regular season, returning to respectablity after the dismissal of Frank Spaziani, who went 21–29 from 2009-12. As an added bonus, the Eagles also received a Heisman caliber season from Andre Williams. The running back made a late push for the top honor in college football, amassing 897 in a three game stretch in November (he finished with 2,177 yards on the season). It was good enough to receive an invite to the finalist’s ceremony, something that was completely off the radar to begin the 2013 campaign. A 42-19 loss to Arizona in the Independence Bowl wasn’t the ending that Addazio wanted, but the fact that BC was even in a bowl was a victory.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: There’s been plenty of turnover on offense with the depature of QB Chase Rettig, the aforementioned Williams and wide receiver Alex Amidon, who accounted for more than half of the the team’s receiving yards in 2013. BC was expecting junior WR Harrison Jackson to fill the void, but Jackson tore his ACL in spring practice. That will put pressure on senior Bobby Swigert to become the main target, but he’s recovering from a tough knee injury that sidelined him all last season. Florida transfer Tyler Murphy takes over at quarterback, while a committee led by Myles Willis will try to replace Williams.
PREDICTION: No one is doubting Addazio’s ability to coach, but replicating last season’s success will be difficult. There are only 10 starters returning (4 offense, 6 defense) and BC will face a brutal stretch to close the season where they play at Virginia Tech, against Louisville and at Florida State. A return to a bowl game is possible, but the margin for error is razor thin, especially if you ask top online sports betting site. SYRACUSE 31, BC 28.