Orangeyes Daily Articles for Friday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Friday for Football


Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Native American Day!

U.S. Native American Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday of September every year, falling on September 23 this year, as a way of honoring those who have been a part of the American tradition even before the nation of the U.S.A. came into being.

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Beat writers predict SU to advance to 4-0 with win over Virginia (DO; Staff)

A blowout win, physical stops against a top Atlantic Coast Conference quarterback and a last-second heroic stunner — Syracuse’s first three games, all wins, have had it all. In its second game of a four-game homestand, the Orange welcome Virginia, the former home of Robert Anae and Jason Beck, as they try to improve to 4-0. There’s plenty of familiarity between the squads — head coach Dino Babers even said first-year head coach Tony Elliott has met many of SU’s players.

But the Cavaliers are struggling to find their footing in the first season following Bronco Mendenhall’s departure. After an easy win against Richmond, UVA only put up three points in a huge loss to Illinois before putting away Old Dominion by a field goal. Here is what our three beat writers believe will happen in SU’s second conference test of the season:

Alex Cirino (2-1)
Keep it Going
Syracuse 25, Virginia 10

Aside from Anae and Beck facing their former program for the first time, Syracuse will have another edge that will move it to 4-0. Garrett Shrader has emerged as one of the ACC’s best passers. And even though he had a significant Week 3 completion dropoff against Purdue, he completed his passes when the Orange needed it the most.

But where Shrader has the edge over Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong is in his rushing game. Aside from Armstrong’s 64-yard rushing touchdown in the Cavaliers’ season-opener against Richmond, he has failed to surpass 55 rushing yards, and even netted negative yards against Illinois. Meanwhile, Shrader’s averaged 67 per game, and getting Sean Tucker more involved will be key, as he was held to 42 rushing yards against Purdue. It’s safe to say that he’s due for a score and a big game on Friday as SU’s undefeated run will continue.

Connor Smith (2-1)
Syracuse 31, Virginia 13

This will be a game with plenty of familiarity on both sides — Syracuse’s new offensive leaders, Anae and Beck, both came over from Virginia and helped coach several notable Cavaliers, including Armstrong. UVA has slipped in the scoring department this year after averaging 34.6 points per game with Anae and Beck, notching 17.7 points per game under their first-year head coach.

SU’s new offense has impressed this season, with Anae proving to be a play-calling wizard and helping Garrett Shrader become one of the ACC’s top signal-callers. Virginia, however, only scored 16 points in a two-point win over Old Dominion last week, and was nearly shut out by Illinois. Don’t expect the Orange’s offense to put up the points it did against UConn, but expect them to still win comfortably behind a strong defensive showing and smart coaching from Anae, Beck and Babers.

Anthony Alandt (2-1)
‘Feeling Hot Hot Hot’
Syracuse 30, Virginia 21

Syracuse succeeded in its first close test of the season, and it did it the way 2022 was expected to go: from high in the air. That’s going to continue against Virginia, who’s sloppy 2-1 record shouldn’t scare off a more formidable SU team. Plus, the Orange have the benefit of Anae and Beck in this matchup, one that’s full of familiar faces who intimately know the ins and outs of each other’s game. Anae has become a wizard as SU’s offensive coordinator, concocting bunch sets and confusing defenses with pre-snap motions, resulting in wide open receivers and plenty of room for Shrader to show off his arm.

I expect nothing less against UVA, who barely beat Old Dominion and got boat raced by Illinois. Armstrong, though successful under the Beck-Anae combo, has mightily struggled thus far. “The mob” and the rest of SU’s defense, which has forced national attention with their lockdown play, will pick Armstrong apart. Syracuse will roll into its only Football Championship Series game at 4-0 and … ranked?

Elliott knows the Dome well, but his players don’t (7 things to know) (PS; $; Leiker)

Tony Elliott has made many trips to the JMA Wireless Dome to face off against Syracuse football.

Through 11 seasons on Dabo Swinney’s Clemson coaching staff, Elliott made the trip to Syracuse four times. He knows the environment will be a challenge for his Virginia squad, especially considering only two of his players have ever competed in the Dome.

Clemson won four of its five games in Syracuse when Elliott was on staff.

“They do a great job regardless of the size of the crowd,” Elliott said during his Tuesday press conference. “They find a way to make it loud in there. Those guys, in my experience, they always play tough at home. You’ve got to go in, and you’ve got to take it from them. ... If you give them momentum, they’re going to capitalize.”

UVA defensive end Chico Bennett Jr. and cornerback Anthony Johnson are the only Cavaliers to have played in the Dome before, and neither did so while wearing a Virginia uniform. Bennett was playing for Georgia Tech when he visited Syracuse, and Johnson played for Louisville prior to transferring to UVA.

Here are six more things to know about Friday night’s game.

Reunions for more than just Anae and Beck

The big storyline heading into Friday’s game — though both SU coach Dino Babers and Elliott are trying to ignore it — has been the reunion between SU offensive coordinator Robert Anae, quarterbacks coach Jason Beck and their former UVA offensive players.

There are also quite a few player connections between the two teams.

Orange linebacker Mikel Jones and Cavaliers defensive end Jack Camper were teammates at IMG Academy from 2015-16. Camper graduated two years before Jones.

