My 2023 SU Football Preview - Part 12 |

My 2023 SU Football Preview - Part 12


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
(We started 6-0 last year so I'll start with the first 6 games)

The Schedule

For comparison’s sake, these are Syracuse’s major offensive and defensive team stats:
Scoring 27.7/game #69 in the country vs. 23.1 #39
Rushing 142.5 #73 vs. 143.8 #57
Passing 232.3 #66 vs. 184.8 #14
Total 374.8 #75 vs. 328.6 #20
Turnover margin: +6 #25

The #65 team, (of 130) in each category had
Scoring 28.2 vs. 26.6
Rushing 155.7 vs. 149.6
Passing 232.4 vs. 224.8
Total 389.4 vs. 377.0
Turnover margin: +1

Source: NCAA Statistics

4PM Saturday September 2nd Colgate at the Dome TV: ACCNX

I’ve said for years that we should open in the Dome against Colgate every year. Enough of Wagner, Stony Brook, Central Connecticut, etc. Colgate is a respectable FCS program and sometimes more than that and it’s one we have a history with. Colgate fans would arrive in busloads, as they always used to in the old days. The all-time series is 31-31-5, believe it or not. We lost our first three games to the Red Raiders and were down 15-31-5 when they last won in 1950. We finally caught them in Dino’s first game here in 2016. We’ve never had the lead in the series but should be able to take it back this year.

Last year was not a vintage year for Colgate, going 3-8. QB Michael Brescia passed for 1,656 yards and ran for 753 more, accounting for 20TDs. He was sacked 27 times. Garrett Oakey, (41r/458y/2td) was his leading target. Jaedon Henry, (83c/448y/2td) and Max Hurleman, (83/407/0), are the running backs. Safety Mikey Jarmolowich, (86t/4tfl/2ints/1forced fumble), and linebacker Tyler Flick, (96t/9TFL/1sack/1FF), are the leading tacklers. The ‘Gate only registered 10 sacks. If they can’t get to Shrader, they’ll be in big trouble.

Stats with FCS rankings:
Scoring 21.5 #87 vs. 30.5 #80
Rushing 157.6 #54 vs. 170.1 #74
Passing 157.7 #109 vs. 257.9 #109
Total 315.4 #97 vs. 428.0 #95
Turnover margin: +2 #45

3:30PM Saturday September 9th Western Michigan at the Dome TV: TBA

The Broncos gave us a tough ride when former SU OC Tim Lester was there. We beat them 55-42, (after a 34-7 halftime lead), and 52-33 in 2018-19. But Lester’s gone – after his first losing season. (Dino Babers is glad we have no such standards here). Louisville OC Lance Taylor has taken over and he’s got his work cut out for him. He’s got to find a new QB and RB and also lost his top receiver and has only two starters on defense. One is CB Kent-H Lovely, 3rd team all MAC and first team all-name team. An opposing MAC assistant coach: “It’s going to be a really rough first year…give the dude some time.”

Scoring 19.0 #118 vs. 24.1 #49
Rushing 136.2 #88 vs. 140.1 #47
Passing 165.7 #120 vs. 212.1 #44
Total 301.9 #124 vs. 352.2 #38
Turnover margin: +4 #36

7:30PM Saturday September 16th Purdue at Ross-Aide Stadium TV: NBC

It was great to start 6-0 last year but it could easily have been 4-2, followed by that 5 game losing streak and no bowl. Fortunately we pulled out the Purdue and Virginia games with late scores. The finale of the Purdue game was set up by ridiculous string of 5 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the last minute of play by Purdue: they basically handed the game to us. They went on to win the Big Ten west. Now, a year later we are traveling to their place, a place of bad memories for Syracuse fans. Paul Pasqualoni’s final season opened with a 0-51 disaster there.

The Boilermakers lost their coach, Jeff Brohm, who returned to his alma matter, Louisville, (who we will not play this year for the first time in several years). They also lost their great QB, Aidan O’Connell and their equally great receiver, Charley Jones, who gave Garrett Williams fits last year, catching 11 balls for 188 yards and two scores. So they may be weaker than last year. Or maybe not.

