Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Internaut Day!

The internet and World Wide Web weren't born in a day, so their birthdates aren't singular events. But August 23rd doesn't even register as a date when a significant event related to the internet or the World Wide Web took place. Still, Internaut Day, observed on August 23rd, celebrates the invention of the World Wide Web. (The World Wide Web and the internet are distinct from each other, and "internaut" can be defined as a person who has a deep knowledge of how to use the internet, as well as of its history.)

Internaut Day has been marked since at least 2013. That year, it was given credence by CNN when they mentioned it during a broadcast. Not much became of it, but the date was given further credence in 2016 when Facebook released a message on August 23rd that said, "The web opened up to the world 25 years ago today. We thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other internet pioneers for making the world more open and connected." Berners-Lee himself tweeted that August 23rd wasn't the correct date. Nonetheless, the World Wide Web is celebrated today with Internaut Day.

SU News

Syracuse football 2023 opponent preview: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (TNIAAM; Ostrowski)

It’s Troy Nunes days until the 2023 Syracuse Orange Season kicks off! His number 11 is also important for another reason: it’s how many opponent previews you Absolute Magicians should have read so far. If you have some catching up to do, no worries: here’s the Colgate, Western Michigan, Purdue, Army, Clemson, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pitt, and Georgia Tech previews for your viewing pleasure!

That brings us to the final team Syracuse will face in the regular season. They’re a peculiar bunch in numerous ways, from their roster construction to the mascot on their uniforms. But no one can deny the remarkable fight they continue to put up, regardless of the circumstances. Meet SU’s (second-to-) last foe of 2023, the...

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

School: Wake Forest University

Nickname: Demon Deacons

Mascot: The Demon Deacon

#BRAND Slogans: #GoDeacs, “Welcome to Deactown”

Alternate #BRAND Slogan Suggestions: #DapperDeacons (It’s in their practice facility) or “Permanent False Advertising”

Recommended Blog: Blogger So Dear

Conference: ACC

History vs. Syracuse: This series is one of the newest in the ACC. Wake first played SU in 2006, and it later became an annual affair when the Orange joined the Atlantic Division. The Deacs ride a three-game winning streak entering the next matchup, but they are only 6-6 overall. Three games have gone to overtime, all hosted by Syracuse: a rally lead by Ryan Nassib in 2011, Trill Williams’s scoop and score in 2019, and a Demon Deacon victory thanks to A.T. Perry’s third touchdown of the day in 2021.

Dino Babers has Everything to Gain in 2023, and Everything to Lose (; Frank)

With less than two weeks until the first snap of Syracuse’s 2023 season, it’s time to examine the stakes for this year. 2023 is going to be a referendum on Dino Babers’ ability as a head coach weekly, Babers’ hiring ability (with his two new coordinators), his recruiting ability (after a lot of talent was lost to the NFL and transfer portal), and lastly, and maybe most important, a referendum on Athletic Director John Wildhack’s trust in him to continue leading this program into the future.

Syracuse football team tackling grade ranking in Dino Babers era, per @PFF_College (Out of 130 FBS Teams)

2016: 85th
2017: 104th
2018: 12th
2019: 70th

Change to 3-3-5 defense

2020: 33rd
2021: 8th
2022: 10th
— Tim Leonard (@Tim_Leonard4) August 17, 2023

It’s been written and talked about many times on The Fizz how much pressure is on Babers to succeed in 2023. In his seven years as head coach, he’s had two winning seasons and made just two bowl games, winning only the 2018 Camping World Bowl. He’s had plenty of big wins over his tenure, including upsets over Clemson and other big-name programs. But, he’s yet to find that consistency in Central New York, and that’s why his seat is lukewarm at best if the Orange don’t play well again this season.

“A year ago, the talk seemed to be bowl-or-bust for Babers and the Orange, but a 7-6 season and a Pinstripe Bowl berth didn’t quiet the critics,” David Hale of ESPN wrote. “Blame it on the raised expectations of a 6-0 start. A more balanced performance — and another bowl game — should do the trick in 2023, but if the Orange regress, the pressure will mount.”

The schedule is challenging, to say the least for Syracuse. There are winnable games, including three in the non-conference with Colgate, Western Michigan, and Army all visiting the JMA Wireless Dome. There are also winnable conference games, like a late October road contest against Virginia Tech, hosting Boston College and Wake Forest in November, while sandwiching a road trip to Georgia Tech in between. Despite that, The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel isn’t optimistic.

“Week 9. Babers has managed to hang in for eight seasons despite producing just two winning records,” Mandel wrote, “but this could be the year when the wheels come off. After starting 6-0, the Orange lost five straight last season to finish 7-6, then lost OC Robert Anae to NC State and DC Tony White to Nebraska. Not great.”

Saturday Road Crystal Ball: Predicting every Syracuse football game for 2023 - Saturday Road (; Friedlander)

Dino Babers got himself off the hot seat last season.


After storming out of the gate with 6 straight wins and starting the 2nd half of the schedule by putting eventual ACC champion Clemson on the ropes for 3 quarters, the Orange won only once more.

Because of that stumble to the finish line, it might not take much for the 8th-year coach to start feeling the heat again.

But after recording only 1 other winning season in his first 7 years on the job, Babers still looks at least year’s 7-6 record that included a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl as a significant step forward.

“I think that last year was good,” Babers said. “Now we have an opportunity to build. We lost some fantastic players – guys that got drafted, will make a lot of money and play a long time in the NFL.

“We need to replace the offensive and defensive lines, but if we solidify quickly in those 2 groups, I think we have a chance to do some good things.”

Not only did the Orange lose offensive tackle Matthew Bergeron, cornerback Garrett Williams and record-setting running back Sean Tucker to the NFL, Babers also found himself having to replace both coordinators after Robert Anae left to run the offense at NC State and the defense’s Tony White departed for Nebraska.