Syracuse’s tight end room guides balanced offense to improvement (DO; Cirino)

Down by five in the fourth quarter against Purdue, Sean Tucker failed to convert on a 3rd-and-1 handoff. At the Boilermakers’ 46-yard line, the Orange were out of field-goal range and decided to go for it.

Off the snap, Shrader dropped back deep and looked to Tucker, who motioned out toward the right sideline. While Tucker was covered, tight end Oronde Gadsden II began breaking out to Shrader’s left. The quarterback found Gadsden at the 37-yard line and the tight end ran into the end zone after getting a block from wideout Damien Alford.

“It works in practice,” Gadsden said regarding the play. “Anytime we get motion and everyone’s going to the right and I’m going to the left, that corner on man coverage is gonna have a lot to go through.”

Incorporating more plays involving Syracuse’s (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) tight ends have been key additions to the pass-centric offense. But with the Orange’s tight end room limited due to injuries, Shrader has connected with Gadsen 12 times this season for 193 receiving yards and three scores.

Gadsden, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, is arguably the most promising contender to remain as Syracuse’s starting tight end over the next few seasons. He has been tasked with filling in for fullback Chris Elmore, who suffered a lower-body injury against Louisville.

“It hurt us a lot,” lineman Matthew Bergeron said regarding Elmore’s injury. “(It’s) next man up mentality, Max Mang gotta step up, Steven Mahar, Oronde. So I’m excited to see what these guys can do.”

With Elmore’s return for a seventh collegiate season in 2023 still in question, Mang, Mahar and Gadsden — all sophomores — will likely return next season. This season, the trio emerged as Syracuse’s tight end options, but Babers only singled out Mang and Mahar during the preseason, not Gadsden.

“We’ve got Maximilian (Mang) coming back, Steven Mahar is coming back,” Babers said after the first day of preseason. “And of course, we’ve got Chris Elmore, so that’s a room. Steve Mahar is extremely talented so you get development out of him and those three guys, so we should be okay.”

Opponent Preview: What to know about SU's 2nd conference opponent Virginia (DO; Alandt)

Syracuse hasn’t beaten Virginia since 1977. Despite both teams being a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2013, the two programs have faced just five total times. 2022’s matchup proves some sort of familiarity, though. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck came to Syracuse this offseason following a lengthy stint with Virginia that made quarterback Brennan Armstrong a top passer in the conference.

The Cavaliers come into Friday night on uneven footing through the first three games of Tony Elliott’s tenure as head coach. Elliot started off with a commanding win over Richmond. Then, Illinois easily defeated UVA, holding the Cavaliers to just three points in the process. Last week, a last-second field goal was the only thing that separated Virginia from an Old Dominion upset.

Prior to Virginia’s first and SU’s second ACC game of the season, here’s everything you need to know about the Cavaliers.

All-time series:

Virginia leads 3-2.

Last time they played

In 2015, Syracuse traveled to Virginia to maintain its above-.500 record that it garnered following a 3-0 start. The Orange went into the fourth quarter up 10 points, aided in part by a 21-point second quarter. But they allowed 10 points to UVA in the fourth quarter, including a final drive that ended with a game-tying field goal as time expired to force overtime. Despite quarterback Eric Dungey accounting for 235 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, Syracuse couldn’t keep up with the Cavaliers in the third overtime, falling 44-38.

SU nearly let the game slip away earlier when it coughed up two fumbles and failed to find the end zone inside Virginia’s 5-yard line. Cole Murphy also missed two field goal attempts, including one in the third overtime period. The loss marked the third of what would eventually become eight straight losses in the middle of a dismal 4-8 season.

'Prototypical slot guy' Devaughn Cooper finds final home at Syracuse (DO; Alandt)

Juwan Tucker watched Narbonne (California) High School’s receivers run rep after rep in practice.

Cedric Byrd, Jamal Hicks and Vincent Heard, who all ended up at Power 5 schools, executed routes as they practiced in the Gauchos spread offense. Then Devaughn Cooper, a senior receiver and kick returner stepped up. Tucker watched Cooper stutter-step out of his stance, breaking past his defender within three steps. His “really strong hands” easily grabbed the pass, and Cooper glided to the end zone.

Tucker knew he had to replicate Cooper’s game. Tucker noted what Cooper did in practice, working on the same things with Narbonne’s receiver’s coach individually after practice.

Cooper entered his sixth season this year after transferring to Syracuse as a walk-on in 2021. Once an SU recruit, Cooper chose Arizona before transferring to Texas-El Paso for two seasons. But finally, over 2,300 miles from home, he’s using breakaway speed, quick hands and stellar route running to establish himself as a potent threat for Syracuse after earning a scholarship in just two weeks last year.

Cooper joined a talented group of upperclassmen at Arizona, including Cayleb Jones and David Richards, both future NFL players. But he impressed then-head coach Rich Rodriguez to earn a spot as the fourth receiver, cycling in when someone got tired. Arizona receivers coach Theron Aych called Cooper a “pure receiver” with “big play potential” for the Wildcats.

Aych noticed how seamlessly Cooper tracked the ball in the air when executing his route. Few receivers on the team could do that at the time, but Cooper arrived at UA off a senior year where he caught 67 passes for 1,280 yards and 20 touchdowns.


In Shelby, Ohio, Brennan Armstrong left the town of 9,300 as the No. 1 ranked dual-threat quarterback in the state.

