Colgate Raiders — 2016 Syracuse Football preview

Syracuse needs an improvement in football in 2016
Syracuse will open the 2016 season against Colgate

As we countdown to kickoff in September, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Wednesday over the summer. SU will begin its 2016 season when it hosts Colgate on Sept. 2.

QUICK TURN AROUND: It was a banner season for Colgate head coach Dan Hunt in 2015. The Raiders won nine games (9-3, 6-0 Patriot) capturing the Patriot League championship, and also won a pair of games in the NCAA playoffs, making the NCAA quarterfinals for just the second time in program history. For his part, Hunt was named ECAC and Patriot League coach of the year in just his second season. It was quite a turn around for Colgate, which was just 5-7 in Hunt’s first year at the helm.

» Related: Former punter Brendan Carney talks Syracuse football, Riley Dixon, marathoning

WHO TO WATCH FOR: The best part for Hunt is that he returns many of the weapons from last season, starting with dual-threat quarterback Jake Melville. The All-Patriot League Second Team selection amassed 3,625 yards of total offense, which was the second best season in Colgate history. The senior threw for 2,552 and 11 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,073 and 11 more touchdowns. The Raiders also return its second leading rusher (junior James Holland: 749 yards, 16 TDs) and its top two wide receivers (senior John Maddaluna: 910 yards and two TDs and junior Alex Greenawalt 598 yards and five TDs). On defense, senior linebacker Kyle Diener lead the team in tackles with 129 ylast season along with two forced fumbles.

PREDICTION: Believe it or not, Colgate actually holds the lead in the all-time series between the two schools, 31-30-5 dating back to the 1902 season. Syracuse has won the last 15 matchups between the two teams, with the most recent coming in a 42-7 win for the Orange in 2010. Tack on a field goal for the Raiders, and you have our official prediction for the game that you can take to new casino sites like SYRACUSE 42, COLGATE 10.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]