Orange Fizz


Speed Bump: Who Will Step Up for Syracuse with Broyld out vs. Notre Dame?

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Photo courtesy

The road to an upset of No. 8 Notre Dame just got a lot bumpier.

Orange Head Coach Scott Shafer announced Monday that wide receiver Ashton Broyld will miss “a couple of weeks,” due to a lower-leg injury suffered during the loss to Maryland.


Broyld went down towards the end of the first quarter last Saturday, pulled up in the middle of his route before departing the game for good. “It’s going to be a couple of weeks,” said Shafer in an interview with Matt Park. “Luckily they don’t think they are going to have to do surgery on it but it’s really disappointing for Ashton.”


Beating the Irish at The Meadowlands is a long shot, but losing one of your most athletic receivers is not going to help. Broyld has the athleticism to challenge a secondary like Notre Dame’s and set up long-yardage plays down the sideline. He has 11 catches and 125 receiving yards this year.


Luckily for the Orange, the passing game is not the main attraction on offense. Syracuse amassed 370 yards of offense on the ground against the Terrapins, highlighted by more than 150 rushing yards from quarterback Terrel Hunt. The strong running attack has opened up chances for Hunt to get the ball to receivers. Again, the chances have been there, but the results have not. The passing game has been lackluster at best with no receiver having more than 74 receiving yards in a game this year. The running attack complimenting the passing game is still a big focus for Hunt who is a major force on both sides.


This brings us to a pretty familiar question in the offseason. Who is going to step up in receiving corps with Broyld on the sideline and why is it so important with Syracuse’s style of play? The logical answer is Jarrod West. The Orange has waited to see West break out for this team for the past few seasons. West leads Syracuse receivers with 133 yards on the year despite only eight catches. His 51-yard reception against Maryland showed his big play ability and how much of a load it takes off the running game to eat up yardage in the middle of the field.


Another receiver who could use an opportunity on the big stage to breakout is Brisly Estime. The sophomore showed flashes of potential last season in limited minutes. He has the speed to be a threat to a secondary but needs to improve finishing.


A very positive sign for Estime was how he scored a receiving touchdown against Central Michigan just minutes after dropping a ball he could have scored on. A short-memory as a receiver is great to see for an inexperience player like Estime. If he can beat Irish cornerbacks down the field, he has a chance to make some noise at MetLife Stadium.


But, why does this matter if the running game is consistently good and gaining so many yards on the ground? A target down the field can help the Orange focus on the running game closer to the red zone and not always in its own territory. Shafer stated, “We have to finish the play better. It felt like we were going up and down the field offensively. I feel like we really couldn’t be stopped unless we stop ourselves and that’s exactly what happened.” Whether it was turnovers or missed field goals, it seemed all day that the Orange could drive down the field but could not convert their work into points efficiently. A few big receiving plays down the sideline could go a long way for a run-driven offensive scheme.


Broyld’s absence will hurt the Orange with a tough slate of games looming against Notre Dame, Louisville, and Florida State in the next three weeks. Syracuse can only hope somebody else will step up to keep the chains moving through the air.


Posted:  Zephan Mayell
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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