Syracuse football is a week away from wrapping up spring practice, and we caught up with 247 Sports’ Stephen Bailey for his thoughts on how the team has looked so far on The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv.
While the Orange finished 5-7 in 2021 and missed a bowl game for the third straight year, head coach Dino Babers took several corrective measures in the offseason, including hiring a special teams and quarterbacks coach, and a new offensive coordinator.
The latter two are particularly important as Syracuse tries to revive a flagging offense that finished 185th in college football in offense last season. So far, Bailey says, the offense has responded well to new OC Robert Anae.
“I would say generally that there’s optimism,” Bailey says. “But that’s kind of the time for this, so that’s about what you’d expect.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the biggest question in the offseason is retooling a defensive line that lost all of its major contributors from last year. While Syracuse has several talented players, none have significant experience at the collegiate level, which is a cause for concern.
“Dino Babers basically admitted as much,” Bailey says. “That’s the story for the defense. He knows the linebackers are great. The secondary is very good. […] But if the team can’t pass rush, those players behind the line aren’t going to make impact plays.”
Bailey also gives his thoughts on the state of the quarterbacks, a unit that lost two backups in the offseason, but also returns incumbent starter Garrett Shrader and adds Michigan transfer Dan Villari.
Speaking of quarterbacks, the Orange received a commitment from 2023 signal caller LaNorris Sellers, the earliest commitment in the Dino Babers era. Bailey breaks down the significance of it and why it’s important to Syracuse.
Afterward, editor in chief Brad Bierman calls in to break down Syracuse lacrosse’s win over Stony Brook, and previews SU’s home matchup against No. 10 Duke on Saturday.