Before he broke records at UVA, Brennan Armstrong went on a 4-year reign in Ohio (DO; Tomaiuolo)

When Erik Will moved to Shelby, Ohio, in 2013, whispers of a 13-year-old freak athlete took over the town. All of Shelby had its eyes on Brennan Armstrong, who was still in eighth grade.

“You could see that the kid was unbelievable at running the football,” said Will, Armstrong’s head coach at Shelby High School. “He was able to run as well as he passed.”

Armstrong started at quarterback his freshman year at Shelby. He became the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in Ohio after receiving his first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school offer that year, helping Shelby to their best record in team history. On Friday, he’ll face Syracuse for the first time, slated against his former quarterback coach and offensive coordinator.

In the three seasons prior to Armstrong’s arrival at Shelby, the Whippets went 3-27. They had a winless, 0-10 season in 2011, went 2-8 in 2012 and 1-9 in 2013.

Armstrong’s name quickly spread around the state after Shelby lost 83-82 in October 2014 to Tiffin Columbian in overtime. Armstrong erased a 21-point deficit in the game’s final eight minutes, throwing for 358 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns.

“His freshman season, his team went 2-8, but you could tell what was coming up,” said Jake Furr, sports reporter and photographer at the Mansfield News Journal in Mansfield, Ohio.

Will said Armstrong was a “true scholarship quarterback” as a sophomore. But Armstrong also excelled at safety, making multiple first-team, all-league defensive teams. Some college coaches recruited Armstrong at defensive back.

“He was a dog on the defensive side,” Will said. “I told (one Big Ten coach that) he wants to play quarterback, but if he wanted to play safety, he’d be a Division I safety.”


Brennan Armstrong is lost after a massive downgrade the UVa coaching staff (Mike Kropf/Daily Progress) (; Charles)

Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong led one of the most prolific offenses in college football last season. Tallying over 6,000 total yards and finishing second in the nation in passing yards per game, Armstrong appeared primed to build on his record-breaking success. But so far this season, Virginia’s offense has yet to regain its explosive nature.

As the Virginia offense has searched for cohesion in the early going, the departure of offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck continues to loom large. Heading into Friday night’s game against host Syracuse, their absence could be magnified as they now sport a new shade of orange and blue on the opposing sideline, both coaching in the same roles they had with the Cavaliers.
“It’s an emotional game when you got your old family and you’re in front of them again,” Syracuse Coach Dino Babers said Monday. “I’m sure that there’ll be some hugs and hellos, either before or after the game — either way doesn’t bother me. The game is the game.”

During their time in Charlottesville, Anae and Beck helped engineer some of the best offenses in the program’s history. Only two Virginia quarterbacks have thrown more than 20 touchdown passes in multiple seasons, with all four of those seasons coming during the duo’s tenure.

Syracuse Football: 5 reasons GameDay makes sense for NC State game (itlh; Fiello)

Did you know ESPN’s College GameDay football show has NEVER been on the Orange campus for a Syracuse football game? For some, that’s a repetitive statement they’ve heard for a while now and for others, it might be news but either way, it’s the truth.

There are now only eight Power Five schools from which @CollegeGameDay has not originated (Cal, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia). Seems unlikely we'll knock one off the list this year, but you never know!
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) August 16, 2022

In the tweet above, you will see that Syracuse football is one of only a few Power 5 conference teams that has not had this honor. Can that change this season with Syracuse football sitting at 3-0? Maybe! The Orange will have to win more to make this inevitable to avoid a reoccurrence from 2019, when rumor and speculation were that before a horrible loss to Maryland, there were plans to come for the Clemson game that season.

So why is this such a big deal and why should Syracuse football fans want this? I’m glad you asked. Here are my five reasons why I think the Syracuse versus NC State game on October 15th is the perfect game to organize this, should the Orange be 5-0 at that time.

Why GameDay should head to the Hill for Syracuse football against NC State.

I Want To Play There

One complaint I hear from some grumpier fans is that Syracuse isn’t attracting five-star recruits. Any time Syracuse recruits them, a portion of fans love saying that they’ll never commit to Syracuse. Many recruits of that stature want to play where they can be seen and loved. Getting GameDay gets Syracuse football on more radars for those recruits and might help one watching that week who will remember it happened and want to be a part of that atmosphere. Also if they learn about the Loud House, they might want to feel that level of love themselves.

I Want That Team In My Bowl Game

At the end of the season, bowl executives look at teams that are eligible for their game. Many of them could be watching and this could be a memorable moment in November when a bigger bowl wants an attractive team. Syracuse has fans and alumni in various regions as well as some willing to travel. Maybe a bowl executive watches and feels like Syracuse is worthy of their bowl and will make a great story to sell the game.

What you need to know about Syracuse football's Week 4 opponent: the Virginia Cavaliers (; Hodges)

There's nothing like the college football season. It doesn't matter if you're one of the "cupcakes" or one of the blue bloods, everyone's journey is the same. Long, intense and unforgiving.

Then there's the conference season, and that's a whole other thing entirely.

WATCH this week's full episode of "The Orange Zone Podcast"

For Syracuse the conference season started right off the bat, with the Louisville Cardinals making the trip to the JMA Wireless Dome and leaving with a thud. It was a resounding win for a Syracuse team that had, and continue to has, a massive chip on their shoulder, a ton to prove to themselves and the nation.

