Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Football | Syracusefan.com

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football

sutomcat

No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
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Welcome to National Spaghetti Day!


Spaghetti, a long, cylindrical, and thin pasta made of milled wheat and water, is celebrated today. Its name comes from an Italian word meaning "thin string" or "twine." The first written record of pasta is in the Talmud, which dates to the fifth century CE. It mentions dried pasta that could be cooked by being boiled. A popular theory claims that spaghetti was invented in China and Marco Polo brought it to Venice, but it is more likely that spaghetti was originally created in Sicily more than 500 years before his time. Arabs occupied Sicily in the seventh century CE, and brought a meal called itriyya, which was described as a "dry pasta". This is likely where spaghetti came from. In a geographical survey of Sicily and surrounding regions called the Book of Roger, commissioned by Sicily's monarch King Roger II and published by Muhammad al-Idrisi in 1154, a long strand hard wheat pasta is mentioned. It was manufactured in large quantities in the Sicilian town of Trabia and exported to other regions. This is the first definitive historical record of spaghetti production.

SU News

Kyle McCord on Syracuse’s recruiting pitch: ‘We’re a QB away from being a serious contender in the ACC’ (PS; $; Carlson)


Quarterback Kyle McCord said that Syracuse’s soft schedule and the possibility it would allow the Orange to compete for a College Football Playoff spot next season was a key part of the team’s recruiting pitch to him this offseason.

“They said that with the guys they’re going to bring in and some of the guys they’re bringing back, we’re going to be able to make a serious run at it,” McCord said, during an appearance on The QB Room podcast. “Their recruiting pitch was, ‘Listen, we’re a quarterback away from being a serious contender in the ACC this year.’ I looked at the schedule and I saw it and I think it’s true. There’s definitely an opportunity for us to go out and win some games.”

The interview, done by quarterback coach Jordan Palmer, the younger brother of Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer, and Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Kyle Allen, was the first extensive interview that McCord has done since picking Syracuse.

Based on current roster, Syracuse will likely be substantial favorites in all of its current non-conference games in 2024 (the school is still looking for one more non-conference opponent).

Next year’s ACC schedule does not have Syracuse facing either Florida State or Clemson, the two teams that have ruled the league since the Orange joined. Syracuse wouldn’t face either school unless they met in an ACC Championship game, where the winner would almost certainly receive an automatic bid to the CFP.

Syracuse’s toughest regular-season games in 2024 currently look like road games against North Carolina State, California and Pittsburgh, along with home games against Miami, Geogia Tech and Virginia Tech. While none of those are easy, it would be nearly impossible to create a better schedule for SU to put together a gaudy record.

The Louisville football team was gifted a similarly soft schedule this year and used it to advance all the way to the ACC title game, where the Cardinals eventually lost to Florida State.

“There’s a realistic chance if we win some games and do what we should do in my eyes, we’ll have a chance to compete at the end of the season in the 12-team playoff,” McCord said. “That was a big factor in the decision. You don’t have to choose one of the top handful of schools to have an opportunity in the playoffs at the end of the year. You can go to one of the smaller Power-Five schools and, if you win some games, you’ll be in contention.”
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(youtube; podcast; The QB Room)

Kyle McCord Explains Why He Transferred From Ohio State To Syracuse | The QB Room

20230509193845_d6c5df32-debd-4145-92e8-8c4f6f5ebe54.jpg

Opendorse

Syracuse football adds 335-pound transfer offensive tackle from Howard (PS; $; Carlson)

Howard transfer Da’Metrius Weatherspoon committed to Syracuse on Wednesday, giving the Orange another option at the offensive tackle spot.

He announced his commitment on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

Listed by Howard at 6-foot-7 and 335 pounds, Weatherspoon was planning to visit Syracuse on Thursday and Friday, according to a report from Syracuse Fan Nation’s Mike McAllister.

#cuse pic.twitter.com/GamKYNw41X
— Da’MetriusWeatherspoon (@DametriusWeath1) January 3, 2024

Weatherspoon was named an HBCU All-American last season while competing for the Bison, an honor that goes to the country’s top players competing at a Historically Black College and University. He will face a substantial increase in competition at Syracuse, jumping from the FCS level to the Power-Four in FBS.

