Meet "Uncle Smitty," an Orange fanatic.  Whether it's football, basketball or Dome Dogs he knows his way around the Carrier Dome.  In fact if you cut this guy, he bleeds orange. He's been a Syracuse fan for more than 20 years and been going to games for nearly as long.  Throughout the Syracuse football season, he'll be offering his take on the 'Cuse games.  Click for Smitty's take on this weekend's game with Northwestern.

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Some key points Smitty sees headed into the season:

  • 1st year head coach, Scott Shafer takes over after Doug Marrone who left for the head coaching job with the Buffalo Bills.  Marrone brought some needed improvement to the program, including two bowl victories.  Shafer was the defensive coordinator under Marrone.
  • Syracuse and Shafer kick off their 1st season together moving from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.   While the Big East was considered more of a basketball conference, the ACC is thought of as one of the six best football conferences with the champion recievng an automatic berth into the Bowl Championship Series.
  • The season begins with a new QB too.  Drew Allen transferred from quarterback rich, Oklahoma where he saw limited playing time.  He was a top pick coming out of high school in Texas.
The Orange fell in their season opener 23-17 to Penn State, a game they battled to keep close.  They had the ball with a chance to tie, but a late interception doomed them to an opening defeat.
This week Syracuse faces another Big 10 opponent, the 20th ranked Northwestern Wildcats.  A prolific scoring team, Northwestern may be without their starting quarterback who suffered a concussion in their opening 44-30 win over California.  The Orange have injuries too, losing receiver, Adrian Fleming for the season.  You may recall last year's wild shootout at the Carrier Dome with Northwestern taking 42-41 win.
Uncle Smitty's rates this game a 3 Dome Dogger.  The more nervous he is about a game, the more Dome Dogs he has.

SOURCE: SU Football