Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Flip Flop Day!
Sandals resembling the erstwhile flip flops have been around for many years. While the earliest recorded sandals come from Egypt, all cultures during Ancient times had their own variant of this footwear. The sandals worn by the Ancient Greeks and Romans had the strap between the second and third toe, Mesopotamians’ sandals showed the strap resting between the first and second toe, and the Indian ‘chappals’ used a knob in place of the strap. These olden versions were made from a variety of materials – papyrus leaves, palm leaves, leather, wood, rice straw.
The design of the modern-day sandal is inspired by the Japanese ‘zori.’ The Encyclopedia of History of Japanese Manners and Customs states Japanese children used these flip flop-type shoes when first learning to walk. Returning Americans brought the zori back from Japan at the end of the Second World War, as novelty items for loved ones.
Syracuse’s Andre Szmyt (91) kicks a last-minute field goal against Clemson. The kick would miss, and the Orange would fall 17-14.
2022 Syracuse Football Preview: Special Teams (waer.org; Selover)
Over the years under Head Coach Dino Babers, special teams has been a source of pride for Syracuse Football . Last year, the special teams group experienced its worst season in the six seasons of Babers’ tenure. SU came up one win short of a bowl game last season, and special teams certainly played its part in holding the ‘Cuse back from postseason play. Last season, Andre Szmyt missed key field goals in a three-point loss to Clemson and an overtime loss to Wake Forest. In addition, the punting unit produced shanks and averaged less than 40 yards a punt in a season where field position proved crucial in numerous low scoring games.
One explanation for the poor special teams play would be the lack of a special teams coach on the staff last season. After Justin Lustig’s departure to join Clark Lea’s staff at Vanderbilt following the 2020 season, only Blair Cavanaugh was left on the 2021 staff as the Special Teams Quality Control Coach. Now in 2022, a new face arrives to campus as the new Special Teams Coordinator in the form of Bob Ligashesky. After serving as the Special Teams Coordinator for multiple NFL teams, Ligashesky comes to Syracuse from Bowling Green where he spent last season. Under the coaching of Ligashesky, the Falcons sported a 95% field goal percentage in 2021. This season, it will be Ligashesky’s role to restore numbers like that to an Orange program that returns all of its specialists from a year ago and adds one promising name to the squad as well.
For the past four seasons, kicking has fallen to mainly one man on campus, Andre Szmyt. The Illinois native has seen it all here at SU, beginning in 2018 when he delivered in his freshman year. Szmyt went 30-of-34 with a long of 54, good enough to receive recognition as the Lou Groza Award winner, an award given to the nations best collegiate kicker. After a standout first season for Szmyt, the kicker maintained a field goal percentage above 80% each of the next two seasons. In 2021, the script flipped. Szmyt struggled to find a rhythm, only connecting on 9-of-14 FG attempts. The 2021 field goal percentage for Szmyt was the worst for SU since Cole Murphy went just 10-of-18 back in 2016. The senior was also tossed in on kickoffs for the first time in his Orange career. He struggled off the tee as well, sending less than a quarter of kickoffs deep enough for touchbacks. This season, it seems as if Andre Szmyt will be the guy again for the Orange. The hope for SU fans is that last season was a fluke for Szmyt, and under new coach Bob Ligashesky, the fifth year senior will regain his strong form from his first few seasons in orange.
The SU punting group is surrounded by questions headed into 2022. Last year, James Williams entered the season as the main name to know. The freshman out of Watkinsville, Georgia was the only punter used in the first four games for SU. Then, Williams did not travel to Tallahassee in October when Syracuse took on Florida State. This opened the door for freshman walk-on Ian Hawkins to see his first action in Orange. The San Diego native attempted six punts, averaging just 33 yards per attempt. Williams took back the starting job the following week against Wake Forest. Ultimately, it was Hawkins, however, who finished the season in the starting role. The true-freshman took all of the snaps in each of the final three games in 2021. Both Hawkins and Williams struggled, each averaging less than 40 yards per punt. The combined average totaled for the worst average punting distance under Dino Babers. Looking ahead, both Williams and Hawkins return in 2022, and the duo is joined by a new face in Maximilian Von Marburg who hails all the way from Wagga Wagga, Australia. As Aussie punters have popped up all over the map of college football in the past decade, the ‘Cuse hope that Von Marburg can be the latest great specialist to don Orange. Von Marburg will not be new to the sport when he steps into the JMA Wireless Dome. The freshman played in the Riverina Football League back in Australia. All eyes will be on the Aussie in training camp to see if he can win over the coaching staff and earn the the starting role with the Orange in 2022.
Sep 11, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange linebacker Mikel Jones speaks to reporters following SU's 17-7 loss to Rutgers at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brad Bierman/The Juice Online.
Position Breakdown: Linebackers — 2022 Syracuse Football preview - The Juice Online (the juice; Sears)
As we countdown to kickoff in September, we’re going to be doing a unit-by-unit preview each week over the summer. This week, we’re discussing Syracuse’s 2022 linebackers.
Today we’ll be previewing Syracuse’s most talented positional group- the linebackers.