According to the website Pro Football Focus, Weatherspoon allowed two sacks and eight quarterback hurries last season in 764 snaps. Weatherspoon played primarily right tackle for the Bison but played some left tackle as well.

He will increase the competition for Syracuse at a position where the Orange needs to improve. He has two years of college eligibility remaining. He was ranked by On3Sports.com as the No. 38 offensive tackle available in the transfer portal and the No. 696 player overall.

The Orange’s returning options at offensive tackle could include David Wohlabaugh Jr., Enrique Cruz and Mark Petry.

Wohlabaugh played well early last season after transferring to Syracuse, but he is returning from a season-ending injury suffered in Week 2. Cruz arrived at Syracuse in 2021 as a highly-touted recruit but struggled last season as the team’s starting left tackle.
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Reviewing Syracuse football's Best. Offseason. Ever. (so far) with Emily Leiker (youtube; podcast; Axe)

On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports, Syracuse.com's Emily Leiker joins Brent Axe to discuss one of the most active and interesting off-seasons in Syracuse football history ...and it's only been a month! Brent and Emily go over the SU scholarship roster to see who has come and gone and note some of the key additions new head coach Fran Brown has brought in. They also discuss where they feel Syracuse has done the best job adding players and what the areas of need still are.

Syracuse football adds Nick Williams to coaching staff (romesentinel.com)

New Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown has added another coach to his staff — former Colorado University defensive line coach Nick Williams. He will focus on the edge linemen with the Orange.

Williams has also coached at Texas A&M and Georgia.

“It was a dream of mine to work with Elijah Robinson, and Fran Brown was someone that people compared me to and I had heard nothing but great things about before I had the chance to meet him,” Williams said. “I’m extremely passionate and joining those two who have the same passion as me was the reason for me coming here. I can’t wait to work with them and learn from them. I would have followed them anywhere in the country if they gave me the opportunity.”

Last season at Colorado, Williams was a member of coach Deion Sanders’ inaugural staff. He helped land a top-30 recruiting class within two weeks after being hired prior to the first signing period. Williams spent the previous two seasons at Texas A&M, working as a defensive analyst. While with the Aggies, he helped Texas A&M land the nation’s number one recruiting class in 2022.

“I think Nick is someone that is very elite when it comes to teaching pass rush,” Brown said. “If you go back to his tape and watch him play, he’s a tough football player.

Everyone down in Georgia loves him and talks about him. I also think he’s elite when it comes to recruiting, has great energy and is passionate about what he does.”
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Recruiting Trail Ep. 43: Syracuse Orange 2024 Football Recruiting Class & Transfers (youtube; podcast; Totem Pole Nation)

Happy New Year and welcome back to the recruiting trail. Episode 43 dives into the Syracuse Orange and their exciting recruiting and transfer news for the 2024 class. Matt will talk about that as well as an evaluation on their depth chart. Is Syracuse getting the help they need? You be the judge.

Embark on the latest episode of Recruiting Trail as we dissect the Syracuse Orange's 2024 football recruiting class and transfers! In Ep. 43, we break down the incoming talent, explore key transfers, and analyze how these additions shape the future of the Orange's football program. Join us for an in-depth look at Syracuse's recruiting strategies and the potential impact on the upcoming season. Don't miss out on the excitement of college football recruiting – watch now!


Axe: It's poised to be a year of revival for SU's ‘Big 4′ sports (PS; $; Axe)


You don’t have to squint very hard to look back and see the four marquee athletic programs at Syracuse University all had open wounds in need of treatment in recent years.

The football program had just two winning records under former head coach Dino Babers in eight years. It did scratch out back-to-back bowl seasons in 2022 and 2023, but did so with second-half collapses that prompted Babers’ removal.

Men’s basketball bought a timeshare on the NCAA Tournament bubble in Jim Boeheim’s final stretch of seasons, hasn’t finished higher than sixth in the ACC since its first year in the league a decade ago and has not appeared in the AP Top 25 since December of 2018.

Men’s lacrosse endured its worst record ever in 2022 and a horrifying scandal surrounding former player Chase Scanlan and domestic violence charges the year before. One of the most accomplished programs in the sport’s history hasn’t made the NCAA Final Four since 2013 after 26 appearances there from 1980-2013.

