This Friday will be the Syracuse Orange’s first test of the season. Hosting FCS-level Rhode Island, the Orange seem to have themselves a matchup they should easily win. However, as many big programs have seen in the past, FCS teams have the ability to come in and pull off a stunning defeat. Oregon State and Kansas State both kicked off the 2013 season losing to FCS teams. With all of this being said, let’s take a look at some key numbers for the Orange as they look to defeat the Rams.
For the Orange, nine offensive starters have made a start at some point in their college careers. Leading the way with 33 starts is center Rob Trudo.
Terrel Hunt, who will enter the last year of collegiate eligibility is just 40 yards shy of ninth place on Syracuse’s all-time passing list.
Here are some other quick facts:
• Since becoming a collegiate football program, the Orange have a 79-42-4 record in season openers.
• Syracuse and Rhode Island have met two times in their history, with the Orange winning both games. The team’s most recent victory was in 2011 when the Orange won to a score of 21-14.
• In that game in 2011, Ryan Nassib threw for 318 yards.
• From 1993-1995, head coach Scott Shafer served as an assistant coach at Rhode Island. He helped coached the team’s secondary for his first full-time coaching position.
• Shafer coached with Rhode Island’s offensive coordinator Bill Bleil at Northern Illinois in 2003.
• If the Orange win this game, it would extend Syracuse’s winning streak against FCS teams to 32 games. They would also be 13-0 against FCS teams in the Carrier Dome.
On Friday night, expect a heavy dose of Hunt and sophomore running back Ervin Philips. With Tim Lester handling the offensive duties, the Orange feature Philips a bunch, as both a pass-catcher and a running back. Despite all of the injuries the Orange suffered across the offensive line last year, Syracuse will have a lot of continuity upfront considering a ton of players received playing time. If the Orange stay turnover-free, get pressure on Rhode Island’s Paul Mroz, and play their game, they should have no problem against a Rams team that went 1-11 in Jim Fleming’s first season just a year ago.
Here is a statistical comparison from the 2014 season.
|Overall Record||3-9||1-11||Conerence Record||1-7||1-7||Non-Conference Record||2-2||0-4||Home Record||1-5||1-4||Away Record||2-3||0-7||Netural Record||0-1||0-0||Points Per Game||17.1||12.5||Points Allowed Per Game||24.3||34.1||First Downs||202||167||Rushing Offense||145.8||119.0||Rushing Defense||139.2||231.1||Passing Offense||184.1||147.5||Passing Defense||209.8||211.5||Total Offense||329.9||266.5||Total Defense||349.2||442.6||Kick Return Average||18.2||20.0||Punt Return Average||8.4||7.8||Interceptions||8||5||Fumbles-Lost||13-4||27-15||Fumbles Recovered||12||13||Turnover Margin||-1||-13||Penalties-Yards||86-717||64-559||Time of Possession||26:41||27:42||3rd Down Conversions||34.1%||27.2%||Opp. 3rd Down Conv.||39.3%||46.3%||4th Down Conversions||50.0%||31.4%||Opp. 4th Down Conv.||70.0%||40.0%||Sacks-Yards||27-181||17-129||Sacks Allowed||24||22||Tackles for Loss||80-311||68-242||FGs-Attempts||17-23||2-5||Red Zone Offense||28-35 (80.0%)||23-23 (52.2%)||Red Zone Touchdowns||14-35 (40.0%)||12-23 (52.2%)||Red Zone Defense||31-40 (77.5%)||39-52 (75.0%)||Red Zone Def. TDs||18-40 (45.0%)||29-52 (55.7%)|