There also are questions surrounding returning quarterback Garrett Shrader, who missed spring practice after undergoing surgery on his throwing elbow and is still in the process of building back his strength.

Shrader will be aided by the fact that he has one of the most versatile and dangerous receivers in the ACC to throw to in Oronde Gadsden II. And while there’s some rebuilding to do on defense, the return of linebacker Marlowe Wax and his 91 tackles is a good place to start.

The good news for Syracuse is that the schedule once again lends itself to a fast start. Finishing, however, will once again be the challenge.

New coordination

Babers went in diametrically different directions in filling both coordinators jobs this offseason.

On offense, he elevated 43-year-old quarterbacks coach Jason Beck. Considered a rising star in the coaching fraternity, he’s been given much of the credit for helping Shrader improve his completion percentage from 52.6% before his arrival to 65.0% a year ago.

“He has a different approach toward the game, just the way he sees the game of football,” Shrader said of Beck. “He wants you to go out and play loose, play fun and just go out and make plays. His approach to the game, the mindset that he has given me and the way that I’ve been able to play, it’s been awesome to see the development I’ve had in the last year and then what we’re going to be able to do this year.”

While Babers went for the cool young coach on offense, he chose an older father figure to run his defense. Or make that grandfather figure.

Rocky Long is 72 and has been coaching college football for 50 years as a defensive coordinator and head coach. He was at New Mexico for the past 3 seasons.

Besides his experience, the factor that made him attractive to Babers is that Long is acknowledged to be the creator of the 3-3-5 defense Syracuse currently employs.

“He sees football differently than how we see football now,” Wax said. “Coach Long is a guru. He knows the defense through and through. I’m really thankful to have him here now, seeing the defense through a different lens, seeing how he studies the game and how he loves to attack offenses.”

Up and running again

The job of replacing Tucker’s 3,182 career rushing yards and 31 combined touchdowns is already tough enough. But it nearly became even more difficult after Tucker’s heir apparent, LeQuint Allen, was suspended for the season because of his involvement in an offseason altercation with another Syracuse student.

Allen filed a lawsuit to have the suspension reversed and his record expunged. But before the case could be heard in court, the parties reached an agreement to allow Allen to return to school for the fall semester and rejoin the team.

The 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore averaged 6.7 yards per carry in limited action as Tucker’s backup last season. Given an opportunity to play a full game after Tucker opted out of the Pinstripe Bowl against Minnesota, Allen ran for 94 yards on 15 carries and caught 11 passes for 60 more yards.

“I love LeQuint and Sean Tuck, too,” Shrader said. “With LeQuint Allen, he has a totally different skill-set and we’re trying to tailor our offense to that. We’re excited to see what LeQuint will be able to do this year. He’s a hard worker. The best thing about him is he is just as good of a player without the ball as he is with the ball and it’s fun to see.”

Oronde Gadsden II: Nature and nurture

The All-ACC tight end/wide receiver comes by his talent naturally. His father, the original Oronde Gadsden, played 8 seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL – winning a Super Bowl ring with the Dallas Cowboys in 1995.

But that wasn’t the only thing the younger Gadsden had going for him during his formative years on the gridiron.

Not only did he learn his trade from his dad, but he also had the benefit of being mentored by a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – Oronde Sr.’s Miami Dolphins teammate Jason Taylor.

“He was my coach from 8 to like 11 or 12,” Oronde II said. “You don’t learn too, too much at that age. But he did teach us a lot. He definitely taught us how to be leaders because he was a great leader, himself.”

Gadsden is the 2nd-leading returning receiver in the ACC this year. He caught 61 passes for 969 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2021 to help the Orange become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018.

Although he’s listed on the preseason All-ACC ballot as a tight end, neither he nor his coach were willing to limit him to just 1 position, since he’s moved all around the field in an effort to help get him open more often.

“The hardest thing with Oronde is that they wanted to pigeonhole him,” his current coach, Babers, said. “Stop doing that. Get him the ball.”

Game-by-game predictions

Week 1: vs. Colgate (W)

The Orange starts the season with a win. And clean teeth.

Week 2: vs. Western Michigan (W)

Babers will certainly remind his players that in 2019, the Broncos came to the Dome and laid a 52-33 hurting on the Orange. And 2-years later, they went to Pittsburgh and beat the eventual ACC champions. This might be a guarantee game for Western Michigan. But winning is no guarantee. Syracuse will need to do more than just show up to get this victory.

Week 3: at Purdue (W)

The Orange rallied to beat the Boilermakers at home on Shrader’s 25-yard pass to Gadsden with 7 seconds remaining last year. With Purdue in rebuild mode following the departure of coach Jeff Brohm to Louisville, the rematch shouldn’t be as dramatic this time. Even though it’s in West Lafayette.

Week 4: vs. Army (W)

The Black Knights are transitioning away from a true triple option team, which should make preparing for them much less problematic. They’ll still be physical and disciplined, but Syracuse will have better talent. They’ll need to take advantage of that disparity to close out the nonconference schedule unbeaten.

Week 5: vs. Clemson (L)

The Tigers have won 9 out of the 10 games they played as Atlantic Division rivals, including the past 5. And yet, the Orange almost always find a way to make Dabo Swinney’s perennial ACC champions work for their victories. Twice since 2018, Clemson has had to rally in the 2nd half – both times with backup quarterbacks – to avoid an upset. And it took a missed field goal in the final minute for the Tigers to hold on 17-14 the last time they visited the Dome. This game will be close, too. But with a familiar result.

Week 6: at North Carolina (L)

Drake Maye will present the Orange’s rebuilt defense with its most difficult test to date. They can at least take solace in the fact that the Tar Heels’ Heisman Trophy contender makes almost every defense look bad.