Women’s basketball completed an 11-18 season in 2022 under an interim boss in the shadow of former coach Quentin Hillsman’s resignation, accused of bullying his players among other transgressions.
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https://www.si.com/college/syracuse...ol-dametrius-weatherspoon-commits-to-syracuse (SI; McAllister)

Syracuse football has added some beef to the offensive line through the transfer portal. Howard offensive tackle Da'Metrius Weatherspoon announced his commitment Wednesday. Weatherspoon is listed at 6-7, 335 pounds and also reported offers from Pittsburgh and Charlotte. Weatherspoon is expected to take an official visit this week.

Weatherspoon played tackle for a 6-6 Howard squad that averaged nearly 29 points per game last season. He was a redshirt sophomore this past season, meaning he has two years of eligibility remaining. Weatherspoon was an HBCU All-American this past season and started 11 games.



During the 2023 season, he recorded 765 offensive snaps, the majority of which (644) were at right tackle. Per PFF, he allowed just 12 pressures, eight hurries and two sacks during those snaps. He also spent 110 snaps at left tackle.

As a high school prospect, Weatherspoon had primarily FCS level and below offers. He signed with Howard out of Clairton High School in Pennsylvania.
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https://www.si.com/college/syracuse...star-qb-quentin-murphy-excited-visit-syracuse (SI; McAllister)

Class of 2025 Little Rock (AR) Parkview quarterback Quentin Murphy is one of the top signal callers in the Southeast. The 6-1, 205 pounder has offers from several blue bloods, but will be on the Syracuse campus later this month for a visit to get a closer look at the Orange. Murphy says he will visit SU on January 22nd. This following an offer just two days ago.

"Coach Fran said we were going to talk that Friday night," Murphy said. "He was like, 'we're going to do everything we can do to make you be a Cuse.'"



Syracuse head coach Fran Brown offered Murphy while at Georgia this past November. The two have developed a strong relationship during the recruitment, and Murphy said he was happy to have the offer from the Orange.

When he does visit, Murphy is going to be paying close attention to a few things in order to see if Syracuse is the right fit.



"How the program works and how is the coaching staff," Murphy said.

Murphy is rated a four star prospect by Rivals and a high three star by 247Sports and On3. Rivals ranks Murphy the 20th best quarterback in the 2025 cycle, while 247Sports slots him 39th and On3 puts him 28th.

In addition to Syracuse, Murphy holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.



Murphy was previously at Robinson High School, but is transferring to Parkview for his senior season.


Torrey Ball explains why Fran Brown was the right choice for the new SU Football Coach (localsyr.edu; video)

Torrey Ball explains why Fran Brown was the right choice for the new SU Football Coach

Wright Tabbed as Co-DC/Linebackers Coach - Syracuse University Athletics (cuse,com)


Robert Wright, who spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Buffalo, will join Fran Brown's staff as the Orange's co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to reunite with Elijah Robinson and work with Fran Brown, who I had heard nothing but great things about prior to meeting him," Wright said. "Syracuse is a national brand that has great tradition and I'm thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to work with and impact the young men of this program."

A rising star in the coaching world, Wright was named an American Football Coaches Association's 35-under-35 winner for 2024.

In his one season with the Bulls, his defensive unit ranked in the top-25 nationally of numerous defensive categories, including passing defense (18th), defensive touchdowns (25th) and third down defense (23rd). The Bulls were also top-10 nationally in total defense during conference play. Additionally, Devin Grant (interceptions) and Max Michel (forced fumbles) led the MAC in their respective takeaways category. Grant was named a First Team All-MAC selection this season.

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Orange in the NFL: Recapping week 17 for Syracuse football alumni (TNIAAM; Tomaiuolo)

The NFL playoffs are right around the corner, and former Syracuse Orange are preparing their teams for a Super Bowl run. But before we jump into postseason action, let’s check out where each SU alum stands as the regular season concludes this weekend.

Garrett Williams, Arizona Cardinals

Williams returned to action after nursing a knee injury, logging 12 snaps in the box, slot and wide corner positions. After averaging 45 snaps in eight games prior, the Cardinals coaching staff is clearly being cautious about rushing the rookie back. We’ll see how big of a role Williams gets in Arizona’s finale against Seattle.

