We close out the regular season with a nearly-traditional Thanksgiving weekend date with Syracuse.
Dino Babers and company finished 5-7 last season, but critically beat BC in the Carrier Dome 21-6 and improved on a pitiful 2020. You’ll remember that game as the Emmett Morehead introduction. After a slow start, BC trotted out the true freshman and he did offer a bit of a jolt with his very live arm. Unfortunately he was knocked out of the game himself, and well, the Syracuse rushing offense wore down BC’s defense.
The memory of that magical 2018 season where the Orangemen finished 10-3 and #15 in the country is quickly fading. Babers saw improvement in 2021, but he’ll have to continue to show progress to cool down his seat. It’s now year seven
Sean Tucker must fly. The star running back is the catalyst of the offense and one of the best players in the country. He logged over 1700 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns. The Second Team All-American had nine 100 yard games and running a shade over six yards a clip. Between and eventual quarterback Garrett Shrader, Syracuse’s rushing attack was the best in the conference. They also add to the crop with Juwaun Price from New Mexico State to unburden tucker. Price ran for nearly 700 yards, had 10 touchdowns, and is a threat in the passing game as well.
Unfortunately, their passing game was more than anemic, 121st in the country. The aforementioned Shrader, came over from Mississippi State earlier and fully took over for Tommy DeVito by game four. Shrader is a big bodied rusher who had 14 touchdowns of his own on the ground along with nearly 800 yards, Passing wise though, he threw 53% for 1445 yards. Wide receiver Courtney Jackson had the most from that pot with 389 yards. Tucker came in after that, with Damien Alford right behind. CJ Hayes also comes in from Michigan State. It’s a young group, but it’s not exactly a prolific passing attack.
The Cuse offensive line had a tough go of it in pass production, but their size and strength paved Tucker’s way. They have Matthew Bergeron as a standout left tackle and should improve further.. To maybe alleviate some of that burden, the Orange bring in a new offensive coordinator to up the tempo.
The ACC’s second ranked scoring defense, believe it or not, had a stellar pass rush to go with a strong run defense. That being said, it wasn’t particularly strong against most of the ACC. Unfortunately, they lose four seniors on the front including their sack leader, but the linebacking corps will still bring the heat. Mikel Thompson inside is the stopper, and Stefon Thompson and Marlowe Wax combined for 11 sacks last year. Still, the defensive line now lacks the experience and crucially, size.
In the defensive backfield, they have two solid corners, Garrett Williams first off, and bring in safety help by way of the transfer portal. Alijah Clark from Rutgers and Bralyn Oliver from Louisville. Despite having a solid defense, they only generated seven turnovers. The group behind the defensive line will have to step up to make up for the front three.
The win total is set at a lowly 4.5 wins. It’s a tough schedule for Syracuse. We’ll put the early line for our matchup as BC favored by seven.
And with that, we move on to game week. Yes, the moment has finally arrived. Stay tuned for Rutgers content beginning Sunday. Let’s do this.