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NCAA Football

Losing Ross Krautman Is A Major Blow for Syracuse Orange

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Ross Krautman Syracuse

Rich Barnes – USATODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange football team hasn’t even put on pads for the start of fall camp, but they’ve already suffered a season-ending injury to a key player. After redshirting last season to heal a hip injury, place kicker Ross Krautman was expected to be back for his senior season in 2014. Instead, he has been medically ruled out to return to football and will not be available for the Orange this season.

As a true freshman in 2010, Krautman put together one of the best seasons from a kicker in school history. He converted 18 of his 19 field goal attempts, with those 18 makes tying the school’s single-season record. Krautman also made 16 consecutive field goals during the course of that season, tying him with the legendary Gary Anderson for the most consecutive field goals made in school history. More importantly, he kicked the game-winning field goal in the game that clinched bowl eligibility for the Orange, sending Syracuse to its first bowl game in six years.

The next two years didn’t go quite as well for Krautman, who put up respectable, but unspectacular numbers while he secretly battled the hip injury that would ultimately end his career. After playing the first two games of the 2013 season, he decided to take himself off the field with the hope of getting proper treatment for the injury, returning to full health and returning to the Orange in 2014. Syracuse was counting on him coming back and returning to form this season, but now they will have to go with plan B, which is a plan with plenty of holes in it.

Stepping in for Krautman this season will likely by Ryan Norton, who took over as the team’s place kicker last year when Krautman was forced to the sidelines. Norton made just 10 of 15 field goal attempts last season, and in a must-win game late in the season against Pittsburgh Panthers, Norton missed both a field goal and an extra point in a game that the Orange lost in excruciating fashion by a single point, a game that nearly cost them bowl eligibility.

Norton had his moments last year, and he certainly has enough ability to be a decent kicker for the Orange, but he’s nowhere near as good as Krautman was early in his career when he was healthy. Norton has work to do if he is going to be as good as Krautman was in 2011 and 2012 when he silently struggled with his hip injury. Unfortunately, Syracuse doesn’t have a choice but to go with Norton as the place kicker in 2014, and if he struggles again, it could make a big difference if the Orange end up playing a lot of close games, making the loss of Krautman a big one for Syracuse heading into the 2014 season.

Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com.  He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball and International Soccer.  Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.

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Duke-Syracuse Game Preview, Prediction





Starting the season outside of the Top 25, the Duke Blue Devils were playing with a chip on their shoulder. Now that they are 7-1 on the year, no one is overlooking the darkhorse favorites to dethrone Florida State for an ACC title. The Syracuse Orange started the season 2-0, but have since lost six of seven to lead to a 3-6 record. While they aren’t a threat for the conference title, the Orange can still play spoiler.

Senior quarterback Anthony Boone has been the spark that has gotten the Blue Devils going this season. Boone has passed for 1,628 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions while rushing for another 243 yards and four touchdowns. Jamison Crowder is clearly the team’s top receiving weapon, catching 49 passes for 636 yards and four touchdowns. Max McCaffrey and Issac Blakeney have been basically equal in the receiving department, both catching 26 passes for three scores apiece while McCaffrey has 261 yards and Blakeney has 259 yards. Freshman running back Shaun Wilson has been a main reason for the team’s run success, rushing for 528 yards and four touchdowns.

Syracuse had been led by a dual-threat quarterback of its own in Terrel Hunt who had 983 passing yards and a touchdowns as well as 292 yards and six rushing scores before his injury. He hasn’t returned yet, paving way for freshman quarterback AJ Long to get the nod as the starter. Long hasn’t been very impressive, however, passing for 727 yards and four touchdowns with six interceptions. Jarrod West doesn’t care who’s behind center as he has been effective either way, catching 40 passes for 610 yards. Steve Ishmael has been the second-best wide out on the team, catching 20 passes for 311 yards and three scores. Prince-Tyson Gulley has been solid this season in the run game, leading the team with 526 yards and a touchdown while also catches 20 passes out of the backfield for 107 yards.

Defensively, the Orange have been a bit above average this season, ranking 38th in total yards allowed as well as 43rd in points allowed per contest. In their three wins this season, Syracuse has given up an average of 12 points. Before last week, Duke had done a solid job of keeping opponents out of the end zone. On the year, the Blue Devils rank 13th in points against and a lowly 81st nationally in total yards allowed.

Duke will travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 8. The game will be broadcasted on GamePlan/ESPN 3.

PREDICTION: Duke 23, Syracuse 21

Want to see the Blue Devils take on the Orange in week 11? Check out ScoreBig for tickets.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.

Duke will travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange in week 11. Who will come out on top?

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