Syracuse has not been to a bowl game since 2018 when Eric Dungey was under center. Since he graduated from SU, the Orange has struggled, winning just 11 games in the past three seasons.
But Dungey is predicting that streak will be coming to an end in 2022, he said on this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv.
“This is going to be the year,” Dungey said. “I think they have a very solid foundation.”
Dungey pointed to the quarterback room as one of the reasons for a potential SU resurgence. Second year starter Garrett Shrader has appeared comfortable running the offense in preseason camp so far, and he’s joined by a pair of high-profile transfers in Dan Villari (Michigan) and Carlos Del-Rio Wilson (Florida).
Sophomore Justin Lamson also impressed in the spring game, though he is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.
“They have three or four guys who could be the starter,” Dungey said. “They have their own little swagger to them. The future is bright and I’m excited to see what they can do. It’s always good to have many options.”
Speaking of options, Dungey also noticed the quarterbacks will have plenty of talented receivers to throw to. Though SU does not have an established presence like last year (such as Taj Harris, who transferred to Rutgers), Dungey says that won’t be the case by the end of the year.
In particular, he came away impressed with sophomore Damien Alford, who caught the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds in a thrilling comeback win against Virginia Tech last year.
“He reminds me of Jamal Custis,” Dungey said. “A tall lanky guy who can run and has a little attitude on him. You always want a receiver who thinks he’s open even when he’s double covered.”
And of course, there’s Sean Tucker, Syracuse’s Heisman candidate who is looking to build off a near consensus All-American season where he rushed for 1,496 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He’ll be running behind an experienced front five led by All-ACC lineman Matthew Bergeron.
“You have a lot of fourth, fifth year guys who have been around the program,” Dungey said. “They’re going to win the game at the end of the day.”
As for Dungey, he last appeared with the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2021 NFL Preseason before he was released by the team in August and is waiting for his next pro opportunity.
In the meantime, he’s joined several former Syracuse athletes working at Terzo Cloud, an SaaS enterprise solution for vendor relationship management. It was founded by former Syracuse linebacker Brandon Card and former Syracuse lacrosse midfielder Al Giocondi.
“It’s been a dream come true to land at such a respectful organization,” Dungey said. “Sales is something I always wanted to get into when football came to an end.”
Afterward, TJO ACC Correspondant Sam Vescovi breaks down why he believes Syracuse will finish higher in the ACC than the preseason polls suggest.