The Syracuse Orange are 2-0. We expected them to get to this point, but I think the "how" is what has surprised and even delighted some fans.
Syracuse is currently (tied for) the top turnover-forcing team in the country, with seven through two games -- three fumble recoveries and four interceptions. Two of those picks have also been returned for touchdowns already (tied for second-most in the FBS). And best of all: The Orange have only committed one turnover of their own and are tied for the best turnover margin in the country (plus-6).
Fans since Scott Shafer's arrival know that's usually how his "havoc"-focused defense operates: big hits, aggressive blitz, turnovers. But this year things are happening at a higher clip, it seems. The Orange had just two forced turnovers at this juncture last season, yet seven this year. The TDs are key, and along with special teams improvement, have taken the pressure off a young SU offensive attack currently led by a true freshman.
But how long can it last? Last season, two turnovers through two games turned into 20 total through 12. The Orange are already a third of the way to that total number. And half way to last year's interception total of eight. You HAVE TO think we're heading for a higher total than 2014. Schedule, be damned.
That's the point. It's tough to project how long this can keep up for Syracuse given what comes later. Saturday's opponent, Central Michigan, has only lost two so far. LSU has zero through one game (remember, their first one was cancelled due to weather). And Virginia and USF each have two turnovers, respectively. It's early and it's a small sample size, but without turnover-prone teams coming up, the pressure will be on the Orange to either continue their own string of minimal-mistake games or break through against these more stringent squads if they hope to keep grabbing victories.
If Syracuse wants to just go ahead and continue the 3.5 takeaways per game, however... no complaints over here.