To Keeley, the sports at SU have a "very soap opera quality" – the football program with its ups and downs, the basketball team with recent controversy and Boeheim, an "interesting character study." The unusually high expectations of Syracuse fans add to the drama, Keeley said.
The Orange fared relatively decently in last season’s Big East campaign. Like Pitt, they face a big step up into the ranks of the ACC, and will be tested throughout the season in 2013. On paper, Syracuse looks decently stocked at the back for the move, with Big East Goalkeeper of the Year Brittany Anghel getting the chance to test herself in the ACC and prove her status amongst the nation’s elite. Experienced defenders Rachel Blum, Jackie Moriarty and Taylor Haenlin return in front of her along the back line.
Syracuse could be getting help along the defensive line from the hulking Wayne Williams. Ever since Markus Pierce Brewster and Davon Walls were kicked off the team, the line has been thinner than expected. In July SU took another hit when it was reported the former Lincoln HS (Brooklyn) DT Williams might not be eligible to play this fall. But the big lineman might be putting on pads soon enough. He tells The Fizz his grades could be ready in time for the season.
"I mean, we love them. I'm a Syracuse fan. I watch them a lot," said Redmen center Rodrigo Imperador. "March Madness, we always sit together and watch them play. I think it will be very, very exciting to play against them."
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"I won't be involved with the play-calling," Shafer said following Wednesday's practice. "When I was a coordinator, I did not care for the coaches that micromanaged. You have all kinds of different scientists, and some guys are going to study one particular thing and be great at it, and for somebody that's a general guy to come in and micromanage, I don't believe in that."
"I just feel like it's in the best interest of this team this year to kind of hone in and focus in on each other a little bit tighter," Shafer said.
The national perception of Boeheim has always been that his greatest strength lies in his ability to coax elite players to Syracuse, and it's likely that his one-trick pony approach to defense colored the opinions of some fellow coaches.
Carter, who was drafted by the Colts in the 4th round of the 2011 draft, carried the ball 32 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns last season. But his carries were likely to decreases this year following the Colts' acquisition of former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Lawrence Moten, Pearl Washington and John Wallace will be appearing at the New York State Fair during the first five days of the Fair. The Fair opens on Thursday, Aug. 22. The players will be in attendance Thursday through Monday.
"With having to get two guys a lot of reps, they haven’t gotten a lot of reps," Lester said. "We have two guys with great arms who are learning the game, and it’s going to be fun to watch them learn. And they’re fighting to try and learn as fast as they can."
But a case where there’s no true #1 guy, just a weekly carousel of rotating QBs will put the Orange in a hole. Establishing the leader of the huddle, and the identity of the offense is critical. SU needs to know who its best option is under center in two weeks when Penn State is on the field, and trust in that.