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NCAA Football Syracuse Orange

10 Reasons Why Syracuse Football Will Win 10 Games In 2014

10 Reasons Why Syracuse Football Will Win 10 Games In 2014

Scott Shafer
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

The Syracuse football team continues the reclamation project that Doug Marrone began in 2009 and now Scott Shafer has continued heading into his second year as head coach. Shafer has set the team’s goal at eight wins for the 2014 season, wanting to win one more than the Orange did last season. However, Syracuse is considerably better than last year, and there are 10 reasons why the Orange will win 10 games in 2014.

10. Recent Bowl History

Scott Shafer Syracuse Orange Football
Troy Taormina - USATODAY Sports

10. Recent Bowl History

Scott Shafer Syracuse Orange Football
Troy Taormina - USATODAY Sports

The Orange have been bowling in three of the last four years, and they've won their bowl game all three times, each against a power five conference team. Syracuse always seems to be prepared for their bowl games, so if they can find a way to get to nine wins in the regular season, getting to 10 wins in the bowl game sounds like a good bet.

9. Easy 2-0 Start

Brisly
Mitch Stringer - USATODAY Sports

9. Easy 2-0 Start

Brisly
Mitch Stringer - USATODAY Sports

The Orange started off 0-2 last season, and they ended up having to play catch up all year to get to a bowl game. But this year Syracuse starts the season with Villanova and Central Michigan, two teams they should be able to beat, giving them a 2-0 start. If they can also take care of business against Maryland, the Orange will be 3-0 heading into the tough part of their schedule, giving them a shot at 10 wins.

8. Manageable Road Schedule

Syracuse v Florida State
Getty Images

8. Manageable Road Schedule

Syracuse v Florida State
Getty Images

Outside of playing at Clemson, Syracuse doesn't have a road game this season that they shouldn't expect to win. Road games against Central Michigan and Wake Forest should be easy enough, and road trips to Pittsburgh and Boston College are also very winnable. If the Orange can turn into road warriors the way they were in 2010, they'll have a great shot to win 10 games.

7. Dynamic Duo at Linebacker

Dyshawn Davis Syracuse
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

7. Dynamic Duo at Linebacker

Dyshawn Davis Syracuse
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

With Dyshawn Davis and Cameron Lynch, Syracuse will have one of the best linebacker duos in the ACC. The two seniors will be the leaders of the defense and will be impact players on that side of the ball, causing all kinds of problems for opposing quarterbacks. This could help lead the Orange to a win or two that people don't expect them to get.

6. Scott Shafer's Second Year

Scott Shafer Syracuse football
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

6. Scott Shafer's Second Year

Scott Shafer Syracuse football
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

Typically, in a head coach's second season with a team a significant improvement can be expected. Shafer's first season went better than expected, and with so many starters back and the coaching staff largely intact, the Orange could certainly take it to the next level in year two. He wants to win eight games, but that would only be a modest improvement, whereas a significant improvement could push Syracuse to 10 wins.

5. Ashton Broyld & Brisly Estime

Ashton Broyld Syracuse
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

5. Ashton Broyld & Brisly Estime

Ashton Broyld Syracuse
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

Syracuse is still searching for answers at wide receiver, but in Broyld and Estime they have two talented players who could both be poised for a breakout season. Estime started to become a difference maker late last season, while Broyld has been one of the best athletes on the team the past two seasons. If the Orange can find the right role for him, he can become the impact pass catcher that they need.

4. Strong Running Game

prince-tyson gulley
Liz Condo - USATODAY Sports

4. Strong Running Game

prince-tyson gulley
Liz Condo - USATODAY Sports

With four returning starters along the offensive line, not to mention plenty of depth, along with a strong contingent of running backs, the Orange figure to have a strong rushing attack yet again. Not only do they have a diverse group of backs, but Terrell Hunt is an elite runner at the quarterback position. Even though the passing attack has much to prove, the Syracuse running game will be a great backbone to the team's offense.

3. The Carrier Dome

Syracuse football
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

3. The Carrier Dome

Syracuse football
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

If Syracuse wins games early in the season, as they should, the Carrier Dome will start to fill up little by little and slowly get back to being one of the tougher road venues in college football. Having that great home-field advantage could become a difference maker in some of Syracuse's tougher games in which they'll be underdogs, such as Duke and Louisville, and that could give them a chance to reach 10 wins.

2. A History of Upsets

Syracuse Beats BC
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

2. A History of Upsets

Syracuse Beats BC
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

If Syracuse is to reach 10 wins, it's going to take an upset or two, which is far from impossible. The Orange have upset a top-25 team in four of the last five seasons, so taking down Notre Dame, Duke, Louisville or even Clemson are all possibilities, especially with a couple of those games coming at home. If Syracuse's history of pulling off big upsets continues, a 10-win season could become a distinct possibility.

1. Terrell Hunt

syracuse terrel hunt - troy taormina
Troy Taormina - USATODAY Sports

1. Terrell Hunt

syracuse terrel hunt - troy taormina
Troy Taormina - USATODAY Sports

Syracuse is one of the few teams in the ACC that returns its starting quarterback, and having Terrell Hunt back could help them become one of the league's biggest surprises. We know Hunt can give opposing defenses fits as a runner, but if he can become a more competent passer this season, especially on deep balls, he could have a big season and put the Orange in position to have a double-digit win total.