After having weeks of an unusual batch of Spring practices, which featured the media being blacked-out for most of it, the Syracuse Orange football program will reveal themselves to the fan base Saturday when they hold its annual Spring Game at the Carrier Dome (noon ET).
Head coach Doug Marrone, who's entering his fourth season, will conduct a split-scrimmage for the second straight year to showcase to Orange fans what they have come the Fall. Last season, Syracuse played its first scrimmage-like Spring Game in years, and it featured the White Team, led by quarterback Ryan Nassib, downing the Blue Teem 13-7.
Unfortunately, in that contest there was only one offensive touchdown scored which was a foreshadow of what was to come for the 2011-12 season -- the Orange's offense was stagnate for most of the season which ended at 5-7 overall.
However, there is some anticipation to this Spring Game, as fans will be looking for Nassib to make that next-big step in a more run-oriented offense, and if he doesn't he'll be looking over his shoulders because backup quarterbacks Charley Loeb and freshman Ashton Broyld will be breathing down his neck for playing time.
Meanwhile, there's excitement about the return of wide receiver Marcus Sales, who was suspended all of last season due to some issues with the law, and junior running back Prince-Tyson Gulley and sophomore Jerome Smith, who're both expected to be a solid "thunder-and-lighting" duo.
On defense, the linebackers and defensive line will be under a strong spotlight. Last season, the linebackers struggled with consistency but showed flashes of greatness with freshmen Cam Lynch and Dyshawn Davis. While, the defensive line will need to replace pass rusher Chandler Jones, who's predicted to go in the first round of the NFL Draft.