Syracuse Football 2013 Season Grades

Syracuse had a successful 2013 season capped by a Texas Bowl win over Minnesota. grades each position on the Orange and how they faired during the year inside.

Syracuse wrapped up its season with a Texas Bowl victory, finishing at 7-6. hands out their grades for each position during Scott Shafer's first year at the helm.

Quarterback – C+: It was a season of ups and downs from the man behind center. Once Terrel Hunt took over for Drew Allen, it brought some stability. Still, Hunt really struggled throughout the early part of the ACC slate. He showed significant improvement over the final three games, however.

Running Back – A: This was the strongest unit coming into the season and played that way throughout the year. Jerome Smith took a step forward in his development, while George Morris and DeVante McFarlane both had strong contributions as well.

Wide Receiver – D+: There were flashes this season, but overall, the receiver position really struggled for the Orange. Ashton Broyld led the team with fewer than 600-yards receiving. This unit dropped passes, failed to get open consistently, and contributed to a passing attack that was one of the worst in college football.

Tight End – B: The tight end position was not asked to contribute a lot in the passing game, but both Beckett Wales and Josh Parris had their moments. The strength of the unit was blocking, which they did both in the run game and in pass protection very well.

Offensive Line – A: The Syracuse offensive line really came together this season. They kept Hunt upright most of the time, and opened up holes for the Orange ground attack. It was a strong season for the men up front.

Defensive Line – B: Thought to be a weakness coming into the season, the defensive line stepped up and proved to be a strength on that side of the ball. Jay Bromley had a great senior year, while the defensive end rotation proved solid as well. They still lacked that consistent pass rushing threat, which knocks the grade down just a bit.

Linebacker – A: The strength of the Syracuse defense, this unit was as advertised throughout. Blitzing like crazy, playing the run, and even covering downfield at times. Senior Marquis Spruill will be difficult to replace, but during the 2013 season, there was talent and depth here.

Cornerback – C+: It was an inconsistent year for the cornerbacks. Losing Keon Lyn and Julian Whigham didn't help, but is not a complete excuse. There were too many blown coverages, specifically getting beaten deep. That said, there were flashes of solid play as Brandon Reddish stepped up with the injuries.

Safety – B: There were a lot of communication issues throughout the season, and a lot of that had to do with safety play. Durell Eskridge emerged as a star in the making this season, but Jeremi Wilkes really struggled in coverage. Darius Kelly stepped up as a quality depth guy as well.

Kicker – C: When Ross Krautman went out with an injury, he wasn't have a strong season. The injury was really hampering his productivity. Ryan Norton stepped in, but was inconsistent both on field goals and kickoffs.

Punter – A-: Riley Dixon took over for Jonathan Fisher, and became a weapon in the kicking game. He helped the Orange flip field position routinely, and even earned a scholarship with his strong performance throughout the season.

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