Week 7 at Florida State (L)

It doesn’t get any easier. The Orange won’t just have to find a way to stop the ACC’s other premier QB1, Jordan Travis, who will be surrounded by even more playmakers than Maye. They’ll also have to deal with a superior Seminoles defense that features the league’s best pass rusher in Jared Verse and its best cover corner in Fentrell Cypress.

Week 8: Open

Week 9: at Virginia Tech (W)

Having survived the Murder’s Row of top ACC teams and gotten a week off to recover, the struggling Hokies will be a sight for sore Orange eyes. Coach Brent Pry’s defense isn’t terrible. But Tech’s offense is still in the early stages of rebuilding and will once again have trouble scoring points. This isn’t just a “should win” game for Syracuse. It’s a “must win.”

Week 10: vs. Boston College (W)

BC will be better with the return of star offensive lineman Christian Mahogany and the emergence of young quarterback Emmett Morehead. And the Eagles have won 2 of the past 3 times they’ve come to the Dome. The law of averages says that it’s the Orange’s turn, especially since they’re better on both sides of the ball. Another week to fatten up on the soft underbelly of the ACC.

Week 11: vs. Pittsburgh at Yankee Stadium (L)

It hasn’t been a good year for New York-based teams at Yankee Stadium. Pitt’s defense is just too physical and its running game will be a problem to stop. The Orange strikes out at the House that Derek Jeter Built, just as they did last December against Minnesota in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Week 12: at Georgia Tech (L)

This is the kind of 50-50 game that can make or break a season. It’s also the kind of opponent that would have been better to face early in the year. The Yellow Jackets are making steady progress under Brent Key. They’re a surprisingly dangerous opponent that will be easy to overlook. Especially on the road.

Week 13: vs. Wake Forest (L)

The Deacons have historically given the Orange fits with their slow-mesh RPO offense. They’ve averaged 40 points over the past 6 meetings, including a 60-burger in 2017 and 45 in their 3rd straight win in the series last year. Wake might not have Sam Hartman anymore, but they do have a stable of talented receivers capable of running Syracuse’s secondary ragged.

Dan Villari "The 315" 8-22-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian chats with SU tight end Dan Villari to talk about how his transition from QB to TE has been over the last year and a half. Dan also talks about excited he is to continue to grow at the position and looks forward to displaying his growth on the field this year.

Keeping Up With The 315 8-22-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

To start the show, Brian discusses what may be the most important game this season for SU Football. After, Brian takes some calls from listeners on what match-ups they think hold the most weight this upcoming season. Finally, Brian has some more preseason Dino Baber clips for the listeners.

Syracuse football 2023 schedule outlook (; Finneral)

Syracuse football is set to kick off its season in less than two weeks. The Orange looks to build on a 2022 campaign that finished with a 7-6 record and a bowl game appearance for the first time since 2018. Syracuse’s schedule has an interesting format that could result in a wide range of outcomes.

Look for a strong start in the first four

Much like last year, the first third of Syracuse’s schedule is more favorable than the rest.

Colgate: Last season, Syracuse was an underdog in the opening game against Louisville, but this year’s season-opener should be a tune-up. Although the all-time series is tied at 31 games apiece, Syracuse has dominated Colgate in recent history. The Orange have won all 16 matchups since 1951 with plenty of blowouts along the way.

Western Michigan: Syracuse will also enter as a favorite against Western Michigan. The Orange is 2-0 against the Broncos with the most recent matchup being a 52-33 victory at home in 2019.

Football isn't the only language Memphis linebacker Geoffrey Cantin-Arku speaks (; Dylan)

As a freshman in college, Geoffrey Cantin-Arku had to deal with a lot.

The linebacker is from Lévis, Québec, Canada — a French-speaking province. So as he was adjusting to classes and the demands of playing college football, he was also trying to learn English.

"I understood English, but there's a difference between understanding proper English and slang English," he said. "I could understand it but I couldn't speak it at first."

Even growing up in Canada, Cantin-Arku was always a big football fan and dreamed of playing at the highest levels. He chose Syracuse partly because it was his first Power Five offer and partly because it was only six hours from home. After three years with the Orange, he entered the transfer portal and joined Memphis before last season. His role grew throughout the year, and now he enters 2023 as a key part of the defense.

He already has become a leader in the Tigers linebacker room, position coach Jordon Hankins said.

"It's not like he'd ever say, 'I'm the best player in this room,' " Hankins said. "He goes out there and he practices as hard as he can every day. And every player in our room sees that. He's not a big 'rah rah' guy, he's not those things. How he works honestly reminds me of JJ Russell, when he was here. Just the work ethic, it spoke for itself. I think he does a great job."

Syracuse Football: Let’s meet the ‘Cuse coaching staff for the 2023 season (itlh; Fiello)

I’ve talked a lot about Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers lately. I’ve also written about former quarterbacks coach now offensive coordinator Jason Beck and a few players here and there. But what about other staff members?

There are coaches like Coach Mike Lynch who’ve been with Coach Babers for years and others like Coach Nunzio Campanile who is in his first season working at Syracuse University. And this could be one of the strongest coaching staffs in Coach Babers’ tenure, and football beat writer Emily Leiker shares why the offensive side at least could be.

I wanted to do a brief overview of the staff minus grad assistants, quality control and strength and conditioning staff members. Position coaches and coordinators are important as they’re the ones working with the players more every day. And credit to for most of the information and information not from them, I’ll link to them and ensure they get the proper credit.

Let’s meet the Syracuse football coaching staff for the 2023 season.

Head Coach Dino Babers:

All I have to say about Coach Babers, you can find here.

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Jason Beck:

My extensive write-up on why Coach Beck earned this opportunity is here.

Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Rocky Long:

Coach Long has been referred to as a mentor to former Syracuse football defensive coordinator Tony White, a defensive guru, and “the Godfather of the 3-3-5 defense” by some including head coach Dino Babers. And players are saying it’s a smooth process changing over while really putting players in the best position for success. I’m excited to see this development this year especially if key guys like the linebacking corps can stay healthy.

SU coach sees toughness in this year's group (; video)

It's officially the final week of fall camp for the Syracuse football team.

The Orange are grinding away with the regular season approaching coming in a week and a half. Tuesday morning's practice summed up exactly what head coach Dino Babers said he wanted to see from the Orange this fall.

Babers said he felt both sides of the ball had a really good practice. Pads were popping with Syracuse coming off their second scrimmage of the fall this past weekend. Babers added he's learned one major thing about this season's group during camp.

What You Need To Know

  • The Orange are in their final week of preseason camp

  • Dino Babers says he thinks this year's team will be physical and tough
  • SU opens the season Sept. 2 at home against Colgate

"I think the biggest thing is how tough we're going to be, because this is a tough league and it's a league for tough guys," Babers said. "We've got to make sure we got enough of them today, really kind of put a period on what we're trying to do. Today's practice was extremely physical, and those guys matched that. And hopefully, the training rooms not too filled up and we don't have any owies that show up tomorrow. But I was really excited and proud the way they performed today in practice."

"We've made a ton of progress, and we're only we're getting better; and that's exciting," QB Garrett Shrader added. "Thing is, every day we come out and play more free ,and we're moving the ball and the big plays is the biggest thing that I think we've grown up and when we have guys on the field. We're hitting them and completing those shots."

There's one more open practice for the media this fall as the Orange start to flip the switch from camp to game week.

SU O-lineman on watch list for Polynesian College Football POTY (PS; Leiker)

Syracuse football offensive lineman Josh Ilaoa was named to the watch list for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year on Friday.

Ilaoa, who is set to be a center on the Orange’s two-deep this fall, has appeared in 33 games over X seasons for SU. He is one of 85 players from 41 different Football Bowl Subdivision schools on the watch list.

The award is presented annually to a player of Polynesian decent.

Just four other ACC players are on the watch list: Virginia’s Aaron Faumui, Miami’s Francis Mauigoa and Francisco Mauigoa, and Louisville’s Jermayne Lole.

Watch list inclusions are chosen based on past performances and expected future ones.

Five finalists will be announced Nov. 30, with the award’s winner announced Dec. 14. The winner will be honored at both the Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 19 and the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner on Jan. 20.

(; Syracuse Orange)

Coach Babers Press Conference | Training Camp Week 4

Which Of Syracuse's NFL Rookies Are Jumping Off The Page In Preseason Action? (; podcast; Locked on Syracuse)

Syracuse Football had a number of former players make their way onto NFL squads this off-season. On your Locked On Syracuse Tuesday, Owen Valentine takes a look at the five former Cuse rookies and how they have faired in preseason action thus far.

Why Syracuse football will finish 5-7 in 2023 (TNIAAM; Wall)

This might be the worst possible outcome for the direction of the Syracuse program so let’s dive right in shall we...

Colgate Raiders - Win (1-0, 0-0)

Syracuse takes the opening kickoff and marches down the field and LeQuint Allen gets the first touchdown of the year. With a 30-point lead at the half, Dino Babers turns it over to the back-ups and we see a bit of history as the Escobar brothers both score fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Western Michigan Broncos- Win (2-0, 0-0)

It takes a little longer for the Orange to pull away and as a result Garrett Shrader is in the game late in the 3rd quarter when he takes a hit on his left shoulder while scrambling. The Dome crowd frantically turns to their phones for an update but all they can get are ads for Cheech and Chong gummies.

at Purdue Boilermakers-Loss (2-1, 0-0)

A primetime game offers Syracuse a chance to make a statement. Unfortunately a blocked field goal turns the momentum towards Purdue and a late Orange drive is ended by a tipped-pass interception.

Army Knights- Win (3-1, 0-0)

On a positive note, the team bounces back from last week’s disappointment and plays a smart, disciplined game to defeat Army. The cadets have no answer for Oronde Gadsden II as he hauls in three touchdown receptions in the win.

Clemson Tigers - Loss (3-2, 0-1)

Most schools use Homecoming to schedule a win and draw a bigger crowd for a lesser-named opponent. Syracuse decides they will just spit in the face of the Clemson program by choosing them as the Homecoming opponent. Dabo finally gets a big win over Dino and spends the post-game talking about #Disrespekt

at North Carolina Tar Heels- Loss (3-3, 0-2)

The Syracuse season is sliding down hill faster than a VPA freshman in front of Crouse College on the night of the first snowfall. Drake Maye shreds the 3-3-5 with some timely deep passes and Shrader’s refusal to run the ball makes Dino’s pre-game comments that his QB1 is 100% seem hollow.
... Top 50 analytics: Where does N.J.’s top high school football talent lie? And who’s signing it? (; Hunt)

Last week, we released the new Top 50 list of New Jersey’s top high school football recruits regardless of grade. Now that the state’s recruiting king has been crowned, let’s break down the latest trends throughout the Garden State gridiron.

Does North or South Jersey have more high school football talent? More importantly, which which schools? And, which colleges have had the most success recruiting New Jersey so far this cycle? Find out the answers to these questions and more in the Top 50 analytics breakdown.

The Top 50 includes 31 rising seniors, 17 juniors, one sophomore, and one incoming freshman.

Stanford (yes ... the Cardinals) leads the way with four Top 50 members who have verbally committed to the Pac-12 school, followed by in-state Rutgers, which boasts three members, all in the top-10, and Penn State, which also claims three commits on the list. The University of Georgia, Texas A&M and West Virginia each claim two, while Syracuse snagged one Top 50 member, but has three recruits in the Next 25.