Now, three weeks later, a second conference foe enters the hornet's nest that is the Loud House, hoping to damage the hope of a team as confident as any in the nation, and a fanbase who is ready and willing to back them against any and all opponents. That team Orange fans, is the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers are 2-1. The two wins coming against an FCS foe (Richmond), and at home against Old Dominion. As for the lone loss, it came at the hands of a Tommy DeVito led Illinois Fighting Illini, in a game where they weren't the least bit competitive on the offensive end.

College football: Syracuse’s new-style offense gets next test against Virginia (; St Croix)

The Syracuse University football team plans to illustrate the Anae-and-Beck effect for a familiar foe and a national audience tonight.

Syracuse (3-0 overall, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and its resurgent offense will take center stage for an ACC clash against Virginia (2-1, 0-0) at 7 tonight in the JMA Wireless Dome. SU is favored by 9.5 points as of Thursday, according to Caesars , for the ESPN-televised matchup.

The Orange is in pursuit of its second 4-0 start in the last 30 seasons, thanks in large part to the contributions of first-year offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, both of whom held the same positions with the Cavaliers for the previous six years.

“I would assume it’s probably personal for (Anae), so I think everybody wants to come out and show that we can perform his offense as well as they did last year,” SU wide receiver Courtney Jackson said.

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers hired Anae and Beck last December to continue as a tandem and revamp the SU passing offense, a task on which they have instantly delivered.

The duo masterminded the third-ranked unit in total offense and the No. 2 passing attack at Virginia last season, while SU finished as a bottom 10 FBS pass unit. Through the first three games this year, the Orange ranks ahead of the Cavaliers through the air with each led by the same quarterback as 2021.

Syracuse is one of only four FBS teams that has yet to turn the ball over and one of 19 to maintain a perfect red-zone scoring percentage — no other team remains unblemished in both categories.

SU quarterback Garrett Shrader is responsible for 68 points, the sixth-most in the nation entering the week, and he ranks fourth in the ACC for completion rate at 66.2 percent. Shrader has thrown for eight touchdowns, which is one shy of matching his total from last year, and is tied with Caleb Williams of Southern Cal for the third most TD passes without an interception in the FBS.

Shrader has nearly doubled his pass yardage output per game this year after averaging just 120 pass yards, completing 52 percent of his passes, and tossing nine TDs to four picks in 2021.

“It’s a combination of a few things, obviously play-calling and coaching is the first step to that, putting us in the right positions to be successful, and I think just us playing together brings it all together,” Jackson said.

“I think (Anae) is a leader, he’s the head of the offense, and he knows what everything is supposed to look like,” Jackson added. “If it’s not his certain way, we’ll do it again until we make sure it’s right. I think execution is the biggest thing with him, he just wants to keep everybody on track and make sure we’re all pushing to be better.”

Is Syracuse Getting Disrespected For Its Win Over Purdue? – Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage (; Amendolara)

Garrett Shrader threw the pass. Oronde Gadsden caught the pass and got a foot in bounds. Syracuse showed resiliency throughout the afternoon. The Orange counterpunched every time they trailed in the fourth quarter, and the offense has been a breath of fresh air compared to recent years.

So why does it seem some observers still refuse to give Syracuse credit for the win? The Sporting News wrote:

Christmas came early in Syracuse, N.Y., on Saturday. The gift? A come-from-behind win for the Orange, courtesy of Purdue’s generosity in the final minute of the game.
Future records will show the Orange beat the Boilermakers at the JMA Wireless Dome. In reality, a series of horrible miscues on Syracuse’s final offensive drive — all of them Purdue penalties — allowed the home team to escape with a victory.

Undoubtedly, the Boilermakers made some bad decisions. A series of flags helped advanced the SU game-winning drive, and then torpedoed their last gasp. But at the same time, let’s give the Orange credit. The play that won the game was not a flag for pass interference. It didn’t spot it at the one-yard line. There was no questionable overturn of a call. The line blocked. Shrader threw the perfect pass. Gasden made a beautiful catch. No Boilermaker was involved in that process.

Jeff Brohm lost his cool and drew a flag. Dino Babers did not. Purdue threw an interception. SU didn’t commit a turnover. Purdue had 13 flags, Syracuse had 9. This was far from the cleanest SU win, and the Boilermakers certainly hurt themselves. But discipline is a learned trait, and taking advantage of the opponents mistakes is part of being a winner. Instead of suggesting “Syracuse (escaped) the Carrier Dome with a gifted victory,” let’s get a few things corrected.

A) It’s not the Carrier Dome anymore

B) Syracuse earned a win by being the smarter team

Syracuse football vs. Virginia: See our picks (PS; Staff)

The Syracuse football team will face Virginia at 7 p.m. Friday in the JMA Wireless Dome (TV: ESPN).

It’s time for our predictions. The panel includes Brent Axe, sports columnist; Emily Leiker, SU football reporter; and Nate Mink, supervisor/reporter for sports.


Syracuse 38, Virginia 24
Will Syracuse cover? Yes

There won’t be as much drama under the Friday Night Lights against Virginia as there was last Saturday against Purdue.

I think Syracuse gets Sean Tucker back on track and uses the inside intel Robert Anae and Jason Beck have on Brennan Armstrong to keep the good times rolling and move to 4-0.


