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Syracuse football: it’s too soon to say it’s Déjà vu

The next three weeks will determine a lot about the future of the Orange program

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange fell to 4-2 as we expected. What no one expected was watching Drake Maye and the North Carolina Tar Heels shred the Syracuse defense for 644 yards yesterday.

With UNC holding a 27-0 halftime lead, the second half of the broadcast was spent talking about the similarities with the 2022 Syracuse season. Thankfully Dusty Dvoracek was the voice of reason as he pointed out that the Orange were likely to fall to 4-3 next week when they face the Florida State Seminoles. Dvoracek said that Syracuse would then enter the bye on an expected losing streak, but we’d learn about the team (and coaching staff) when they came back from the bye.

After that, Syracuse has Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Pitt and Wake Forest left. Will we see a repeat of 2022 where the Orange can’t get out of the tailspin or will this year’s squad be able to regroup and finish strong?

That will be determined on the field and if you’re freaking out now, there’s nothing anyone can say to calm your fears. I expect it’ll get worse before that Thursday night trip to Blacksburg.

With what we saw yesterday, concerns are valid. Syracuse is lacking playmakers on offense and as defenses focus on Garrett Shrader and LeQuint Allen, the Orange are struggling. Concerns about the offensive line are more worrisome without Kalan Ellis and David Wohlabaugh, Jr. Shrader is getting pressured without teams blitzing and leaving him escape lanes. They’ve also been able to press the Syracuse receivers without fear of being beaten deep.

On the other side of the ball, UNC wore down the defensive with lots of runs early and then took advantage of soft coverage to carve up the secondary. Florida State and their weapons are likely going to continue to enjoy that success next Saturday, but after that it’s anyone’s guess.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

People point to how Wake Forest and Virginia Tech played in defeat yesterday, but no one wants to talk about games before that. Boston College needed a final minute touchdown to escape Army yet Syracuse fans seem to think what happened 2 or 3 years ago matters more.

I get that this fanbase is beaten down after the last 20+ years, but at this point looking for the dark cloud in every silver lining is something I can’t do. There’s no reason to worry about Dino Babers’ job security because it’ll be addressed between the lines in November. The back half of the schedule contains winnable games, but it’s up to the players to keep the locker room from a repeat of 2011 when a 5-1 Syracuse team dropped six in a row and missed consecutive bowl games.

If you really care about Syracuse Football, you should be hoping this coaching staff figures out a solution during that bye week. Back to back seven win seasons may not mean a lot to anyone harking back to the 1990s but for where the Orange are in today’s college football, it’s a step in the right direction.