Last season the Syracuse Orange head coach, Dino Babers, created a new, speedy offense that was referred to as “Orange is the new fast”. This offense consisted of quick, no huddle play calls and quarterback Eric Dungey running the ball out of the pocket. Throughout his career, Dungey has been known as a mobile quarterback, but has not been able to complete a season in the last three years due to concussions.
That offense proved to be successful against #2 Clemson, where the Orange won 27-24. The most notable play was a 66-yard touchdown to Ervin Phillips. Syracuse used a no huddle offense the play before, Clemson did not have enough time to set their defense correctly, and Phillips went up the middle of the field untouched for the score. Even though the Orange defeated the reigning champions, the Orange had a losing season going 4-8 and 2-6 in the ACC.
As Syracuse prepares for the upcoming season, it appears they will be reliant on the same type of offense. Their top two receivers from last season, Steven Ishmael and Ervin Phillips, the Orange will have to deal with unexperienced receivers trying to prove themselves at the college level. Having said that, Syracuse will likely look to the run game and a fast-paced offense again this season.
With three years of starting under his belt, Eric Dungey will likely be the starting quarterback for the Orange. In years past, opponents have seen what Dungey can do on the ground. He ran for 595 yards last season and nine touchdowns, including a 74-yard run against Central Michigan. However, redshirt freshman, Tommy DeVito, will be in the running for the starting quarterback position if Eric Dungey struggles.
Meanwhile, the Orange have two experienced backs in the backfield. Senior Dontae Strickland and junior Moe Neal are the main playmakers from last season that are returning this year. Strickland led the running backs in carries last season with 128 and 4 touchdowns. However, Moe Neal led the backs in rushing yards with 488 on 92 carries. Expect Strickland and Neal to split the amount of carries this season again.
With young receivers, the Orange will most likely rely heavily on the running game. In the Spring game, Strickland had eight carries for 81 yards and a touchdown while Moe Neal had 10 carries for 70 yards. Senior tight end, Ravian Pierce had two touchdowns in the game. He will most likely be the leading receivers on the team and a red zone threat when Dungey decides to pass the ball.