It’s been more than 20 years since a ranked Syracuse team as hosted a ranked opponent at the Carrier Dome. In fact, as my colleague Brad Bierman pointed out on Tuesday, the last time that the Orange and an opponent were ranked in the top 20 was in 1998, when Donovan McNabb and No. 17 Syracuse dropped its home opener to No. 10 and eventual national champion Tennessee, 34-33.
Fast forward (a lot) to 2022, with No. 18 Syracuse hosting No. 13 NC State at the JMA Wireless Dome. A win would keep Syracuse perfect on the season, and would likely vault Syracuse into the top 15, if not higher. That’s a stratosphere that even the most die hard of Syracuse fans couldn’t picture heading into the season, coming off a disappointing 5-7 2021 campaign, with most prognosticators picking the Orange to finish last in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
We chatted about the critical matchup with former Syracuse offensive lineman Michael Lasker in this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv. Lasker played at SU from 2013 to 2016, and in his final season, he blocked for an offense that amassed 5,290 yards, which was the second-highest total in Syracuse history. He’s liked what he’s seen so far during the 5-0 start (“It’s definitely something special and something to be proud of”) and, perhaps not surprisingly, is predicting the Orange to top the Wolfpack on Saturday (“If they go in and do what they’re supposed to do, they’ll get a W”). Some of it, he says, depends on the availability of NC State QB Devin Leary, who hurt his throwing arm in a 19-17 win over Florida State.
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In between, Lasker and I also chat about what the offensive line can to do to get Sean Tucker back to his 2021 form, why the offensive line is committing so many pre-snap penalties, and what he thinks of seeing the Orange ranked for the first time since 2021. Afterward, Brad calls in to break down the upcoming 2022-23 Syracuse basketball season, and gives his thoughts on if this could be Jim Boeheim’s final season as head coach.
You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Juice on the Cuse Podcast,” a Syracuse Orange podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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