Syracuse Football 2017 Match Preview Prediction and Players, Tickets: A few weeks back, I went full sidebar discussing Syracuse’s ranking in Athlon Sports. For as much as everybody associated with the program wants to see marked imrovement from last year’s 4-8 record, the challenges that present themselves on a weekly basis should not be taken lightly.
Dino Babers has repeatedly referenced all 11 FBS opponents on this year’s schedule qualified for a bowl game last year, but a more telling, albeit somewhat arbitrary, measure of those challenges rests with who Syracuse Football will face throughout the season.
I alluded to this in the previous post. There will be 32 names called on the first night of next year’s NFL Draft, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Syracuse faced a third of those names this fall.
Some mock drafts have the Orange facing half of the projected top 10 picks, and that doesn’t include last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson.
Syracuse Football 2017 Match Preview & Prediction
Helping support this trend is Sports Illustrated’s list of top 100 players, released last week.
Syracuse will face 22 of the players on the list, including nine of the top 25. Ten of the Orange’s 12 opponents are accounted for, including Middle Tennessee State. Valdez, 6-foot-1, 236 pounds, played under coach Dino Babers and defensive coordinator Brian Ward in 2014-15. As a redshirt sophomore in 2015, Valdez was a first-team All-MAC linebacker, leading Bowling Green with 144 tackles, 11 for loss, and recording two interceptions and five pass breakups.
His addition boosts depth at a position top-heavy with veterans. Syracuse returns seniors Zaire Franklin, Parris Bennett and Jonathan Thomas, who are the projected starters heading into fall camp. The Orange also added junior-college transfer Ryan Guthrie this offseason and returns Andrew Armstrong, a sophomore who saw a significant number of snaps last season. Valdez would be the third graduate transfer to join the program this year, joining cornerbacks Devin Butler and Jordan Martin.
Syracuse Football 2017 Match Schedule
He’ll join a talented group at LB and will bring experience in Brian Ward’s system. Fans might not see this as being an area of need for the Orange, but it’s important to note that last year Syracuse had games where the defense was on the field for over 100 snaps. It will be better for the Orange if Parris Bennett and Zaire Franklin are able to get a bit of rest during games.
Valdez should be able to help the defense be able to rotate players and his experience with the system can help the 2nd unit defense. With only 1 career sack at Bowling Green, don’t look for him to be involved in a pass-rushing role, but if he can provide solid tackling and coverage it will help an Orange defense which struggled down the stretch in 2016. Source Link