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Syracuse football: what to watch for vs Bye Week U

Toss the records out when rivals collide

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange square off against long-time rival Bye Week University this weekend. What will happen when the Fightin’ Byes look to break their long losing streak? Here’s what we’ve got:

Kevin: Spotlight on the backups

Syracuse should build a big early lead as the Fightin’ Byes haven’t found a way to overcome the losses of Juice Destnut and Ca’Had Jarter in the portal. The MOB will slow down Allen L. Quint’s running so the 2nd unit should get plenty of snaps. Can Ike Daniels make a push for more carries? Will we see more from Kadin Bailey as a pass-rusher against Sarrett Grader? Gives us something to watch after halftime of this one for sure.

Christian: Now I am the master

Because we’re not expecting the Fightin’ Byes to be that much of a challenger, it’s time for Jason Beck to have some fun. Robert Anae was known for his use of trick plays, while we’ve only seen trickery sparingly from Beck. Bye Week U presents an opportunity for the new Orange OC to flex his creative muscles. I’m talking direct snaps to LeQuint Allen, flea flickers, double passes with Dan Villari, it’s time to dump the playbook. It remains a mystery whether teams will have access to this game footage, so Beck can practice and determine what trick plays will work for the last part of the season.

Mike: Clear the Mechanism

SU has long dealt with the Curse of the Byes in the following week, but every year is a chance to find their “have-to”. After making some noise against NC State last fall, perhaps Dino and co. can get to two in a row out of breaks and keep moving forward from there. To get them in the right mindset for next week’s hostile environment, Orange players should use their time off to go to the movies. It’d be hard not to pick out a winner with their favorite witty/inspirational quote of choice. Personally, I hear there’s this documentary coming out called Red October... or maybe that’s more for Autry’s guys?

Dom: Reloading the health bar

Playing Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State all in a row must have felt like getting run over by a car, a bus and a train at the same time. Some time off is nice before Syracuse continues its excursion away from the 315 and remains south this coming week to face off against Virginia Tech and “Enter Sandman.” Can Trebor Pena return to certified freak form and nurse his owie? Can Shrader return fresh to his “ride like the wind, Bullseye!” athletic state? Do we even have five healthy offensive linemen at this point?


What are you looking for when the Orange face the Fightin’ Byes?