North Jersey has regained its dominant ways as the majority of Top 50 members hail from that side of the Garden State (27), while South Jersey claims just nine. However, each side is down two members as two small regions of the state surge. Seven Top 50 members play in Central Jersey, powered mostly by the Hun School and other prep schools in the region, while seven hail from the Shore, where talent has steadily increased this decade.

Eighteen members play at one of the “Big Six” schools in North Jersey, which include St. Peter’s Prep, Bergen Catholic, St. Joseph Regional in Montvale, Don Bosco Prep, DePaul and Paramus Catholic. The Paladins return to the list of must-stops for college recruiters after claiming four members, while DePaul, and surprisingly, St. Peter’s Prep — the N.J. high school football recruiting stronghold — claim just one apiece.

There are just six defensive linemen on the list, down six from a whopping 12 in January.

Defensive backs lead the way at 14 — up two from Jan. — while 10 wide receivers and nine offensive linemen join them in the state’s football position hierarchy this time around. Meanwhile, the numbers continue to dip for linebackers (4), running backs (3), and quarterbacks (2) while no tight ends nor specialists made the list.

Presenting the 2023 preseason All-New Jersey football offensive team (; Staff)

The following players have been selected to the USA TODAY NETWORK preseason All-New Jersey football offensive team.

The Network is made up of news organizations,,,,,, and

Micah Ford

Toms River North senior quarterback

Ford, who has made a non-binding verbal commitment to Stanford, accounted for 3,563 yards and 50 TDs on offense last year, and also added an interception return for a TD. He rushed for 2,360 yards and 33 TDs and threw for 1,203 yards and 17 TDs. On defense, he had 77 tackles and four interceptions.

A.J. Surace

Notre Dame senior quarterback

The Rutgers commit completed 56.7 percent of his passes en route to 1,737 yards and 21 touchdowns, leading Notre Dame to another Non-Public A postseason berth last fall. He threw at least one TD pass in each of the nine contests he competed in 2022 (missing games two due to injury) and recorded four 200-yard-plus passing games. His father, Bob is the head coach at Princeton University.

Kenny Smith

Hammonton junior running back

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder rushed for a South Jersey-best 1,670 yards with 21 touchdowns, rumbling his way to the Courier-Post Offensive Player of the Year and All-New Jersey honors. He caught seven passes for 81 yards and two scores, helping guide the Blue Devils to the sectional final. On defense, Smith registered 38 tackles and an interception from his safety spot.

Ryan Trafford

Delbarton senior running back

Trafford rushed for 1,631 yards and 18 touchdowns against some of the best defenses in the state last season, helping guide the Green Wave to the Non-Public A semifinals. He eclipsed 100 yards in seven games, including a 282-yard, three-touchdown performance in a state playoff victory over St. Peter's Prep.

Yasin Willis

St. Joseph (Montvale) senior running back

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Willis earned honorable mention All-New Jersey honors last year and is North Jersey’s top returning ball carrier. He'd had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, last year carrying 189 times for 1,133 yards and 17 TDs for the Green Knights (6-5). He is committed to Pittsburgh.

Lotzeir Brooks

Millville junior wide receiver

One of the most electric playmakers in the Garden State, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Brooks has the knack to score from anywhere on the field with blazing speed and video game-like moves. An All-New Jersey selection last fall, Brooks racked up 68 catches for 1,089 yards and a South Jersey-best 14 receiving touchdowns. One of the nations’ top recruits for the Class of 2025, Brooks has offers from many high-profile Division I programs including Georgia and Alabama.

ACC News

Will The ACC Finally Make A Decision On Expansion With Stanford, Cal? Clock Is Ticking, As Season Approaches (; Wallace)

The ongoing discussion about expansion within the ACC has been the topic of discussion as the college football season is just days away from starting. Will Stanford and Cal receive an invite? This question has been at the forefront with a league hoping to solve a revenue problem.

ACC presidents had a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning, but that was called off before things got underway. A decision on whether or not to add teams to the conference, while trying to please schools like Florida and Clemson, has been a point of contention.

As for the addition of a team like Stanford, their willingness to join the conference and pass on taking any revenue in the first few years is a stark reminder of the situation. The Stanford athletic department is in good shape, which could make a move to the independent side in football more feasible, but they still need television revenue.

Now, the decision comes down to ACC presidents, who could not get the twelve votes needed last week to make the move. According to reports, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State were against the move of bringing in both Pac-12 schools, while Notre Dame continued to lobby for the Cardinals.

It reached a tipping point when former president George Bush lobbied for SMU to be a part of the ACC’s plan for expansion. Also, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was lobbying on her own for Stanford, which makes sense because of her involvement with the school. But make no mistake, ACC presidents are trying to decide on whether or not a move to the West Coast is actually worth it.

Former ESPN president John Skipper explains roadblocks to Florida State leaving ACC (; Morrison)

The ACC has largely been left out of the conference realignment discussion due to its grant of rights in a media deal that runs through 2036. It hasn’t seemed plausible for a team to leave. That is until Florida State decided to make it clear the school is unhappy with the ACC.

The discussion of leaving the ACC even came up during a Florida State Board of Trustees meeting. However, as former ESPN president John Skipper explained, it’s not that simple.

“They have multiple problems, right?” Skipper said on The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz. “First of all, I don’t know if they have another home. I don’t know if the Big Ten or the SEC wants them. The SEC has a Florida school. So, they don’t get paid more money in the SEC Network for bringing in Florida State. They have 16 teams. That’s a nice number to have in a conference. The ACC, I think it’s been reported, I don’t know this from my experience or any other way, that Florida [State] has about a $30 million penalty it would have to pay for four years to get out. It’s $120 million.”