Matthew Bergeron, Atlanta Falcons

The 2023 second-rounder posted an offensive grade of 61.8 last week against Chicago according to Pro Football Focus, his highest since week 12. Bergeron started in all 16 games right out of Syracuse and ranks fourth of all qualified rookie guards with a 59.6 overall offensive grade.

Kingsley Jonathan, Buffalo Bills

Jonathan saw 10+ snaps on the defensive line for the third time in 2023 and recorded a tackle when Buffalo beat New England. Starting edge rusher A.J. Epenesa returned to the lineup following an injury, so look for Jonathan to take a back seat against Miami on Sunday Night Football.

Riley Dixon, Denver Broncos

The Denver punter placed three of his five punts inside the opposing 20-yard line in a win over the Chargers last weekend. Dixon hasn’t missed a game since joining the NFL in 2016 and needs one more boot to set a personal best in punt attempts when the Broncos take on the Raiders on Sunday.

Ifeatu Melifonwu, Detroit Lions

Melifonwu continues to excel in the strong safety position, notching another interception last week in Dallas. The third-year pro has picks in back-to-back games after not recording one in his entire career. PFF’s seventh-highest graded safety could get a breather in Detroit’s regular-season finale, with the Lions having clinched the NFC North.
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ACC News

Friedlander: Taking stock of every ACC team's early transfer portal activity - Saturday Road (saturdayroad.com; Friedlander)


One of the best and most frequently repeated commercials during the now-completed bowl season is the “Fansville” ad depicting the transfer portal as a vortex powerful enough to suck in entire defenses and force star quarterbacks to hang onto lamp posts for dear life.

It’s not quite that bad in real life.

But it’s close.

More than 2,000 players entered the portal before it officially closed at midnight on Tuesday, with some of the nation’s biggest names among those on the move.

And this is only the beginning, not the end. The portal is scheduled to reopen after spring practice. So hold onto your Dr. Pepper and hope for the best.

Before the vortex begins sucking players in again in April, let’s survey the chaos it has already created.

Boston College

Key losses: RB Patrick Garwo, CB CJ Clinkscales (Charlotte), WR Jaden Williams (Texas State), QB Emmett Morehead, DE Shitta Sillah (Purdue).

Key gains: RB Treshaun Ward (Kansas State), TE Kamari Morales (UNC), WR Jerand Bradley (Texas State), CB Bryquice Brown (Georgia State), WR/KR Jayden McGowan (Vanderbilt), CB Ryan Turner (Ohio State).

Overview: The Eagles ended their 2023 season by beating soon-to-be ACC rival SMU in the Fenway Bowl and finishing with a winning record, and coach Jeff Hafley has carried the momentum into the offseason. Although he lost a few contributors to the portal, they were replaceable. And with a solid haul of incoming transfers, he has significantly upgraded his roster for 2024 – especially when it comes to surrounding emerging star quarterback Thomas Castellanos with additional playmakers. Ward, who started his career at Florida State, will be a major upgrade from Garwo at running back while Bradley, McGowan and especially Morales should help improve a passing attack that ranked just 12th in the ACC this season.

Clemson

Key losses: S Andrew Mukuba (Texas), WR Beaux Collins (Notre Dame), CB Toriano Pride Jr. (Missouri), DE David Ojiegbe (Pittsburgh), OT Michael Mayes (Charlotte).

Key gains: None.

Overview: Even though Dabo Swinney has indicated his willingness to bring in transfers to help fill areas of need, something he has vigorously avoided in the past, he has yet to make any moves to replenish a defensive line losing several key pieces, an offensive line that had a hard time protecting the quarterback and receivers capable of getting open and catching the ball. Of the transfer losses, 2021 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Mukuba and the oft-injured Collins are the most impactful departures.

Duke

Key losses: QB Riley Leonard (Notre Dame), DE RJ Oben (Notre Dame), DT Aeneas Peebles (Virginia Tech) RB Jordan Waters (NC State), LB Dorian Mausi (Auburn), S Jaylen Stinson, DE Brandon Johnson.

Key gains: QB Maalik Murphy (Texas), OT Jack Purcell (Penn), DT Will Seiler (Penn).

