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2021 Wake Forest Football Opponent Preview: Syracuse Orange

Syracuse v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Game Date: Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Opponent: Syracuse Orange

Conference: ACC

Head Coach: Dino Babers(24-32)

2020 Stats

Record: 1-10, 1-9

Highest Ranking: N/A

Post-Season: N/A

Wins: Georgia Tech

Losses: UNC, Pitt, Duke, Liberty, Clemson, Wake Forest, Boston College, Louisville, NC State, Notre Dame

Yards per Game: 265.3

Yards Allowed per Game: 464

Points per Game: 17.8

Points Allowed per Game: 32.7

Man. Last year was tough for Syracuse. Opt-outs and injuries everywhere, to the point they had to start a fullback on the offensive line.

Taking a look at the positives here, if healthy the offensive line actually isn’t bad. Chris Bleich should be an impact guy transferring in from Florida, and having to sit a year. Dakota Davis is an absolute mauler at left guard, Airon Servais is a solid guy at right tackle and Matthew Bergeron is a P5 starting left tackle. Some people in the ACC can’t say that about their own teams right now. Sean Tucker is a running back the entire ACC is going to have to worry about and will be a problem if the OL holds up. Taj Harris is a household name at receiver for them and is a dynamic guy, while when he has time and isn’t dealing with a season-ending leg injury, QB Tommy Devito can play. I’m also a bit curious to what, if any, role Mississippi State transfer QB Garrett Shrader plays this season. A true dual-threat guy who can offer some different looks. I’d be an idiot to not mention how good the linebacker room looks with Mikel Jones, Marlowe Wac, and Stefon Thompson, plus a budding star at corner in Garrett Williams.

The negatives for this team... well everything else. Losing Andre Cisco, Ifeaty Melifonwu, and Trill Williams in their secondary hurts, there’s no way around that so the hope is that New Mexico State transfer Jason Simmons can help lessen that hit. I touched on the injuries and opt-outs, but even still that Syracuse offense was absolutely brutal last year. They turned it over left and right, couldn’t sustain drives, and the offensive line was awful. It didn’t matter how or whom but people racked up yards and points against this team last year.

This is a team due for a bounce-back season. Maybe not 8-9 wins, but 5-6, which is fine after a 1 win season. The Orange find themselves welcoming the Deacs to New York right after a trip to Florida State... and right before welcoming Clemson. Have fun.