For a team that lost in a heartbreaker in its home-opener to take on the #2 team in the nation, the odds are stacked against Syracuse at MetLife, right? Not so fast. The Orange has put the disappointment of last week behind it, and plans for different results today. The mindset all week has been to execute the game plan perfectly, by shutting down Matt Barkley and the powerhouse Trojans. The players continue to ignore the common perception the Orange has no chance to pull off an upset. Syracuse will wear unique jerseys for the game, with a #44 patch on the shoulder. Not only do SU players intend to represent well for the state of NY, but Durrell Eskridge tells The Fizz they’re looking to do even more:
“We’re looking to shock the world. We are under the radar and everybody has us so low. Nobody believes we can overcome this deficit.”
“It’s just about paying attention to detail and getting the small things right this year. We’re not looking at it like it’s a big stage, or this game is any different from another.”
The approach throughout the game for Syracuse will to keep the tempo in its favor. There should be a solid Orange fan base, but USC will bring plenty of fans too. There may be some negative thoughts about this one being played in NYC rather than the Carrier Dome, but this is a huge opportunity for the program on the map. The sales pitch becomes even more persuasive to in-state kids and an Orange victory would be a sonic boom in recruiting. Aside from all the incentives this game provides the team itself is focused on the actual game. That’s where the players want the hype centered around. Jay Bromley is ready for the spotlight.
“Just to go out there and take heat in the challenge of it. It doesn’t come around often that you go against the top team in the nation. As great as a team as they are, you can just prepare the best way you can as a team and hope for the best.”
There are no signs of devastation from last week or fear of USC from the players. The Orange put up a reasonable fight in last year’s contest in Southern California, but still fell short. However, this year’s squad is faster and stronger. The focus was there in glimpses against Northwestern, but as Doug Marrone said earlier this week, a perfect game is necessary in order to take down USC. If Syracuse can stay the course and manage to keep its up-tempo offense flowing throughout the majority of the game, as well as not turn the ball over, SU can make it a game.
A key component in offensive execution is obviously Ryan Nassib, who put on an unforgettable show last week. As a primary leader of the team, Nassib is certainly one who needs no help getting the guys mentally prepared:
“You really get the chance to show what you’re made of. We understand the challenges ahead of us, and we’re doing a good job motivating ourselves.”
Every little ounce of inspiration to pump up the Orange should emerge. All of the campus’ organized transportation to MetLife is already sold-out. The fans will be there. Family and friends will be there. Big-time NY recruits will be there. Upper management will be there. The only question is, will the team be there? Are they ready to shock the world? Mr. Eskridge says what it will take:
“Play as a team, [with] effort, confidence, determination, [and] dedication. That’s what going to show we are a great team and we can beat USC.”
– John Raymond will not play.
– David Stevens will be available.
– Alec Lemon’s status is still up in the air. Game-time decision.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen