Summer Scouting is a daily weekday post analyzing LSU football’s 12 opponents for the 2015 season. From McNeese State (June 29) to Texas A&M (July 11), we’ll give you an early scouting report on the one dozen teams on LSU’s schedule.
When: TBA, Sept. 26
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
Early spread: LSU -20
Who’s before and after: Auburn and Eastern Michigan
Syracuse at a glance
Coach (year): Scott Shafer (3rd)
2014 record: 3-9 (1-7, t6th in ACC Atlantic)
2014 postseason: None
Returning starters: 10 (6 offense, 4 defense)
Preseason prediction: 85th nationally, 7th ACC Atlantic (Athlon)
Overcoming 2014’s offensive uglyness: Here’s last year in a nutshell for the Syracuse offense: They lost their starting quarterback in the fifth game of the season, used three more QBs and went through two full offensive lines because of injuries, finishing with the fourth-worst touchdown percentage among Power-5 teams in the last decade. The hot topic this spring has been overcoming that and the health of starting QB Terrell Hunt.
DE Ron Thompson: Three of four starters on the line from 2014 are gone. Eric Crume, Robert Welsh and Micah Robinson exhausted their eligibility. They combined for 111 tackles last season, including 22 for loss. Thompson, a 6-3, 255-pound junior who was once a four star tight end prospect, is the lone returning player on the line at defensive end. Thompson had 32 tackles, seven for loss, and 3 sacks last season for the Orange. He seems to be one of Syracuse’s most athletic players.
Quarterback: LSU fans can sympathize here. Hunt, recovered from a broken leg, is expected to be given another shot at leading new OC Tim Lester’s unit. Hunt, though, struggled before fracturing his fibula against Louisville in Game 5 last season. He completed 57 percent of his passes and had four interceptions and four touchdowns. The Orange offense didn’t necessarily show signs of great life during the spring game. It scored one touchdown. Hunt was just 10-for-30 in the game with a host of drops from his receivers.
Previous posts and coming posts
Monday: McNeese State
Tuesday: Mississippi State
Friday: Eastern Michigan
Saturday: South Carolina
Tuesday: Western Kentucky
Friday: Ole Miss
Saturday: Texas A&M