>> Sunday, July 12, 2009
The Greg Robinson era of Syracuse football is something that fans and alumni of the program want to disappear. Robinson produced at 10-37 record over his tenure and left the program in shambles, but new coach and alum Doug Marrone hopes to quickly turn things around. Marrone, a former assistant for the New Orleans Saints, will not have much talent when he begins his rebuilding process this season.
Marrone's new offensive coordinator, Rob Spence, will have his work cut out for him on the offensive side of the ball. The SU offense struggled the majority of the last three 5 seasons, but they have some veteran talent to help ease the transition. Senior quarterback Cameron Dantley is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the big east and threw for 11 touchdowns last season. Dantley's favorite target, and SU's most talented athlete, Mike Williams, returns from injury to resume his role at wide receiver for the Orange. Williams compiled 60 receptions in 2007, but was forced to sit out last season for academic reasons. Williams is joined at wide receiver by Lavar Lobdell and and Donte Davis, whom both have decent talent. Junior Delonte Carter returns for his junior season and hopes to return to the form from 2006 that earned him Sporting News Freshmen All-American honors. Carter will run behind an offensive line lead by Tucker Buambach.
Defensively SU has been putrid over the last several years and it doesn't appear an improvement is in sight. New defensive coordinator Scott Shafer has one talented and/or proven player, defensive tackle Arthur Jones. Jones is a disruptive force on the defensive line and has already established himself as one of the school's all-time greats. Jones will be joined by Jared Kimmell and his younger brother Chandler Jones on the defensive line. The linebacking corp is a veteran, but untalented group. Derrell Smith and Mike Mele will attempt to lead an improvement surge among the group. The defensive backfield is lead by Kevyn Scott and Nico Scott and are not among the best in the big east. Stopping the pass will continue to be a problem for this squad.
While, Marrone is attempting to improve the program, SU is still a long, long way from being a contender.
A general idea of how bad of shape this program is in is its recruiting prowess. The SU class is ranked 117 in the country according to Rivals.com. Yes, 117th. The only player worth mentioning is 6'6", 320 pound offensive tackle Andrew Tiller. Tiller has a college-ready body, but will need to work on his technique before he sees the field.
September 12th-@Penn State-Loss
October 3rd-South Florida-Loss
October 10th-West Virginia-Loss
Season Projection: 2-10 (0-7)