The 2018 Syracuse Orange football season isn’t over just yet, though regardless of how it ends (win or lose to West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl), it’ll be considered a resounding success.
There are numerous plays good and bad that got us to 9-3, obviously — so many that you’d be forgiven for not remembering all of them. However, Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey seemed to capture them all in his recap of SU’s 30 most important plays from the year.
Without giving away the full list, I will agree with him on the No. 1 spot: Tommy DeVito’s late strike to Nykeim Johnson to tie North Carolina was probably Syracuse’s best. That’s not because of the opponent, but because of what it represented in the season: a turning point that propelled them to 5-2 and all of the other success that followed. Without that touchdown pass, you’re looking at a loss there and a three-game losing streak heading into the NC State game. There’s no telling if everything else unfolds the same way it did if you drop that one against the lowly Heels.
Is that your top play, though? Certainly others could qualify as well. Feel free to pick from Bailey’s full list. Or if you have other ideas, toss them out there too.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
With less than three weeks remaining until Syracuse football caps off its 2018 season in the Camping World Bowl (Dec. 28, 5:15 p.m.), this feels like a good time to look back on the team’s best regular season since 2001. It’s easy to forget some of the early season highlights that the 20th-ranked Orange (9-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) experienced at Western Michigan and at home against Florida State.
Boeheim’s statement got us to thinking: Who are the most clutch players in Syracuse history? The list couldn’t focus solely on last-second shots. It also had to include players who consistently raised their level of play in big games. Here is a list. We left some big names off it and we included some players who were never stars but came up big in key moments.
Syracuse was one of three teams to increase its win total by at least five games from the previous season. Baylor and Florida are the others. The five other coaching finalists up for the Munger Award are: Bill Clark (UAB), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Mike Leach (Washington State), Jeff Monken (Army), Nick Saban (Alabama).
The focus is long-term I want him to be our coach for a long time to come. That drives the short term. That drives the medium. Right now the staff is out recruiting. We have 15 practices that will be incredibly helpful for us to get a head start on 2019, particularly our younger kids. I don’t want to introduce a lot of distractions at this point in time. I continue to work with coach to make sure we’re in a place that we can compete.
After getting off to an 0-3 start, it doubled down on both its strengths and weaknesses by benching Patrick Patterson for Jerami Grant, an all-world athlete and inconsistent shooter. Grant, at 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, is a hyper-athletic wing who can defend players at all five positions. A frontcourt of Grant, Steven Adams, and Paul George stifles opposing teams, regardless of who the point guard is.
WVU football: Next man up for Mountaineers in two crucial spots on offense (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
Sporting News 2018 college football All-Americans (Sporting News)