Overview: There was bound to be a larger-than-usual turnover from a winning team because of the coaching change. And the Blue Devils have lost some good ones. Interestingly, the highest-profile of the outgoing transfers – Leonard – might be the easiest to replace with the emergence of backup Grayson Loftis and the arrival of Texas transfer Murphy. Replacing the likes of Peebles and Waters, both of whom are joining ACC rivals, along with Stinson, Oben and Mausi will be a tougher task for new coach Manny Diaz and his staff.

Florida State

Key losses: LB DJ Lundy (Colorado), OT Bless Harris (TCU), QB Tate Rodemaker, WR Winston Wright (ECU).

Key gains: QB DJ Uiagalelei (Washington State), DE Marvin Jones Jr. (Georgia).

Overview: Mike Norvell will have to be even more active on the portal than he was last year, when he landed one of the nation’s top transfer classes. He’s already found his replacement for quarterback Jordan Travis by bringing in Uiagalelei, who was much better at Washington State this year than he was in his first 3 seasons at Clemson. He also replaced All-American edge rusher Jared Verse with Georgia’s Jones. He still has a lot of work left to do. But don’t panic. He did some of his best work last spring, including the addition of top receiver Keon Coleman.

Georgia Tech

Key losses: DE Kyle Kennard (South Carolina), CB Kenan Johnson (Utah), DT D’Quan Douse, DB KJ Wallace.

Key gains: DE Jack Barton (Furman), CB William Burrell (Tennessee), LB EJ Lightsey (Georgia), DB Syeed Gibbs (Rhode Island), OG Keylan Rutledge (Middle Tennessee), DT Ayobami Tifase (Florida State).

Overview: The Yellow Jackets made great strides in Brent Key’s first full season as their coach. Their 7-6 record was achieved primarily on the strength of a high-powered offense fueled by one of last year’s best transfer pickups, QB Haynes King. This year’s focus will be on improving a defense that gave up the most yards and 2nd-most points in the ACC in 2023. The addition by subtraction has already begun with 4 defensive starters having entered the portal. Among those being brought in as replacements are 2nd-team All-Southern Conference pass rusher Barton, former CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year Gibbs and one-time Tennessee starter Burrell.

Louisville

Key losses: WR Amari Huggins-Bruce, S Josh Minkins (West Virginia) LB Kameron Wilson (Cincinnati), DL Jeffrey Clark, LB Jackson Hamilton (Georgia Tech).

Key gains: QB Tyler Shough (Texas Tech), OT Monroe Mills (Texas Tech), CB Jalen Kimber (Florida), WR/KR Ja’Corey Brooks (Alabama), RB Don Chaney (Miami), TE Izayah Cummings (Kentucky), CB Tayon Holloway (UNC) CB Corey Thompson (UCF).

Overview: Jeff Brohm has been by far the most active ACC coach during the early portal period. He has plenty of holes to fill from his surprising 10-4 team and he’s well on the way to addressing a lot of his most immediate needs. He’s already picked up replacements for quarterback Jack Plummer, leading rusher Jahwar Jordan and receiver Jamari Thrash with the pickups of Texas Tech’s Shough, Miami’s Chaney and Alabama’s Brooks. Brom has been particularly active in collecting castoffs from SEC programs, with incoming transfers from Alabama, Florida and Kentucky.

Miami

Key losses: QB Tyler Van Dyke (Wisconsin), WR Colbie Young (Georgia), WR Frank Ladson (UMass), WR/KR Brashard Smith, RB Don Chaney (Louisville), LB Corey Flagg (Missouri), DE Jahfari Harvey (SMU).

Key gains: DT CJ Clark (NC State), C Zach Carpenter (Indiana), DT Marley Cook (Middle Tennessee State), S Savion Riley (Vanderbilt).

Overview: Miami’s current rate of attrition is nowhere near as dramatic as the one that helped Mario Cristobal reshape the roster this time last year. But it has been significant, nonetheless. The Hurricanes have lost 2 of their top 4 receivers, a running back who gained nearly 500 yards, an explosive return man and the linebacker who made the tackle on Clemson’s Cade Klubnik in overtime to secure a win against Clemson. Cristobal has clearly spent more time on assembling a top-5 recruiting class to concentrate on incoming transfers. But while he has yet to make much of a splash, he’s picked up some quality veterans for the interior of both the defensive and offensive lines in NC State nose tackle Clark and Indiana center Carpenter.