This unit was the engine behind Syracuse’s top-20 defense last year, and an important cog in coordinator Tony White’s 3-3-5 defense which has improved every year since his arrival in 2019, culminating in the best Total Defense finish in a decade. The good news? Syracuse returns nearly every player from a year ago, with the exception of redshirt freshman Malik Matthew who announced on June 9 that he’ll be entering the transfer portal.
Ranked 26th in the country in rush defense giving up just 126.1 yards per game, tied for 16th in sacks with 3.08 per game, and 29th in tackles-for-loss with 6.8 per game, the linebacking corp was a playmaking unit that used size, speed, and smarts to make run fits, cover downfield, and get after the quarterback. There’s no reason to expect them not to be even better in 2022.
As it stands here in June, my positionless depth chart is as follows (with some pure reserve players omitted for brevity):
- Mikel Jones 6’1” 225 pounds
- Stefon Thompson 6’1” 247 pounds
- Marlowe Wax 6’0” 245 pounds
- Leon Lowry 6’4” 225 pounds
- Mekhi Mason 6’2” 222 pounds
- Anwar Sparrow 6’1” 219 pounds
(youttube; video; Broback)
Top 10 players for the Syracuse Orange in 2022.
What’s a Syracuse football camp like for a recruit? We had one player offer to share his experience (TNIAAM; Wall)
As Syracuse Orange football fans wait for the start of fall camp, the coaches are focused on recruiting the future roster. Summer means camps and in-person evaluations which can convince the staff that the player has what it takes to contribute at the P5 level. While we don’t often get too into the business of recruiting, a prospect reached out and offered to share his impressions of his Elite Camp visit so we thought this was a great opportunity.
Zyir Daniel is a defensive end at Calvert Hill in Maryland and if that school sounds familiar it’s Sean Tucker’s alma mater. While he’s currently unranked on 247, the 6’1 230lb defensive end was on campus last week to showcase his ability in front of Dino Babers’ staff.
We sent Zyir some questions to get a feel for what these players notice while in Syracuse and let’s get to his responses.
TNIAAM: Is there anything here that stood out compared to anywhere else you’ve visited?
TNIAAM: What are the key points the coaching staff are highlighting about Syracuse?“I didn’t really get to see the campus or get a full tour of the football facilities this time, but walking up to the field house and seeing the statues of some legends like Jim Brown was pretty cool.”
“That you’re getting top notch education and well as top notch football coaching and mentoring. You can’t beat that!”
Get to Know Your Orange Man: #71, OL Enrique Cruz Jr. (TNIAAM; Haller)
We keep moving through the Syracuse Orange offensive line. Up next...
Name: Enrique Cruz Jr.
Position: Offensive Line
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Weight: 303 lbs.
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
High School: Willowbrook
2021 stats: No appearances, hence the redshirt.
2022 projections: An athlete, Cruz brings a highly touted big body to another year of collegiate level weight training. He’s likely on the two-deep somewhere and could be a big portion of the depth Mike Schmidt is trying to build. A former four sport guy, playing basketball and wrestling in high school as well as track (shotput), he’s got the tools to make an impact.
How’d he get here?: Arizona, Arizona State, Indiana, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia were all in the mix for Cruz.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Four stars from 247sports, three stars from ESPN and Rivals.
Money quote: We knew Cruz was recruited by Cavanaugh and came in under Schmidt, which wasn’t entirely blind. He did have insight on his new o-line coach Mike Schmidt, but also knew Syracuse was the right fit:
Twitter feed: @Enriquecruzz1I didn’t. You can’t just go to school for the coaches because the coaches can leave whenever. You gotta go to school because you like it. So, at the same time, I wish he could’ve coached me, but I went to Syracuse for Syracuse. I know Coach (Mike) Schmidt. I talked to him on the phone. He’s a good person, so I can’t wait for him to coach me too.
Tweets of wonder: Cruz meeting and greeting:
Tweets: Future OOC Schedules (RX; HM)
Tweets: Future OOC SchedulesThrough a series of tweets by "Saturday Gameday", here's a look at the future non-conference opponents for all 15 ACC member schools through the 2026 season...
I'm sure BC would play Notre Dame every year if they could. Rutgers and Michigan State make a lot of sense, and it's good to see the Eagles play UConn and UMass occassionally. What 2023 lacks in P5 quality it makes up for in regional attractiveness (and 7 home games). 2025 looks like the best schedule so far, though 2024 and 2026 are both still incomplete.I love Jeff Hafley and the momentum he’s building at Boston College. Really curious if Phil Jurkovec can stay healthy and continue developing.
Anyways, let’s take a look at BC’s future OOC schedules. Definitely some fun matchups here. pic.twitter.com/WUQKnFmQl4
— Saturday Gameday (@SaturdayGameday) June 15, 2022
These Tigers eat a steady diet of chicken, with an occasional Bulldog, Bayou Bengal, or Irish stew. Big cat's gotta eat!
