The offense under first year coordinator George McDonald ran in fits and starts. The team topped 400 yards of output in a game five times and fell just short on two other occasions. The team’s record showed success in those outings, winning five of those seven games. McDonald’s plan for his second year at the helm of the Orange offense? Ramp up the speed and get more plays off.
Friday night against Villanova, don’t expect a blueprint with the special teams’ units. What many say is the game’s third most important aspect behind offense and defense could very well compile SU’s best early season highlights due to the hyped uncertainty and galore of talent.
"The thing I like to talk to the defense about is earned plays,"Shafer, SU’s former defensive coordinator, said. "… but we’re not going to take away from our aggressive style on defense, but I think (defensive coordinator) Coach Bullough and the rest of the defensive staff — they have the boys ready to play."
Here’s how significant and successful the position has been at scoring touchdowns for Syracuse in the past 20 years.
Terrel Hunt enters this season as the surefire starter for Syracuse, a far cry from last year's quarterback saga. He offers the Orange some settling stability heading into the year.
"It’s weird for a long-snapper to be a captain but also think about the role,"Rodgers said. "My job is to go out every day and be as consistent as possible. And when you’re looking for a captain you need someone with a consistent attitude. I pride myself in that consistency."
"I think as a coaching staff, we’ve got some headaches," McIntyre said, "because I think we’ve got some options this year."
"My family, coaches and I all felt Syracuse was the best fit for me," Ellison said.
You might recognize the Capo d'Orlando name. Brandon Triche's Trento team swept Capo d'Orlando in three games to win the Italian Gold League championship.
Syracuse head football coach Scott Shafer will host his weekly radio show at Destiny USA this season. Shafer and show host Matt Park will broadcast from the first level of the Canyon Area for the live, hour-long show. Fans are invited to watch the show in person at Destiny USA or participate via telephone (1-888-7-Go Cuse or 424-8599) or via Twitter (@SUSportsNetwork) using #AskShafe.
Sources have told syracuse.com ESPN will make a decision soon on whether to place the game on an extended tier as part of the "ESPN GamePlan" package.
The Orange is disruptive enough on defense to fluster less talented teams, but its aggressiveness gets the better of it against opponents with quality offensive lines, speed or both. That five-week stretch in the middle of the season, but it's how Syracuse does going in (Maryland) and out (N.C. State and Duke) of it that will dictate how strong a season it enjoys. Better get at least two of those, or a bowl bid will be dicey.
"That was probably one of the toughest ones outside of my own personal experience," Marrone said after practice Monday.