North Carolina

Key losses: TE Kamari Morales (Boston College), WR Andre Green Jr. (Virginia), RB Elijah Green, RB George Pettaway, CB Tayon Holloway (Louisville), S DJ Jones, LB Sebastian Cheeks (Wisconsin).

Key gains: QB Jake Johnson (Texas A&M), TE Max Johnson (Texas A&M), S Jakeen Harris (NC State), OL Austin Blaske (Georgia).

Overview: Mack Brown didn’t waste any time in gobbling up Texas A&M’s Johnson early in the portal period to come to Chapel Hill as the heir apparent to soon-to-be 1st-round NFL draft pick Drake Maye. He also took steps at improving a porous offensive line by signing Georgia’s Blaske. But while former NC State safety Harris is a nice addition, especially for the points it helps UNC score in its rivalry with the Wolfpack, Brown and whoever he picks as his new defensive coordinator will still have plenty of work left to do to improve a unit that has been the Tar Heels’ Achilles heel for the past 2 seasons.

NC State

Key losses: CB Ayden White, DT CJ Clark (Miami), S Jakeen Harris (UNC), QB MJ Morris (Maryland), OL Lyndon Cooper (Pittsburgh), RB Michael Allen (UNLV), RB Jordan Houston, WR Terrell Timmons, WR Anthony Smith (East Carolina), WR Porter Rooks (Eastern Michigan).

Key gains: QB Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), RB Jordan Waters (Duke), C Zeke Correll (Notre Dame), WR Wesley Grimes (Wake Forest), CB Corey Coley Jr. (Maryland), DB Tamarcus Coley (Maryland), TE Justin Joly Jr. (UConn).

Overview: Dave Doeren got an unexpected shot of bad news when All-ACC cornerback Aydan White, who led the ACC in interceptions 2 seasons ago, entered the portal only hours before it closed. It’s just the latest in a series of key losses that also includes fellow defensive starters Clark and Harris. While the offense has also suffered losses, most of the departing players are much more easily replaced. In fact, Doeren has already filled several of the most important holes by swapping quarterback Morris for the more accomplished McCall from Coastal Carolina while upgrading the running back rotation with the addition of Duke’s Waters, the receiving corps with Wake Forest’s Grimes and the offensive line with Notre Dame center Correll.

Pittsburgh

Key losses: LB Bangally Kamara, DL DeAndre Jules, DL Samuel Okunlola (Colorado).

Key gains: DT Nick James (Indiana), DE Nate Matlack (Kansas State), DE Davis Ojegbe (Clemson), C Lyndon Cooper (NC State), RB Desmond Reid (Western Carolina), WR Censere Lee Jr. (Western Carolina), TE Jacke Overman (Oregon State).

freestar

Overview: The Panthers won only 3 games in 2023, their worst season since 1998 and took major steps backward on both the defensive line and in the running game – 2 areas that have been traditional strengths during Pat Narduzzi’s tenure. In an effort to strengthen those positions, Narduzzi has already brought in 3 defensive line transfers and a 2-time All-Southern Conference running back with more than 1,700 career rushing yards. It’s yet to be seen whether the veteran coach will take another swing at adding a transfer quarterback after whiffing in each of the past 2 years with Kedon Slovis and Phil Jurkovec.

Syracuse

Key losses: CB Jeremiah Wilson (Houston), LB Stephon Thompson, S Malcolm Folk (Kent State), WR Isaiah Jones.

Key gains: QB Kyle McCord (Ohio State), WR Zeed Haynes (Georgia), WR Jackson Meeks (Georgia), OG Joshua Miller (Georgia) CB Duce Chestnut (LSU), LB Fadil Diggs (Texas A&M), S Devin Grant Jr. (Buffalo).

Overview: New coach Fran Brown earned a reputation for being one of the nation’s top recruiters during his time as an assistant at Georgia. It’s a talent that’s already paying dividends for the Orange. Not only has he successfully landed one of the top quarterbacks in the portal in Ohio State’s McCord, but he has brought in 3 players with national championship experience at his former school. He also convinced cornerback Chestnut to return to Syracuse after spending last season at LSU. And he’s likely just getting started in his pursuit of veteran free agents.
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https://www.si.com/college/georgiat...he-2024-season-with-the-accs-best-quarterback (SI; Caudell)

When was the last time you could even argue that Georgia Tech was going to enter the upcoming season with the best quarterback in the conference? It has been a minute, but in 2024, that argument has merit to it.

