Anderson and Rhodes Lead QBs and RBs

Two major questions loom on the Syracuse offense: the maturity of R.J. Anderson (who is one of only two returning starters) and the completely revamped backfield with the loss of James Mungro.

Anderson was inserted after the Orangemen's 0-2 start and pumped some life into the offense. He played a large part in the offense that lost only one more game the rest of the season due to his ability to evade would-be tacklers in the backfield and scramble for extra yardage.

The most obvious place Anderson can improve is in the ariel attack. He completed just 46% of his passes last year but made huge strides towards the end of last spring and has many believing that this will be a breakout year.

"You know, last year at this time we really didn't know what would happen," said head coach Paul Pasqualoni. "What a difference a year makes. At least going in we kind of know what we've got. Robin's got a full year, actually he's got more than that, he's got 12 starts under his belt, and he's worked very, very hard."

Anderson replaced Troy Nunes last year as the QB but Nunes is still very much in the offense.

"Robin has to work hard to kind of keep up with Troy because Troy does such a great job of being detailed and exact on everything," said Pasqualoni.

Nunes has had a large roll in the success of Anderson despite competing with him for the job.

"We always talk, every series, every practice," Nunes said. "We're good friends. We room together during the year, we room together on the road. For two guys that were competing for the last two years and obviously now he's playing, we have as good a relationship as I think we can have."

Syracuse will suffer some from the loss of 1,000 yard rusher James Mungro, who not only ran the ball well, but finished fourth in the team in receptions. The role of Walter Reyes and Barry Baker will increase exponentially this season to make up for the loss of Mungro. Senior captain Chris Davis will also be considered for the job.

"I don't think that (the loss of Mungro) will be a problem," Reyes said. "Obviously we did lose a lot of seniors but we still have a lot of young guys who played a lot last year and I don't think we'll have a problem scoring even though we did have a lot of seniors graduate."

Another guy that's in the mix is Damien Rhodes, a freshman coming off a year that netted him 2,000 years and Central New York play of the year honors.

"The playbook is a lot thicker than high school but I got it back in February so I've been going after it and trying to understand it more and more," said Rhodes. "I don't have it completely understood yet but I'm picking it up piece by piece. I feel like I'm doing pretty well so far."

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