Syracuse 45, Virginia 28
Will Syracuse cover? Yes

At this point SU is on a roll, and I don’t think it’s stopping until after the bye week at the earliest. Especially coming off such a high-intensity game against Purdue where many of the players were disappointed by their performances.

I’m expecting some big plays out the gate for the Orange on both sides of the ball.

While Virginia certainly has some talented players, I think they lack the cohesion to earn a win. That said, Brennan Armstrong will put up a fight, and there might be some close moments.

Remember, though: SU has some not-so-secret weapons in Robert Anae and Jason Beck to help with their game planning against the second ACC opponent of the season.


Syracuse 49, Virginia 10
Will Syracuse cover? Yes

Garett Tujague was among the holdovers for Tony Elliott from the previous regime, but forget about continuity: It’s been a complete rebuild upfront for Virginia’s offensive line coach.

Syracuse football: previewing Virginia with Streaking the Lawn (TNIAAM; Wall)

With the Syracuse Orange preparing to face the Virginia Cavaliers we reached out to Streaking the Lawn to learn more about Tony Elliott’s first season leading UVA. Zach Carey managing editor of Streaking the Lawn gave us his idea of what Syracuse can expect inside the JMA Wireless Dome.

TNIAAM: It’s early in his tenure, but what’s been the biggest change so far under Tony Elliott?

STL: “From a broader perspective, Elliott has brought a more focused approach on recruiting in Virginia. He’s taking a more traditional approach than everything than Bronco Mendenhall did and, coming from Clemson, that makes sense. There are some concerns that, simply put, it’s not possible to replicate Clemson’s program at UVA. But I think on a number of fronts the way Elliott is going about leading this program is the way it has to if it wants to escape the middling mediocrity we’ve been accustomed to for far too long.

In terms of what matters for Syracuse fans come Friday night, UVA actually wants to run the ball with its running backs now! Coming into this season the last UVA back with 100 yards in a game was Jordan Ellis in the 2018 Belk Bowl. Then, in game one of Elliott’s tenure, fifth year former walk-on Perris Jones went for 104 on the ground. Overall Elliott is more intentional with balancing the offense while adopting a more old school approach for this team. The offense hasn’t put up the numbers it did last year, but it looks like they’ve got a chance to round the corner. Friday is a big test on that front.”

Syracuse football: four things to watch vs Virginia (TNIAAM; Many)

The Syracuse Orange look to go 4-0 for the first time since 2018 and to do that they will have to beat the Virginia Cavaliers tomorrow night. This is Virginia’s first Dome appearance since 2005 and we share what we’re watching for in this Friday night feature.

Christian - No edge, no chance

A lot of focus is going to be put on Brennan Armstrong, and for good reason. But the sneaky ability that casual fans don’t know is that Armstrong can run as well. So Syracuse has to bring the house, much like they did against Aiden O’Connell and Purdue in the second half. The concern then becomes edge contain. We know Mikel Jones is going to have the middle locked down. It now rests on the defensive ends to prevent Armstrong from getting around the tackles to turn nothing into something. Same goes for the corners, who at times this season have had trouble shedding wide receiver blocks. Bring pressure, but protect the edge.

Mike - Corners playing Man Coverage

Last time out we saw Garrett Williams struggle to contain Purdue’s top dog Charlie Jones all game long. Now he and Duce Chestnut will have the trio of Dontayvion Wicks, Keytaon Thompson. and Lavel Davis Jr. to contend with. Wicks and Thompson both had phenomenal seasons last year and have started out on similar tracks, while the 6’7” Davis is emerging as Virginia’s deep-ball threat. If Christian is right and the Orange consistently blitz Armstrong, then these one-on-one matchups are the key to slowing down the Cavs’ offense. It’ll be especially challenging when this WR core is built to win 50/50 matchups with their height.

Game Preview: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Syracuse Orange | College Football - Sports Illustrated Virginia Cavaliers News, Analysis and More (SI; Newton)

It's the ACC opener for Tony Elliott and the Virginia Cavaliers and in order to start off ACC play with a win, they'll have to go through a Syracuse team which has performed a lot better than most expected through the first three weeks of the season.

Coming into the season, the Orange were 11-24 over the last three seasons and had accumulated only five ACC wins over that period. Powered by an offense that has been totally revitalized by the additions of former UVA assistant coaches Robert Anae and Jason Beck, the Orange are firing on all cylinders and come into this game with an unblemished 3-0 record.

Meanwhile, Virginia comes in at 2-1 after squeaking by Old Dominion on a last-second field goal last weekend. The UVA defense has been solid, but the Cavaliers are still struggling to get into a rhythm offensively, with red zone execution and ball security being the hot-button issues of the week. Virginia will need to pull it all together on Friday night in order to knock off a very good Syracuse team at the newly-named JMA Wireless Dome.

Read on for a full preview of Virginia at Syracuse, including details on how to watch, stat comparisons, key storylines, and a score prediction.

ML Sports Platter: Virginia-Syracuse Football Preview. (; podcast; Lindsley)

00:00-25:00: Mike Lindsley previews Virginia-Syracuse.

Abysmal Offense, Penalties Doom Virginia Tech in Loss to West Virginia (; Cunningham)

In a one-possession game at the end of the third quarter, West Virginia was called for a false start on a fourth-and-one. That backed the Mountaineers up five yards to the Virginia Tech 39-yard line.