There are a lot of really good and solid quarterbacks that are leaving the ACC, leaving the discussion open as to who is the best one returning for the upcoming season. Drake Maye is leaving North Carolina to become a top NFL Draft pick, Jordan Travis is out of eligibility at Florida State, Riley Leonard transferring to Notre Dame, and Tyler Van Dyke is transferring to Wisconsin.

Florida State is replacing Travis with former Clemson and Oregon State quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. Uiagalelei is a good college quarterback who gives the Seminoles a safe floor as long as he does not turn the football over and in my opinion, you could make a case that he is the best quarterback in the conference next year. Haynes King has had a problem with interceptions, leading the ACC in that category last year. Uiagalelei takes pretty good care of the ball, throwing 14 interceptions combined in the last two years.

Louisville could be starting former Oregon and Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough, who is talented but has injury concerns.

Coastal Carolina transfer Grayson McCall is going to be taking over at NC State and he could have a claim as the most accomplished quarterback in the ACC next season, but I would favor King due to his experience at the power five-level, but it is very close. McCall is a very good quarterback who does not turn the ball over and is a threat running it.
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https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/nc-state/article283795603.html (newsobserver.com; $; Watson-Fisher)

N.C. State’s secondary took a hit this week after two starters announced their departures. Cornerback Shyheim Battle declared Wednesday he will enter the NFL draft. Fellow cornerback Aydan White entered the transfer portal.

Battle, from Rocky Mount, played five years with the Wolfpack and finished with 144 total tackles, seven interceptions and 25 pass breakups. He recorded a career-high 46 tackles, 30 solo, in 2023.

The redshirt junior received All-ACC honorable mention after his regular-season contributions.

“Thank you to all the family, friends, fans, coaches and teammates that have helped me along this journey, just helped me become who I am today,” Battle said in a video announcement. “This will always be my home. Always and forever. Born and raised in eastern North Carolina, having the opportunity to play football in my backyard is one of a kind. I can’t thank N.C. State enough for giving me the opportunity to play here.”

White, a junior from Asheville, opted to pursue other opportunities as a graduate transfer. The two-time All-ACC selection logged 101 career tackles, eight interceptions and 25 pass breakups in his four years with the Pack.

“I am filled with gratitude to be able to wear the Wolfpack colors and represent this great institution,” White said in a statement posted to social media. “I want to thank God for the opportunity to do what I have loved since (I was) a kid.”

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Ideal Rivalry Week? (CSNBBS) (RX; HM)

Ideal Rivalry Week? (CSNBBS)
As we get closer to the release of the ACC 2024 football schedule on January 31st, I'll be looking at some tangential considerations, such as this.

Rivalry Week is already AWESOME! But, is there a way to improve it? From CSNBBS, here are Garretabc's thoughts, from "The ideal ACC rivalry week line up" (posted October 27, 2023):

Thursday 7:30pm ESPN: UVA vs VT - Perfect game for Turkey day.
Friday 3:00pm ESPN: UM vs USF - since Miami lacks a true rivalry weekend rival and USF lost theirs, I think this wouid make a lot of sense especially because USF is destined to be in a P4 conference before 2030 and you can feel them out to see how well this game does in the ratings, attendance and if it’s got chemistry.
Friday 7:30pm ESPN: BC vs SU - A nice primer for the weekend. Usually these teams are evenly matched and the game would normally get buried on a Saturday.
Saturday 12:00pm ESPN: NCSU vs UNC - A very under appreciated game by most casual football fans. Do yourself a favor and watch NCSU try to spoil UNC’s season.
Saturday 12:00pm ESPN2: UL vs UK - both UK and UL are now good programs. Should be a lot of fun.
Saturday 3:30pm Fox/ESPN: Pitt vs WVU - if y’all going to do the Backyard Brawl, then do it when you’re ‘spose to.
Saturday 3:30pm ESPN2: GT vs UGA - when GT gets better then maybe this game gets the main channel.
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2023 Rookie Coach Report Cards (On3) (RX; HM)

2023 Rookie Coach Report Cards (On3)

On3 has issued report cards to the first year P5 football coaches.