They picked up a transfer from Texas, Hudson Card, who was a sensation in their spring game at QB. Devin Mockobee ran for 968 yards and 9 scores. Four fifths of the line are back. TJ Sheffield will be the main target after 46/480/4 last year. New coach Ryan Walters was the DC at Illinois last year, where they had the best scoring defense (12.8ppg) in the nation and 3rd best in yardage, (273.5), last year. If he can duplicate those numbers and have the normally productive Purdue offense as well, this could be a very formidable team.

Scoring 26.6 #74 vs. 27.4 #73
Rushing 131.0 #102 vs. 142.0 #51
Passing 278.8 #22 vs. 224.9 #66
Total 399.8 #55 vs. 366.9 #52
Turnover margin: -2 #78

TBA Saturday September 23rd Army at the Dome TV: TBA

Not only should we open each season against Colgate in the Dome but we should have a regular series with Army, who is just down the Thruway. We played Navy annually for years – why not Army?

I’ve heard several people call into sports talk shows warning about Army, who has had a great deal of success under Jeff Monken, who has gone 64-49 there since he took over in 2014, including an 11-2 and a 10-3 season and two 9 win seasons. But the warning was about Army’s triple-option running game, which can wear a defense down.

The thing is, Monken is moving to a shotgun attack with one running back. In the 90’s Army had a good run with the wishbone, including a 10-2 record in 1996 under Bob Sutton . When he left, they abandoned the triple option look for a passing attack. But the service academies don’t tend to attract top passing and receiving talent: they aren’t looking for military careers. They are looking for NFL careers. Army had 17 losing records in 18 years, including a record-setting 0-13 in 2003. If anyone can bring a passing offense to Army a guy like Monken could do it but he’s working with players who came here with the idea they were going to run the triple option. An opposing coach: “It’s a huge risk and hey have to be careful how fast they do it.” Maybe this is like Boeheim saying he’ll try a man-for-man and we wind up with 100% zone. Army may revert to the triple option by the time we play them.

Their one returning quarterback is Bryson Dailey, who had touchdown runs of 64 and 54 yards but only attempted one pass. He had four RBs who averaged 4.8 yards per carry but they are competing for one spot. They do have a talented wide-out in 6-4 200 Isaiah Alston who has 38 catches for 718 yards and 4 scores in two years- against defenses focusing on the option. Their defense gets back Leo Lowin, a 100 tackle middle linebacker. Quinn Maretzki kicked 8 of 10 field goals, including the game tier and game winner vs. Navy.

Scoring 28.6 #62 vs. 22.5 #34
Rushing 289.4 #2 vs. 199.0 #118
Passing 76.7 #129 vs. 160.0 #3
Total 366.1 #86 vs. 359.0 #44
Turnover margin: +4 #36

TBA Saturday September 30th Clemson at the Dome TV: TBA

Our 27-24 win over the Tigers in the Dome in 2017 is the signature win of the Dino Babers Era, one we have been trying to duplicate ever since. It bears a lot of resemblance to our most famous upset- over Nebraska in 1984. Nebraska had defeated us in Lincoln in 1983, 7-63. We had lost at home to Rutgers the week before the Huskers came here. Nebraska was ranked #1. They had no reason to think that they were going to get any kind of a game from us and did not react well when they found out they had a game on their hands. We stayed in it the whole way and made the plays at the end to win the game, 17-9. In 2016, we’d lost at Clemson 0-54. It wasn’t the week before but we’d lost an earlier game in 2017 in the Dome to Middle Tennessee State, (remember Scott Shafer’s cigar?). Clemson was #2. They had no reason to think they would have any problem with us. They did, we stayed in it and made the plays at the end to win the game. Then the next year we almost beat them in their own place and we almost did it again last year. In 2021, we lost to them here 14-17. The other games since 2018 have been 6-41 and 21-47. That’s a pretty good record against a program that’s disappointed when they aren’t at least in the national championship playoff.

The problem is, we’ll never be able to sneak up on them again, at least not in this era. We’ll get both barrels of the Tigers each time. It helps if they’ve got quarterback problems and we don’t. Their offense never jelled under 5 star DJ Uiagalelei, (although we’d love Shrader to have 22TD passes and 7 interceptions, as DJ did last year). His replacement is another 5 star, (of course), Cade Klubnik, who had a great game against North Carolina in the regular season finale, (20/24 for 279y, 1TD no picks and he ran for a score in a 39-10 win), but was not great in the bowl game vs. Tennessee (30/54 for 320y but 0/2 he did run for a score), in a 14-31 loss. I think the perception of his performance is based on how the team played.