On fourth-and-six, JT Daniels rolled to his right, and his pass attempt fell short before he was drilled by Tech linebacker Dax Hollifield. But the Hokies’ captain got to Daniels late and picked up their 12th penalty of the game, giving the Mountaineers a first down. Three plays later on third-and-14, Norell Pollard was called for illegal hands to the face, helping WVU escape once again.

That’s how the ball rolled on Thursday night, and for the second time in four games, the Hokies had 15 penalties. Between that and an abysmal performance from the offense, it resulted in their second loss of the year, a 33-10 defeat to West Virginia.

“We didn’t play complementary football,” Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry told reporters after the game. “And we’re at a point right now as a team, we have to do that. We can’t leave too much to overcome in any phase. And either we weren’t making them earn it or we were shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit.

“We’ve got to own it and we’ve got to be better in a bunch of areas.”

It starts by cleaning up the flags. 132 penalty yards is tied for the second-most in program history, and the Hokies (2-2, 1-0 ACC) committed 10 different penalties, from pass interference and false starts to holding and personal fouls. Tech was also called for an illegal snap, an illegal substitution, facemask, delay of game and the aforementioned roughing the passer.

Hokies doomed by inept 'O,' penalties in loss to WVU (; McFarling)

Virginia Tech relinquished the Black Diamond Trophy indefinitely on Thursday night, and the Hokies have plenty of regrets about how it happened.

In the last scheduled meeting between the Hokies and West Virginia, Tech struggled to move the ball and committed costly penalties at crucial moments to lose a 33-10 decision at Lane Stadium.

With a sellout crowd and an ESPN audience looking on, the Hokies (2-2) capped a .500 September in much the same way as they started it against Old Dominion — constantly on the retreat because of their own mistakes and offensive ineffectiveness.

Tech was flagged 15 times for 132 yards and didn’t surpass 200 yards of total offense until the fourth quarter.

“Obviously disappointed,” Tech coach Brent Pry said. “Either we weren’t making them earn it or we were shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit. So we’ve got to own it, and we’ve got to be better in a bunch of areas.”

jacolby Spells extinguished the last of the Hokies’ hopes with 9:36 remaining, picking off a Grant Wells pass and returning it 27 yards for a touchdown to create the final margin.

It was the first turnover since the opener for Wells, who threw four interceptions in the 20-17 loss to ODU.

Similarly, the Hokies had cleaned up their act considerably with penalties after committing 15 for 106 yards in Pry’s debut. They were flagged only five times apiece in home wins over Boston College and Wofford before the bug returned in a big way Thursday.

Thursday FB Result 2022 Sep 22 (RX; HM)

Thursday FB Result 2022 Sep 22

This was the last game scheduled for the foreseeable future in the West Virginia/Virginia Tech series, which means the winner will have bragging rights for a long time. That will be the Mountaineers after they beat the Hokies for a second year in a row, this time in Blacksburg.

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

Football Highlights (2022)

From ACCDN: West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: The Hokies could not defend their home turf as they lost to the Mountaineers, 33-10. West Virginia broke the game open in the fourth quarter scoring the last 17 points of the game. Quarterback Grant Wells was 16-35 for 193 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Wide receiver Kaleb Smith caught five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. For West Virginia, quarterback T.J. Daniels was 20-30 for 203 yards and a touchdown.

So the Black Diamond Trophy will take up semi-permanent residence in Morgantown, and the WVU/VT series will go into hibernation... until the next round of realignment, at least!

Syracuse vs Virginia Recruiting Visitor List (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse football is set to take on Virginia Friday night in the JMA Wireless Dome. The Orange will have several recruits from the 2024 and 2025 classes in attendance to watch it all unfold. Here are some of the notable names we have confirmed are expected to attend. This list will be updated as new information is obtained.


Player: Jaylin Ballew
Position: Tight End
Height/Weight: 6-3, 210 lbs
School: Erasmus Hall
Notable Offers: Miami, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M

Player: Caden Brown
Position: Defensive End/Linebacker
Height/Weight: 6-4, 220 lbs
School: Erasmus Hall (NY)
Notable Offers: Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia

Player: Ta'Ron Haile
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6-0, 170 lbs
School: Millville (NJ)
Notable Offers: Boston College, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

Player: Braheem Long
Position: Athlete
Height/Weight: 5-11, 160 lbs
School: Camden (NJ)
Notable Offers: Temple

Player: Syair Torrence
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 5-11, 185 lbs
School: CBA (NY)
Notable Offers: Syracuse

Syracuse Orange Football: 3-0 And Making Noise (; video; ACC DN)

The Syracuse Orange have taken their preseason bowl hopes from optimistic to likely with an impressive 3-0 start. Syracuse is one of only four teams in the country that have recorded 2 wins against Power 5 teams in the first three weeks of the season. Garrett Shrader is playing his best football, and his 11 TDR rank 2nd in the ACC. Sean Tucker is carrying the load on the ground for the Orange, racking up 126 yards per game in the three wins. Take a look at what's making the Orange a tough matchup early in the season here. (youtube; video; Orange Weekly)'s Brent Axe previews Syracuse football's Friday night matchup vs. Virginia at the JMA Wireless Dome. (youtube; video; Free Picks)

Syracuse vs Virginia 9/23/22 Free College Football Picks and Predictions Week 4 (; Will C)

Not much movement as it appears the teams are falling into their respective tiers. A showdown between Wake and Clemson this weekend could shake things up next week though.

