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Can SU’s DBs Handle Locker and Co.?

Last season’s defensive problems were obvious for Syracuse. Despite having one of the best run stopping units in the country, the Orange got burned consistently against the deep ball, and quarterbacks routinely turned in highlight reel performances against SU.

It was arguably my biggest storyline coming into the season and ended up being one of the strengths of the Orange’s 29-3 win over the weekend.

Max Suter and Mike Holmes looked just mean patrolling no man’s land. Shamarko Thomas put some bone crushing hits on the Zips. And despite the fact that SU didn’t develop a consistent pass rush during the game, it still held Akron to a terrible day through the air.

That’s nearly unbelievable, considering the Zips attack put up 42 points at the Dome two years ago in the game that signaled Groobers end.

So is it time to hang your hat on the work of the defensive backfield? Not so fast.

The Orange accomplished Objective #1: Making a bowl look possible after the first week. Game Two is just slightly more challenging.

Syracuse goes up against Washington, which has a few things going for it.

Washington isn’t Akron.

Washington isn’t Akron.

Washington isn’t Akron.

Akron is in Akron. Washington is in Seattle. Akron just went from spread to pro with Rob Ianello. The Huskies have Steve Sarkisian.

Washington also has Jake Locker, who, while not stellar this past week (relatively speaking) torched SU in his first game as a college football player.

The Fizz remembers the freshman football exodus way back in 2007. Locker throws deep touchdown after deep touchdown, and suddenly, the value for our ID cards bearing season tickets plummeted like Toyota stock (Groobers couldn’t put the brakes on that, either).

The secondary is going to get tested this week. Does The Fizz believe in the unit? Judgment should be held until the team goes up against what most believe is the number-one pick in this year’s draft.

If we still hear Da’Mon Merkerson’s name as an “NFL prospect” by the telecasters, then it’s time to put some real faith into this squad. Or switch to the radio broadcast.

Posted: Ted Conroy

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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