By Savie Maneen
Reason for Excitement
5) Ryan Nassib is playing well given the circumstances
He’s only in his second year as the starting QB. He has a true sophomore center in his first season as a starter. His offensive line is still inconsistent with pass protection. He’s had to make throws on the run, outside the pocket and is often scrambling. His receiving core has been up-and-down, struggles at times with press coverage, and has dropped some catchable passes.
Despite all this though, redshirt junior QB Ryan Nassib has still completed nearly 65% of his passes, and has thrown 11 TD’s against just 4 INT in six games. He’s on pace to throw for nearly 2,600 yards this season – more than anybody else in school history.
He’s the unquestioned leader of the offense, has a good relationship with both his head coach and offensive coordinator, and just manages to win. He’s 12-7 as SU’s starting QB.
Cause for Concern
5) SU’s wide receivers have been inconsistent
Through the first 3 games of the season, starting wide outs Van Chew and Alec Lemon combined for 39 catches, 458 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns (one of which was thrown by Lemon, to Chew, on a WR flea flicker).
In the 3 most recent games, Chew and Lemon have combined for just 12 catches, 163 yards and one TD.
Obviously defenses have started to key in on something with the Orange’s starting receiving duo. Defenses are playing more and more press coverage against Syracuse, greatly disrupting the offense’s rhythm. Inconsistencies in pass protection certainly aren’t helping matters, but the Orange is still in need of more play-makers at the receiver spot.
We’ve seen glimpses from other WR’s – like Dorian Graham (2 TD’s vs. Tulane), Jarrod West and Jeremiah Kobena. It still remains to be seen if the entire WR corps can get back to top form.