November 1, 2007

Syracuse has one dangerous unit

Not much has gone right for Syracuse in the two-plus years of Greg Robinson's run as head coach.

Since Robinson took over at Syracuse prior to the 2005 season, the Orange have won seven total games, including two Big East contests and only one victory in Robinson's inaugural campaign. 2007 hasn't gotten off to a great start, either, as the Orange have dropped six of eight games thus far, with trips to Pittsburgh and Connecticut, as well as home games against South Florida and Cincinnati, still on the docket.

Overall, the Orange have been particularly futile this season, with national rankings of 113th (rushing offense), 74th (passing offense), 115th (total offense), 117th (scoring offense), 110th (rushing defense), 101st (passing defense), 98th (pass efficiency defense), 110th (total defense), and 103rd (scoring defense).

But as they say, football is a game played in three phases: offense, defense, and special teams. And the Orange have crafted a particular strength in one of those phases.

To wit, Syracuse leads the Big East and ranks eighth nationally with a 25.9 yards-per-kickoff-return average. So far in 2007, the Orange have totaled 1,140 kick return yards, eclipsing the previous school record of 1,118 set in 2002. Syracuse's success has come on the legs of freshman returners Max Suter and Mike Holmes.

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