1. Clemson Tigers (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: win 48-20 vs. Louisiana Tech. This week: at Wake

The Tigers have walked through the easiest part of their schedule but now face the toughest with Wake and NC State in back to back weeks. If they can come out unscathed the Atlantic Division is seemingly theirs (again).

2. NC State Wolfpack (3-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 27-14 vs. Texas Tech. This week: vs. UConn

A nice, easy tune up game before the Atlantic showdown next weekend with Clemson is just what State needs. They served some notice last week with a home win and never trailing against Texas Tech.

3. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-1, 0-0)
Last week: win 34-13 at Western Michigan. This week: vs. Rhode Island

Credit to the Panthers for erasing the previous week’s loss to Tennessee and handling Western Michigan on the road. Pitt should be favored in the rest of their games until they travel to Miami at the end of the year. That game could also be a de facto Coastal Division Championship game.

4. Miami Hurricanes (2-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 17-9 at Texas A&M. This week: vs. Middle Tennessee

The U isn’t quite back, but on paper they handled the Aggies. They outpaced A&M in total yards 392 to 264, owned the time of possession 34 minutes to 25 minutes, and nearly doubled their first downs 27 to 16. Alas, a special teams fumble set up the first A&M TD which proved to be the difference maker.

5. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 37-36 vs. Liberty. This week: vs. Clemson

It wasn’t pretty, but any win over a Liberty team is a good win. Now the Deacs get to turn their attention to the big bad of the ACC. The key to the game will surely be how Clemson’s porous offensive line handles Wake’s defense and protects DJ U.

6. Florida State Seminoles (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: win 35-31 at Louisville. This week: vs. BC

The Noles were able to score with just under 8 minutes left in the game to take the lead and hold off the Cardinals the rest of the way. FSU won’t be considered a top team in the country this year, but they could be frisky. They get one more warm up game this week before taking on Wake, NC State, and Clemson in three straight weeks after.

7 (tie). North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 35-28 at Georgia State. This week: vs. Notre Dame

Back to back weeks of heartburn against Sun Belt opponents isn’t what any UNC fan wanted, but their defense showed up down the stretch forcing Georgia State to three and outs on their final three possessions to win the game. The Irish aren’t great, but any ACC win over Notre Dame is a feather in the cap.

7 (tie). Syracuse Orange (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: win 32-29 vs. Purdue. This week: vs. UVA

Cuse didn’t look particularly overwhelming against Purdue last weekend, but a win is a win. Now they get to turn their attention to more ACC play when UVA comes to town. The Orange have the 44th ranked defense according to SP+, so it will be interesting to see if UVA’s offense can click this week.
... (RX; HM)

2022 Week 4 Friday Preview

Friday, Sept. 23: Virginia at Syracuse, 7:00 pm on ESPN
Series: Virginia leads series, 3-2; Last meeting: UVA, 44-38, 3ot (2015)

Head Coaches:

Virginia - Tony Elliott (1-1 in first season at UVA and overall)
Syracuse - Dino Babers (32-43 in seventh season at Syracuse; 69-59 in 11th season overall)
Notes: Virginia and Syracuse meet for the first time since October of 2015, when the Cavaliers outlasted the Orange for a 44-38 win in three overtimes in Charlottesville • PK Ian Frye’s tying 25-yard field goal as regulation time expired set Virginia up to prevail in triple-OT after the Cavaliers had maintained possession for the final 6:52 of the fourth quarter with a 19-play, 88-yard drive • It marked the first time the teams had met in ACC play and the first time since Virginia squeaked out a 27-24 win at the Carrier Dome in 2005 on PK Connor Hughes’ 19-yard field goal as time expired • The Cavaliers also won at home in 2004, giving them two straight wins in the series • The Orange took the first two meetings between the teams in 1975 at Charlottesville and in 1977 at Syracuse’s old Archbold Stadium • This Saturday’s contest is the second of a four-game homestand for the Orange, which seeks its first-ever 2-0 start in ACC play.
... (RX; HM)

2022 Week 4 Noon Game Previews

Saturday, Sept. 24

Duke (3-0) at Kansas (3-0), Noon on FS1
Duke leads series, 2-1; Last meeting: Duke, 52-33 (2021)
Head Coaches:
Duke - Mike Elko (3-0 in first season at Duke and overall)
Kansas - Lance Leipold (5-10- in second season at Kansas; 150-49 in 16th season overall)
Notes: Duke and Kansas play the fourth game in a series in which the home teams is currently 3-0 • The teams first met at Kansas in 2009, where the 22nd-ranked Jayhawks bagged a 44-16 victory by breaking the game open with 27 unanswered points • Duke won 41-3 at Durham in 2014 as freshman running back Shaun Wilson broke the then-school single-game rushing record with 245 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils •
Last year’s game, also in Durham, saw the Blue Devils outscore the Jayhawks 52-33 as RB Gunnar Holmberg tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns and threw for a fifth • The Blue Devils struck for 21 points during a six-minute span of the third quarter • The Blue Devils enter Saturday’s game with an all-time record of 8-4 versus Big 12 opponents, including wins in each of the last four matchups.
Did you know... the game is a sell-out, the first for the Jayhawks since Nov. 2, 2019, and just the second in nearly 13 years.
... (RX: HM)

