The 2020 college football season is not going to be like any other. With COVID-19 still a present danger in America, colleges and universities have implemented strict guidelines to ensure athletes and everyone’s health. So, when the question “what will be the biggest obstacle for Syracuse Football be” is posed, the easy answer is COVID.
But let’s be optimistic and assume the college football season goes off without a hitch. Now here’s a different question– “what is Syracuse Football’s biggest weakness in 2020?” There are probably a few different things that pop in your head when you read that question, here are the honorable mentions:
This is the easy answer. The Syracuse offensive line was one of the worst O-line in the entire FBS last year. The Orange ranked third-to-last in sacks allowed and barely gave Tommy DeVito time to blink when he dropped back. The offensive line won’t be the best unit on the team this season, but they also won’t be the worst. They have four returning starters in Cody Conway, Dakota Davis, Airon Servais, and Matthew Bergeron. Then, hopefully, Chris Bleich who transferred from Florida will round out the line, but that depends on getting a transfer waiver. Either way, the O-line will be better than what it was last year, meaning it won’t be Syracuse’s biggest weakness.
The wide receivers will definitely need some help this year. Trishton Jackson led the Orange a season ago in receiving, but he’s now in the NFL. Sean Riley also graduated, which isn’t a huge loss, but it is a loss. So, looking at the corps this year Syracuse has Taj Harris as WR1, Nykeim Johnson as WR2, and Cameron Jordan as WR3. Then there is a group of other guys that may see some snaps here and there. There’s not a lot of talent in the group, but they will be able to patch it together enough to not be Syracuse’s biggest weakness.
Both of those units are issues that Syracuse will have to address, but there is only one answer to the question. Here is Syracuse Football’s biggest weakness in 2020:
To be completely honest, the linebacker position has been a weakness for Syracuse for years now and this year isn’t getting any better. SU lost its two top tacklers from a year ago in Andrew Armstrong and Lakiem Williams. Plus, two veterans who could have been starters have transferred out of the program in Juan Wallace and Kadeem Trotter. That leaves the Orange with three new starters. It’ll most likely be Mikel Jones, Tyrell Richards, and Steve Linton. Geoff Cantin-Arku will probably start periodically as well. If those names aren’t familiar to you, I don’t blame you. The Syracuse linebackers are new, inexperienced, and tasked with learning and leading a new defensive scheme. They will get bailed out plenty of times because of how good the secondary and defensive line are, but geez there is just very little talent in this unit.
Syracuse Football has some weaknesses this year, but none that compare with the linebackers.