Syracuse football: Former BYU football coaches help resurgence

The Syracuse Orange football program hasn’t exactly been a model of sustained success in the 21st century.

The Orange have finished above .500 just six times since 2000 (twice they’ve finished exactly there), and only once since going 7-6 in 2013. After finishing the 2001 season ranked 18th in the country, Syracuse failed to he broke The Associated Press Top 25 only once until 2018, when he finished the campaign ranked No. 15.

The Oranges then qualified for two weeks to start 2019, but haven’t since.

Until this week.

Yes, there is a bit of a resurgence happening in Syracuse, as Orange finds itself with a 5-0 record and a national ranking of No. 22.

A quartet of coaches who used to be a part of BYU’s football program help lead to the hot start. At the top of that group is offensive coordinator Robert Anae, followed by quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, offensive graduate assistant Koy Detmer Jr. and offensive analyst Micah Simon.

Anae was the offensive coordinator at BYU from 2005 to 2010 and then again from 2013 to 2015, Beck was the quarterbacks coach from 2013 to 2015, Detmer Jr. played there from 2015 to 2017 and Simon played there from 2015 to 2019.

After the 2015 season, Anae and Beck followed former BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall to Virginia, where they stayed until Mendenhall abruptly resigned after last season.

It certainly isn’t like the Syracuse offense is setting the world on fire. Before a 59-0 loss to a hapless Wagner team from the FCS ranks last week, the Orange were pretty much in the middle of the road nationally from a statistical perspective.

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Additionally, two of Syracuse’s five wins have been by a combined five points, including a dramatic two-point victory over the Virginia program that Anae and Beck just left.

Truth be told, the Orange defense has been great, ranking 9th in the country in points given up per game and 12th in yards given up per game.

All that said, Anae and company’s offense improves from last season which finished in the bottom third of the country in points and yards per game.

After the first contest of the season,’s Brent Ax wrote about his first impressions of the Anae offense, concluding, “We’ve only scratched the surface of what the Anae offense will bring. Pre-click movement. (Wide receiver Sean) Tucker at receiver and lure. Throw to tight end. Move offensive lineman. The first impression certainly left its mark on him.”

The main caveat in all of this is that Syracuse has had a pretty easy schedule thus far, as their opponents to date have a combined record of just 9-16, and things are about to get a whole lot tougher.

To illustrate that point, ESPN’s Bill Connelly earlier this week ranked the 16 remaining unbeatens on FBS and placed Orange 15th, writing, “Their wild last-second upset over Purdue is their only win over an SP+ team. top-75. to date, and the memory of their narrow home win over a rather lackluster Virginia team lingers. (And again: Wagner is pretty bad.)

With that being said, Connelly concluded: “This is still a great story, and while Dino Babers’ Orange resurgence probably won’t last long in the undefeated world, after a Week 6 bye, they face six consecutive 18th-ranked opponents. at 45. they are still likely to reach at least seven wins by the end of the season.

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“Considering they had a combined 6-17 record in 2020 and 2021, that’s a remarkable turnaround.”

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