2022 Week 4 ACC Mid-Day Games

Saturday, Sept. 24
Middle Tennessee at #25 Miami (FL), 3:30 pm on ACCN
MTSU leads series, 2-0; Last meeting: MTSU,7-0 (1932)
Head Coaches:
Miami - Mario Cristobal (2-1 in first season at Miami; 64-61 in 12th season overall)
Middle Tennessee- Rick Stockstill (103-99 in 17th season at MTSU and overall)
Notes: The Hurricanes close out their non-conference schedule with their first game against Middle Tennessee State in 90 years • Miami trails 2-0 in the all-time series after dropping both ends of a home-and-home set in 1931-32 by scores of 25-0 at Murfreesboro and 7-0 • The Hurricanes are 2-0 so far this season at Hard Rock Stadium after limiting Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss to a combined 10 points the first two weekends in September • Following Saturday’s game, Miami has an open date before plunging into ACC play on Oct. 8 versus visiting North Carolina • The Blue Raiders are led by 17th-year head coach Rick Stockstill, who has led Middle Tennessee State to nine bowl games (three wins) • The Blue Raiders defeated Toledo 31-24 in last year’s Bahamas Bowl • Stockstill, a former quarterback at Florida State, put in 14 seasons in the ACC as a Clemson assistant coach (1989-2002).
Did you know... the Miami Hurricanes have never scored a point against MTSU (that's likely to change Saturday!)
... (RX; HM)

2022 Week 4 ACC Factoids

ACC Notes

The ACC is 28-6 vs. non-conference competition through the first three weeks of the season, including an 17-6 mark vs. FBS competition. The league’s 28-6 record vs. non-conference opponents is the best since going 27-5 in the first three weeks of 2014 and is second among all conferences this season. Eight non-conference games, including three vs. Power 5 opponents, are on the schedule this week.
Seven ACC teams are unbeaten heading into week four, which equals the most of any conference. Five teams from the Atlantic have yet to lose. All four ACC teams in the state of North Carolina are undefeated through week three for the first time ever - Duke (3-0), North Carolina (3-0), NC State (3-0) and Wake Forest (3-0). Clemson is 3-0 for the seventh time in the last eight years. Syracuse is 3-0 for the first time since winning 10 games in 2018, and Florida State is 3-0 for the first time since 2015.

Week four of the ACC schedule includes:

Games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with prime time matchups each day. No other conference plays each of those three days this week.
... (; Staff)

On ESPN’s College Football Live, college football analysts David Pollack and Desmond Howard discussed fifth-ranked Clemson’s game at No. 21 Wake Forest on Saturday.

Howard said he thinks the pressure is on Clemson going into Saturday’s game, before adding that he believes the ACC is “wide open” this season – and that the conference doesn’t necessarily run through the Tigers.

“I think that the pressure’s on Clemson, and to be honest with you, everyone I talked to when I mention the ACC, I think it’s wide open,” he said. “I don’t think that the ACC necessarily goes through Clemson. I believe that it’s just wide open, and really kind of impressed with what I see out of Florida State this year.”

Howard doesn’t seem to be very impressed with DJ Uiagalelei, however.

“I think that DJ, he’s just not playing to the level that we anticipated,” Howard said of Clemson’s starting quarterback. “He didn’t make the jump from year one as a starter to year two. Even watching him in the Georgia Tech game, the first game, he just seems like he made everything harder.”

Howard went on to say that while the Tigers are favored to win Saturday’s game against the Demon Deacons at Truist Field in Winston-Salem (noon ET, ABC), he expects it to be closer than games between the two teams in previous seasons.

Clemson has beaten Wake Forest in each of the last 13 meetings, winning those games by an average of more than 27 points.

“I think that the ACC is wide open,” Howard said. “Clemson’s probably picked to win this game, they probably should win this game. But don’t count out (quarterback) Sam Hartman. I think Wake Forest is going to play them closer than those previous victories that Clemson’s had over Wake Forest. So, that’s why it’s only a seven-point spread this time.”



About 38,000 people, almost all without masks, attended the Elton John performance in the JMA Wireless Dome on Sept. 10, 2022. Scott Schild | Scott Schild | (PS; $; Coin)

The number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked in Onondaga County after children returned to schools and sports and music fans began packing the JMA Wireless Dome.

The number of newly reported cases and patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in the county this week hit their highest levels in more than four months.

“We had the state fair, we had people going back to school, we had Elton John,” said Dr. Mitchell Brodey, an infectious disease expert who runs the 70-physician Family Care Medical Group.

Rock legend Elton John played a jammed dome on Sept. 10, with about 38,000 fans in attendance for his farewell tour. Syracuse University’s football team opened its season before 37,110 fans on Sept. 3, which was also the last weekend of the New York State Fair. SU will play Virginia in the dome tonight. And schools have been in session for three weeks.

Over the past week, Onondaga County has reported 1,492 cases of Covid. That’s more than double the 726 cases reported in the first week of September.
Last edited:


Block Head
Aug 26, 2011
Try Less Harder (ESPN: Adelson)
Syracuse football coach Dino Babers has a saying when he talks to his team, one he has relied on heavily over the last year.

"Try less harder."

Among Babers' many gifts is his ability to tell a story. To explain the phrase, Babers recalls his former college coach, the late Dick Tomey, and how he used it constantly with his teams.

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