Because the ACC’s media deal runs through 2036, other conferences are going to be able to negotiate their own media deals multiple times. That means they’ll make significantly more than the ACC. It’s a deal that made sense at the time for the ACC, giving the conference stability. However, today, it puts the conference at a disadvantage financially.

“Second, the rights to the Florida State games, at least in the deal, even if they bought their way out of the conference, remain in the deal until ’36. So, they could buy themselves out and still not receive revenues from anybody else.”

The grant of rights ties Florida State to the ACC. Even if they leave the conference, the ACC holds those rights through 2036.

“They would have to litigate to take their media rights with them because they have given those rights to the ACC through ’36.”

That litigation would, essentially, be a decision regarding how much Florida State is worth and making them payout to cover the value that they would cost a network by leaving for a new conference.

“To give the athletic director at Florida State his due, he’s simply trying to get somebody’s attention. Like, this is not acceptable. I can’t keep my program in the top 10 or 15 if I’m getting $30-40 million dollars a year less than the University of Florida, with whom I’m competing. He probably knows this is not practical. I’m not actually sure that the Big Ten or the SEC wants to expand further.”

Would unequal revenue sharing solve the problem with Florida State?

So, Florida State is in a conference that is quickly falling behind financially. Leaving would be incredibly expensive and potentially not even help financially in the near future, assuming any conference wants them. How does Florida State fix this?

“I think it’s difficult and, by the way, the suggested recourse that they get paid more money than the other schools, the last time that happened in a Power 5 conference, it was in the Big 12 where Texas got more money than anybody else and that didn’t work out very well,” Skipper said.
... (SI; Caudell)

It felt like there could be some momentum towards the ACC adding Cal and Stanford, but that has not happened and according to 247Sports reporter Brandon Marcello, the ACC still does not have the votes to add the schools and there was a regular meeting of the presidents scheduled for Tuesday, but it was canceled.

In an earlier report that came out a couple of weeks ago, it was Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, and NC State that were voting against adding both schools and one vote would need to flip if Cal and Stanford wanted to join the conference (expanding requires 12 out of 15 votes). From what Marcello is reporting, it does not sound like any of those schools have flipped their votes.

That meant that some schools were in favor of adding both Cal and Stanford a couple of weeks ago, including Georgia Tech, and that was also confirmed in Andrea Adelson's report on ESPN:

"What was certain was there were votes in favor of expansion (Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Louisville, Miami, Georgia Tech) and votes opposed (Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina) and swing votes in between. Another administrator thought enough of the 15 voting presidents would swing to yes and get the required 12 to approve expansion."

A recent report from Ralph Russo at the Associated Press suggested that Stanford is trying hard to receive an invite from the ACC and might be willing to do so at a reduced revenue-sharing cost:

4 teams emerge as potential hindrances for the ACC expansion, 12 votes required to get a new member: Reports (; Pensabene)

The Atlantic Coast Conference has been rumored with a lot of moves to begin the ACC expansion. However, not everyone in the conference has been wanting to see the expansion.

12 of the 15 teams need to agree for the ACC expansion. Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and NC State have been the four schools against the expansion of Stanford and California.

One person has taken a firm, public stance about not wanting to add Stanford and Cal to the conference. While speaking to Brian Murphy and Kacy Hintz at WRAL Sports Fan, North Carolina Tar Heels' legendary women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance made it clear he is not a fan of expanding.

Column: Elko's contract extension is a safeguard for Duke football amid the chaos of conference realignment (; Long)

This time last year, Duke was teetering perilously close to laughing-stock status after a pair of seasons with one combined win in the ACC headlined by some very, very bad losses tanked the Blue Devils’ reputation near irreparability. In one particularly bad drubbing at Virginia in October 2021, our Micah Hurewitz likened Duke’s loss to getting hit by a nuclear warhead.

Clearly change was needed, and in December 2021 the Blue Devils hired then-Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko as their new head coach. Although his work with the Aggies was eye-catching even in football’s hardest conference, the move was undoubtedly a gamble. It was a bet on Duke’s part that Elko could inject some juice into a wrecked team and begin the program’s rise back into the national conversation it had not participated in since Daniel Jones was quarterback.

Fast forward a year and half: Elko is the reigning ACC Coach of the Year, the Blue Devils are looking to build on a 9-4 season last fall and a shiny new Military Bowl trophy now sits in their cabinet. In July, Elko was rewarded for the turnaround with a bumper new contract that provides additional resources for assistant coaches and keeps the play caller in Durham through 2029.

In a vacuum, Elko’s extension is nothing more than a just reward for an incredible, if not wholly unexpected, season. But after observing the foundational changes in the college football landscape over the last few weeks, I think there’s a second, more existential reason for Duke’s renewed faith in its head coach: safeguarding itself against the choppy seas of conference realignment.

What's the over-under on how long the league can retain its current members? ACC mailbag (; $; Staff)

Thanks so much for all of the questions. We divided the mailbag into two parts — today we will tackle all of the realignment (or realignment-related) questions and will come back on Friday with actual football questions (plus one basketball question).

Why do you think many (maybe a majority) of ACC football fans fail to understand that FSU eventually making $30 million less per year than its in-state rival (Florida) warrants grave concern? — Sri K.

Sri, I think realignment is a tough subject for people to digest. Selling out on rivalry and tradition for more TV money isn’t what college sports was supposed to be about. As far as the consequences of staying put, none of us have lived in a world yet where we’ve seen what making $30 million more off TV actually means for a Power 5-type rivalry like Florida and Florida State. The key here is how an SEC team like Florida is going to spend that extra $30 million every year. Is it going to use it to steal FSU’s best assistant coaches and coordinators away? Are NIL rules going to change in the years to come and are SEC and Big Ten schools going to turn around and funnel all of that TV money toward recruits and transfers? Or, are schools going to simply use it to upgrade stadiums and on-campus facilities?

