With Allen scheduled to return in mid-August, he’s going to miss the beginning of Syracuse’s fall camp. Dino Babers can afford to give him time to get back up to game speed. The Orange open the 2023 season at home against Colgate and Western Michigan and Allen should be the starter at running back. That doesn’t mean Syracuse needs to give him a normal workload, but he’ll need to develop the timing and chemistry with Garrett Shrader and the offensive line.
Syracuse’s first two opponents should allow the Orange the ability to spread touches around on offense. Allen, Juwaun Price, Ike Daniels, Muwaffaq Parkman, Deston Hawkins and John Branham, Jr. could all get carries against the Raiders and Broncos.
Last year Allen had 58 touches, compared to the 241 Sean Tucker had as the starter. I’m not doubting Allen’s ability to take the mantle as the lead back, but after what he’s dealt with since December I’m suggesting the Orange demonstrate some patience. The Pinstripe Bowl showed what Allen could do for the offense as a dual-threat in the backfield. Syracuse is going to need to try and keep him healthy for the ACC portion of the schedule, so there is no need to force things early.
We saw what happened last year when injuries to Shrader and Tucker put too much pressure on the defense. We know the Dome crowd will be ready to explode when he gets his first carry of 2023- Babers and his staff just need to learn from past mistakes and not lose sight of the big picture in games the Orange should be able to handle.