2012 Syracuse Orange Football Preview
2011 Record: 5-7 (1-6 Big East)
Head Coach: Doug Marrone, fourth season (17-20 all at Syracuse)
Projected Returning Starters: 14
Spring Game: April 14th (Anselmo 9 Moore 0)
Notes: Ever since the rise of Donovan McNabb, Syracuse has been looking to get back to its winning ways. Greg Robinson’s tenure lasted only four years – he continued the downward slide of the Orange program, which began under Paul Pasqualoni. Doug Marrone, an alumnus of Syracuse, was hired to turn the program around. After a four win season in his first year, Marrone led the Orange to the post-season in 2010, winning the Pinstripe Bowl and posting an eight win season. Last season, Syracuse took a step back, finishing tied for last in the Big East.
BVTSB Take: The Big East schedule will again be seven games this season, with five non-conference games for most of the teams. In the near future, however, expect the Big East to play eight or nine conference games, depending on the membership of the conference. Quarterback Ryan Nassib, who threw for over 2600 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2011, returns in 2012 for his final season. The Orange lose running back Antwon Bailey to the NFL’s Washington Redskins – Bailey accounted for over 72% of Syracuse’s rushing yards in 2011. Leading receiver Alec Lemon looks to continue the success the Orange had through the air, as he returns. Lemon averaged 12.3 yards per catch and caught six touchdown passes last season. Last year, Syracuse was 4-1 in non-conference, with wins over Wake Forest, Rhode Island, Toledo, and Tulane, but lost to USC. Despite the great non-conference play, the Orange only managed one win in the Big East, blowing out Big East Champion West Virginia at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse was 4-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less. This year, the non-conference schedule is expected to be tougher, with Syracuse hosting Northwestern, USC (at East Rutherford), and Stony Brook. Syracuse will hit the road to face Minnesota and Missouri in non-conference play. Pittsburgh and Connecticut are winnable home games and might be the reason why the Orange could be in the post-season in 2012.
2012 Early Projection: 6-6
To see the 2012 Big East composite schedule, click here.
What are your thoughts on Syracuse football? Tweet to us @BVTSB.