Tuesday is Aug. 15, the deadline for any ACC school that wants to leave the league and compete elsewhere for the 2024 season.
The most likely outcome is that Tuesday's deadline arrives and passes, and the Seminoles stay put, sources tell @TheAthletic: Explaining Florida State's looming ACC exit deadline
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 14, 2023

From a win-loss perspective, it’s obvious money doesn’t matter nearly as much as some people might think. How else do we explain a program like Appalachian State going on the road last year and winning at Texas A&M, and fighting to the finish with Miami and North Carolina over the last couple of seasons? Much smaller budget. Yet, right there with Power 5 programs.

There are so many layers to the topic of conference realignment that it’s really hard to answer these questions succinctly. Ultimately, a school like Florida State that’s won national championships and views itself as a perennial contender does not want to be at such a sizable disadvantage compared to other schools that also want to play for titles. Raising that kind of money through boosters to match the deficit isn’t easy to do every year, and so FSU’s administration is right to point it out and try to find a solution. But I also think ACC schools need to sit back and ask themselves the following question: Is being in the third- or fourth-best league in college football better than being Cal, Stanford, Oregon State or Washington State right now? I think we know the answer. — Manny Navarro

How do bottom-end Big Ten / SEC schools do so poorly despite all of their riches? Are there any lessons ACC schools can apply around reducing waste since their money margins are so much slimmer? — John S.

Piggybacking off the point I made in answering Sri’s question, I think one thing we have to realize here is being a school with a very lucrative TV contract doesn’t guarantee you’ll be great in football. Not even good. The reality is this: There are only so many elite football players to go around and the majority end up signing with the same five or six schools every year. We can sit here and lie to ourselves, but parity doesn’t exist in college football, and expanding the playoff to 12 teams is only going to perpetuate the false narrative that there somehow is. Think about this: We’ve had a four-team Playoff for nine years and only seven programs have played in the national championship game. Three of those seven made one appearance (LSU, Oregon and TCU). Do we really believe that Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson won’t still be winning the majority of the championships in the future when they’ve got the best recruiting classes year in and year out?

Position Preview: Offensive Line - Virginia Tech Athletics (

Tech's season opener is quickly approaching, and fall camp has officially come to an end. In the next position preview, we're looking at the offensive line and the competition along the interior.

Virginia Tech lost two starters off last year's offensive line — LT Silas Dzansi and center Johnny Jordan. Kaden Moore has made the move from guard to center this season. That could open a spot at guard for Kaden's brother, Braelin Moore who played in four games last season before redshirting. Redshirt junior Bob Schick is also expected to compete for the other guard spot.

Parker Clements returns after starting all 11 games at right tackle. Redshirt freshman Xavier Chaplin should figure in at left tackle. Redshirt sophomore Jack Hollifield appeared in 11 games last season on special teams and could provide depth along with redshirt freshman Johnny Garrett.

FB: Offensive Line (fall camp)


  • Kaden Moore and Clements have combined to make 42 career starts
  • Ron Crook takes over as the new offensive line coach following three decades coaching the position
The development of the offensive line and building depth will go a long way in determining how successful the Tech offense can be in 2023. Judging from the spring game, progress has been made in the areas of technique and footwork under Crook.

Podbean Player ('; podcast; PWO)

ACC Football Preview with the Mikes

Links, News and Rumors 2023 Aug 22 (RX; HM)

Links, News and Rumors 2023 Aug 22

First, the hot rumor of the day:

From, posted August 21, 2023 under "ACC"
Sources: ACC Presidents Scheduled to Meet Tuesday
I can only think of one reason why the ACC Presidents would be holding a special, unscheduled meeting.

ACC presidents' regularly scheduled call today was canceled (not an unusual occurrence). Carry on.
— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) August 22, 2023
Also, this meeting was scheduled, not special.

CBS Sports CFB analysts name Miami football most overrated ACC team (; Rubenstein)

CBS Sports college football analysts Barrett Sallee, Jerry Palm and David Cobb picked the Miami football team in their “ACC expert picks 2023: Most overrated and underrated teams, projected order of finish, bold predictions” Miami is picked eighth in the ACC by CBS Sports’ panel of columnists and writers.

Miami is picked fifth in the ACC by the writers who cover the conference. After a 5-7 2022 season, not much is expected from Miami in 2023. Mario Cristobal and his staff have remade the Miami football roster. Miami has 41 new players on the 2023 roster between freshmen, junior college transfers and portal additions.

Miami needs to get off to a good start. The Hurricanes will be favored in four of its first five games. The game versus number 23 Texas A&M at Hard Rock Stadium on September 9 is the only one of the first five games, Miami is not projected to be favored. Miami opens the season on September 1 versus Miami (Ohio).

Bethune-Cookman is at Miami on September 14. Miami travels to Philadelphia to play at Temple on September 23. Following a bye week, Miami hosts Georgia Tech on October 7. The schedule gets considerably harder with a game at North Carolina on October 14. Shehan Jeyarajah summarized why the Miami football team is overrated.

The 2023 ACC Preseason Poll
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) August 1, 2023

Miami: The Hurricanes’ first season under Mario Cristobal was a complete disaster as Miami failed to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007. Still, the preseason ACC poll slotted Miami at fifth; for context, Miami finished fifth in its own division one year ago.
Modest improvements are expected in Cristobal’s second season, but no magical turnaround is coming. The schedule is even harder in 2023 as a division-less setup means Clemson, Florida State, NC State and No. 21 North Carolina are all on the schedule.

Miami doesn’t even have the benefit of continuity after both coordinators left the program. Don’t be surprised if the Hurricanes are fighting for bowl eligibility at the end of the year. — Shehan Jeyarajah (Barrett Sallee, Jerry Palm, David Cobb).”