He’s got two excellent running backs to hand off to, first team all-American Will Shipley (210/1162/15) and his “would start for anyone else” back-up Phil Mafah (98/515/4). Antonio Williams, (56/604/4 – as a freshman), is the leading receiver. They’ve got four starters back in their line, which basically won the game against us by opening the way for 293 yards on 60 carries and 3 scores. They can do that again.

There’s hasn’t been anything wrong with Clemson’s defense in a long time. They lost their two defensive ends but get back both tackles, star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., (son of the Eagles former all-pro linebacker) and the entire two deep in the secondary, including emerging star Nate Wiggins. These guys are still a low-number team in all the categories below.

Scoring 33.2 #29 vs. 20.9 #23
Rushing 177.9 #46 vs. 102.7 #12
Passing 232.4 #65 vs. 231.7 #75
Total 410.3 #47 vs. 334.4 #27
Turnover margin: -1 #74

TBA Saturday October 7th North Carolina at Kenan Stadium TV: TBA

We opened the 2021 season at Kenan Stadium. The Tar Heels had a Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback named Sam Howell. We hung with them for 3 quarters, (6-10) before the Heels closed us out with three fourth quarter scores, 6-31. Sam was 25 for 34 for 295 yards but only one score. The fourth quarter scores were all short runs by Javonte Williams. Our offense never got going Tommy DeVito was 13 for 31 for 112 yards and was sacked 7 times while our runners totaled 68 yards on 35 carries. Now we go there again to play them and they have another Heisman candidate QB in Drake Maye who put up Howell-like numbers last year (342/517 .662 4,321y 38TD 7int: he also ran for 698 yards and 7 scores), so it’s easy to imagine the same thing happening to SU this year.

Maye lost his top three wide-outs to the NFL and will rebuild his passing game with transfers. They have “a talented trio of tight ends” (Athlon) led by Kamari Morales (29/358/4). Elijah Green (131/558/8) is the top RB. Interesting that a guy with Maye’s passing numbers is also his team’s leading rusher.

The big difference between now and 2020 is that the Heel’s defense stinks. Last year they were 101st in the country in scoring and 115th in yardage – and passing yardage. They’ve got transfers manning the secondary. They had only 17 sacks last year. Linebackers Cedric Gray and Power, (great name!) Echols hit the 100 tackle mark, maybe because the guys in front of them weren’t making very many of them.

An opposing coach: “Maybe the team with the most questions in the entire league. The knock on them in coaching circles is that they became ‘Transfer U’. (The schools the new receivers and the new DBs came from: Kent State, Georgia Tech, East Tennessee State and Virginia Tech) No one really knows what the long-term plan is…They’re missing some real dudes.”

Clemson-North Carolina- Florida State is supposed to be the ‘gauntlet’ in the middle of the season that is unlikely to produce any wins for SU. UNC may be a weak point in this run, one where we could pick up an unexpected victory. We should be able to score, too and we can play some ‘D’.

Scoring 34.4 #25 30.8 #101
Rushing 153.5 #66 165.2 #85
Passing 309.3 #11 271.3 #115
Total 462.8 #19 436.5 #115
Turnover margin: 0 #66
Last edited:


All Conference
Aug 19, 2011
These are epic

I wonder what our ranks for your data were through 6 games before our roster got blown apart (it was only partially dismantled by then)

I have tried looking but don't have a great way of getting it.

I know for example Shrader went from 70% completion percentage through 7 games to end the season at 65%, including a game he didnt even play which means his final 4.5 were atrocious

35% vs ND
38% vs FSU
55% @ Wake
79% @ BC
62% @ Minn (I blame field conditions and a half missing roster for that one)


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
These are epic

I wonder what our ranks for your data were through 6 games before our roster got blown apart (it was only partially dismantled by then)

I have tried looking but don't have a great way of getting it.

I know for example Shrader went from 70% completion percentage through 7 games to end the season at 65%, including a game he didnt even play which means his final 4.5 were atrocious

35% vs ND
38% vs FSU
55% @ Wake
79% @ BC
62% @ Minn (I blame field conditions and a half missing roster for that one)

I don't have a great way to do it, either.

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