Only one "A", and it belongs to Brent Key, coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets of the ACC!
Louisville's Jeff Brohm just missed the cut, earning a B+ instead (you can't end on a 3-game losing streak and expect to get an "A").
The head coach of incoming new member Stanford, Troy Taylor, was given a passing "C-".
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What do YOU think? Agree or disagree, if you have a take, leave a comment (or send me an email at accfootballrx@gmail.com).


Links, News and Rumors 2024 Jan 3 (RX; HM)

Links, News and Rumors 2024 Jan 3

I ran a poll on X/Twitter. Here are the results...

POLL: would FSU with ACC CG roster - plus Tate at QB - have beaten Michigan?

Yes31.3%======
No68.8%==============

Which is about what you would expect if a #4 seed was playing a #1 seed.
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From AP: Tar Heels change defensive coaching staff with Chizik and Cross not returning for 2024

The school announced Wednesday that defensive coordinator Gene Chizik and defensive line coach Tim Cross won’t return to those roles for 2024. Head coach Mack Brown will search for a new coordinator, while senior defensive analyst Tim Monachino will replace Cross.
The defensive unit had a solid start to the season as UNC started 6-0 and reached No. 10 in the AP Top 25. But the Tar Heels faded badly, allowing 30 or more points to every Bowl Subdivision opponent in the second half of the schedule — including a 30-10 loss to West Virginia in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl...

If the Heels could just play decent defense... but, alas, they've been below average for a long time.
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[Last] Friday’s SIQ: What team was Ohio State playing in the Gator Bowl when coach Woody Hayes infamously punched an opposing player Dec. 29, 1978?
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Gene Chizik out as UNC football defensive coordinator, so what's next for the Tar Heels? (fayobserver.com; Baxley)

UNC football will enter the 2024 season with some different defensive coaches.

Gene Chizik is out as the Tar Heels’ defensive coordinator and Ted Monachino will replace Tim Cross as defensive line coach, UNC head coach Mack Brown announced Wednesday morning.

The school-issued release said Brown and Chizik agreed to part ways following postseason meetings. The Tar Heels ended their season with a 30-10 loss to West Virginia in the Duke's Mayo Bowl.

“Gene Chizik is one of the best football coaches I’ve shared the sideline with during my 46 years of coaching,” Brown said in a school-issued statement.

“He’s a man of faith who worked tirelessly to provide the best coaching and mentorship he could to the young men he coached. We met extensively following the season, and despite the improvements from last season to this season, we mutually agreed that parting ways would be in the best interest of both he and the program. I want to thank Gene and his family for all they’ve done for our program and wish them nothing but the best.”
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In this December 2019 file photo, snow falls over downtown Syracuse amid a snow squall warning. Squalls are possible this morning and afternoon, the National Weather Service said. Lauren Long | llong@syracuse.com


https://www.syracuse.com/weather/2024/01/blinding-snow-squalls-could-hit-central-ny-today.html (PS; Coin)

Brief but blinding snow squalls could hit Central New York today, starting after sunrise and lasting through the afternoon.

The National Weather Service urged drivers to use extra caution today.

”Snow squalls cause very hazardous travel conditions, dropping visibility to near 0 with gusty winds and slippery roads,” the weather service said in a hazardous weather alert issued early this morning. “If traveling during this period, check the weather before beginning your journey.”

Squalls can strike suddenly and drop a burst of 1 to 2 inches of snow in a short period of time.

The best chances for squalls will be before noon, although they could hit into mid-afternoon, the weather service said. The cold front delivering those squalls could also generate some light lake effect snow into Friday. A narrow band of Central New York, including Syracuse, could see 2 inches of snow by tonight.

Forecasters are also tracking a pair of coastal storms that could hit Upstate New York over the next week. The first is expected to arrive Saturday night and Sunday, potentially bringing heavy snow east of the Finger Lakes. A second storm reaching the Northeast Tuesday or Wednesday could bring high winds and a mix of rain and snow.

A third system is on the horizon for late next week, too, although the details of that one remain fuzzy.
 

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