Clemson plays at Miami on October 21. Miami plays at North Carolina State on November 4 and Florida State on November 11. The game versus Texas A&M is very winnable for Miami. Texas A&M finished 5-7 in 2022. The Aggies missed a bowl game for the second straight year for the first time since 2002 and 2003.

TheOsceola - Seminole Sidelines: FSU, ACC football discussion with SI's Richard Johnson ((; podcast; Weiler)

On Tuesday's edition of Seminole Sidelines, Osceola senior writer Curt Weiler talks with Sports Illustrated's Richard Johnson about FSU football in 2023, some of the ACC's top teams and what could be next in the realignment discussion.

CFB: Big Brother/Little Brother (RX; HM)

CFB: Big Brother/Little Brother

Many states have two or more FBS teams in them. In such cases, there is usually a pecking order - a "big" and "little" brother, if you will. Here are my College Football Big Brother/Little Brother pairs for 29 states (I split California in half), including all current ACC footprint states:

Big BroLil BroBig BroLil BroBig BroLil Bro
OregonOhioNew York
No. CaliforniaColoradoMaryland



State Fair director Sean Hennessey is the king of selfies, this time Inside the dinosaur experience in the Expo Center. (Charlie Miller |

Day 1 at the NYS Fair: Today’s handpicked menu and schedule (PS; Miller)

Now that the butter sculpture has been revealed, we can get down to serious business at the New York State Fair.

The gates open at 9 a.m. today, but a few diehards have been there since probably 6 a.m. just so they can say they were at the front of the line. Like the rest of us, they’re here to eat, drink, catch some free concerts and do some serious people watching.

Vendors have spent the past week setting up for this year’s fun fest. You’ll find plenty of new food and attractions here, including the Dinosaur Expedition. State Fair Director Sean Hennessey, who’s quickly earning the “Selfie King” nickname, spent nearly an hour yesterday showing off the 60 true-to-life-size, prehistoric, lifelike dinosaurs to the local media at the Exposition Center.

You can also get reacquainted with the vendors so many of us grew up on. Chances are you’ll be able to find something new at the old standbys.

That’s where I come in. Each morning I will offer you a menu of food and drinks that I’ve stumbled upon during my stay at the Fair. So let’s get this picnic started!

Today’s Menu

In a meeting to plan our State Fair coverage, my boss lifted a line from the classic movie “Animal House” as a parental-like suggestion: “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Charlie.” To which I replied, “Why not? It’s the Fair.” After all, I write about food and drinks for and The Post-Standard, and I rely on readers to tell me what’s good. That’s what I do at the Fair too. If you find something that makes your belly smile, text me at 315-382-1984 and I’ll give it a shot. I might join you for a meal or drink and pick up the tab if I write about it.

Lunch: The Fair Deli shut its store down during the 13-day State Fair run so it could serve its food from its stand across the Poultry Building. Murad Marji and his son Zach have tweaked their special menu. They made some subtle but tasty improvements to the Krunch Dogs (fried hot dogs with mozzarella brushed with Cheetos dust), and they’ve brought back the popular bocce-ball-sized meatball.

This year, though, they added Steak Mac & Cheese. Like their store a mile west of the Fairgrounds, they make everything onsite. That goes for the seared prime rib that’s mixed with sauteed peppers and onions. They put that over their own macaroni and cheese and lace the top with Sweet Baby Ray’s bourbon barbecue sauce. The dish sells for $18, but it’s large enough to feed you and your significant other. (Thankfully I’m dining alone this morning.)

Drink: You’re not going to believe this, but our first drink on our Fair menu is refreshing, all natural and alcohol free.

This is nothing more than water. Well, it’s water inside a young chilled coconut from Thailand. For the next three days, you can find this at the MaPow stand in the Asian Village, and Chong Vang will make it right in front of you for $8.

Mardi Gras on the Erie Canal: The Ka-Noo-No Karnival saved the New York State Fair (PS; Searing)

It is that time of year again. the New York State Fair is fast approaching and Central New York is preparing for annual the influx of travelers and the ceaseless menagerie of creative deep-fried concoctions.

A far cry from the humble beginnings when it was first held at Syracuse in 1841 in and around the old courthouse bounded by North Salina, Division, Townsend, and Ash Streets.

The animals and other exhibitions at that inaugural fair, the nation’s first, were displayed in the groves near Townsend Street. An estimated crowd of 10,000 people attended.

Over the ensuing decades, the New York State fair grew in scope and in popularity. According to published attendance, nearly 900,000 people walked through the gates last year.

However, by the fall of 1903 it seemed that the Central City’s grip on the State Fair was slipping. The previous decade saw an annual decline in attendance.

Syracuse had hosted the first fair, but after that, it moved all over the state, including stops in Auburn, Elmira, Rochester, Utica, Watertown, Buffalo, Saratoga, and Albany.

In 1887, a group of concerned and influential Syracusans pushed the city to offer 100 acres of land on the shores of Onondaga Lake to the New York State Agricultural Society to make the fair a permanent resident, which it did in 1889.

Yet, the march of industrialization and the pull of modernity seemed to be drawing the public in another direction, away from the Fair, a vestige of an increasingly distant agricultural past.

Whispers began circulating that the State Fair Commission believed that the real problem was not content of the fair, but the Fair’s location.

Much like they had done in 1887, Syracuse’s most prominent citizens sprung into action.

The Chamber of Commerce took the reigns to determine a series of improvements and additions to the festivities that could revive public interest and boost attendance.

In those days, the Fair was a daytime only event and it seemed increasingly clear that something new, modern, and different was needed.


The Krewe in Archbold Stadium, 1909.



Walk On
Aug 17, 2016
Wait… what? Ummm…

Week 2: vs. Western Michigan (W)

Babers will certainly remind his players that in 2019, the Broncos came to the Dome and laid a 52-33 hurting on the Orange.

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