Northwestern is just about the perfect non-conference P5 opponent for Duke - I'll hate to see that series end. Tulane is also interesting, even if they're not P5. Illinois is... adequate.Our final team from the ACC! The Duke Blue Devils
I’ll miss seeing Mataeo Durant rack up yards in this offense, but I am excited to see what new head coach Mike Elko has in store.
There are a lot of competitive future matchups on this list. pic.twitter.com/VcpLbTTjsZ
— Saturday Gameday (@SaturdayGameday) June 16, 2022
Mike Norvell will be judged on whether he can get the Noles back on the winning side versus the Gators. Series against LSU, Alabama, and Georgia look great on paper, but FSU better improve if they want to stand toe-to-toe with those guys!
The Bulldogs of Athens are always a tough game for the Jackets, even when they're not playing at a national championship level - not to mention the games against Notre Dame. So rotating Ole Miss out and Colorado in is probably a good idea! I also like the in-town series with Georgia State.
Of course every season features the Kentucky game, but the Cardinals also have a nice series scheduled with the Indiana Hoosiers. Before you criticize 2022, remember that none of those teams are FCS. Every season after that has two P5 opponents except 2026, which has three.
Hosting Texas A&M next year is great, but I'm more excited for the renewal of the Florida series. I'm also glad to see Miami play South Carolina again (old Southern independents reunited!), as well as in-state G5 opponent USF. Of course, we can't forget the echoes of Catholics vs. Convicts!
North vs. South Carolina in Charlotte feels right. Minnesota and Purdue are a bit off-brand for the Tar Heels, though, don't you think? I do like the series with TCU, though.
It's good to see NC State reach out to play Cincinnati and BYU, while keeping East Carolian on the schedule occassionally. The home game against Florida should be lots of fun, too - as will the trip to Texas Tech!
Obviously Pitt fans will appreciate the rivalry games with West Virginia and Notre Dame, but the Cincinnati game is sneaky good. Wisconsin is just a random (but good) Big Ten team.
I like the Purdue series - that seems like appropriate scheduling. I also like the series with Army (remember, it's in New York State). I'm not crazy about the neutral site game with Tennessee.In 2018, Syracuse won 10 games. Since then they’ve gone 11-24.
If Dino Babers can somehow right the ship, there are some great future matchups
Syracuse will also do a home and home with Penn State in 2027 and 2028. pic.twitter.com/yoCAM8mKMA
— Saturday Gameday (@SaturdayGameday) June 10, 2022
Best Player Development? 3 ACC in Top 10 (RX; HM)
Best Player Development? 3 ACC in Top 10Who develops blue chip recruits into NFL draft picks? Look no further than the ACC, with the #1 team and 3 of the top 10...
The author doesn't provide any information about the algorithm used, but we can deduce it must be a combination of number of Top247 players and Percent Drafted (since Development Rating isn't sorted by either of those alone).
ACC Programs That Develop Players the Best
1. Virginia Tech Hokies
5. Clemson Tigers
10. Miami Hurricanes
I'm not surprised to see the Hokies at the top - they've been doing more with less for a long time. Clemson and Miami have been virtual feeder programs for the NFL, so again, no surprises. There was a time when you could be sure Florida State was top 10, but apparently not between 2013 and 2017. It would be nice to see this updated with more recent data, as well - maybe I'll take a stab at it?
Bet The Board: ACC Football Preview 2022: Best Bets, Picks, & Predictions with Analytics on Apple Podcasts (apple.com; podcast; Bet the Board)
Oh hell, we’re back? We’re back people so let’s get to work! The boys get College Football season started early with their ACC Football Preview for 2022. In-depth analysis on the biggest teams from the Atlantic Coastal Conference. Key metrics, Coaching changes, Schedule analysis, Recruiting, Power Ratings, and more to help you navigate the Win Totals and Futures markets + another ACC Win Total BEST BET!
Ed Robinson calls his condominium, built inside the boiler room James Madison School at 917 Madison Street in Syracuse, a "true sanctuary from the outside world." Many of the original mechanicals of the boiler remain. Courtesy of Syracuse Commercial PhotographyCourtesy of Syracuse Commercial
House of the Week: Owner finds ‘sanctuary’ in condo built inside former Syracuse school’s boiler room (PS; Croyle)
Ed Robinson calls his time at his condominium at Madison Court on the eastside of Syracuse as the “story of the impossible buyer and the perfect home.”
“Much to the chagrin of my realtor,” Robinson starts his tale, “I had been looking for just the right property for almost eight years.”
Between 2004 and 2012, he figured he looked at 400 places, from large Victorian houses in the city to places out in the suburbs and the country. Nothing quite felt right.
“I am a bit of an extreme,” Robinson admits.
Syracuse condo was built in former school's boiler room
A real estate listing for the condominiums at Madison Court, built inside a former elementary school at 917 Madison Street in the early 1980s, finally did catch his eye.
It was the first “condominium project” of its kind in downtown Syracuse. In 1985, Conifer Development purchased the abandoned James Madison Elementary School from the city for $1 at a time when most developments like this were reserved for the suburbs.
He thought the architecture of the school, built in 1917, was “really beautiful” and loved the fact that it was located just blocks from where he worked.