Syracuse University will look to rebound from a tough loss to Louisville when they face South Florida at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.
NewsChannel 9’s Sports Director Steve Infanti believes the Orange will need to do at least three things to defeat the Bulls:
So here we go again.
The Orange is about to face a quarterback who can beat you with his arm or with his legs.
I’m in no way suggesting that Quinton Flowers will have the same kind of success Louisville’s Lamar Jackson had last Friday inside the Dome, but the style of play is a concern.
Athletic, dual-threat quarterbacks always seem to give Syracuse trouble.
Last year, Flowers had a career game against the Orange, finishing with more than 300 yards of total offense and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing).
Flowers helped engineer a 45-24 victory over SU.
It was a win that really turned things around for the Bulls.
They were 1-3 in 2015 before facing Syracuse and now 9-2 since that game.
The junior QB is playing with a lot of confidence — as is the entire team.
The short-handed Syracuse defense must find a way to disrupt Flowers’ rhythm and provide much more resistance than that unit did a week ago against the Cardinals.
Scoring first does not guarantee success, but it certainly helps — especially at home.
Last week, we saw how quickly “the air went out of the building” when Louisville scored on the very first play from scrimmage.
The Cards had three touchdowns after just five offensive plays.
The crowd was out of it and any emotional boost the SU players had before kickoff was long gone just five minutes in.
In order to pull off an upset (and yes, beating a two touchdown favorite would constitute an upset), Syracuse needs to get the crowd involved to help produce a true home field advantage.
Jumping out to an early lead is a good way to do that.
Run With the Bulls, Run Past ‘Em Too:
Offensively, the Orange has been pretty good through two games, producing a combined total of 980 yards.
A closer look though reveals that the rushing attack is an area of concern.
SU averaged 3.3 yards per rushing attempt against both Colgate and Louisville.
The tailbacks have combined for just two runs of more than 20 yards (one against Colgate, one against Louisville).
In order to to truly start clicking on offense, Syracuse needs to find balance.
Eric Dungey has shown that he can handle throwing the ball 40 to 50 times a game, but a more consistent rushing attack will make his job easier.
Simply put, more success on the ground should lead to more success through the air.