To say SU’s secondary had an off game against Maryland last week would be an understatement. The defensive backs unit was awful. Terrapins quarterback CJ Brown threw for 280 yards including a 90-yard touch down screen pass to Brandon Ross late in the first quarter. The whole secondary bit on Brown’s play action fake and Ross was gone before he made it to his own 40-yard line.
These types of mistakes cannot happen tonight against Notre Dame. Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson plays error free football. He has not turned the ball over in Notre Dame’s three games so far this year.
Syracuse’s defensive backs must play smart. Golson will surely have a few 15- and 20-yard completions down the field and that’s fine. The worry for SU’s secondary is the potential of Notre Dame to convert big plays down the field. C.J. Prosise and William Fuller have already hauled in touchdown catches of 53- and 75-yards, respectively, this season. For the Orange to keep this game close, big plays need to be limited.
Earlier this week Head Coach Scott Shafer said that cornerback Wayne Morgan is out this week with a knee injury. Morgan’s absence surely will affect Notre Dame’s offensive game plan. With SU’s third cornerback missing tonight, redshirt freshman Corey Winfield and/or true freshman Juwan Dowels will see extended playing time. Golson will look at matchups involving the freshmen first in hopes that their inexperience causes mistakes.
Morgan’s loss means SU’s upperclassmen in the secondary need to step up. Safeties Ritchy Desir and Durell Eskridge as well as cornerbacks Brandon Reddish and Julian Whigam cannot let Golson have a monster night (like Brown did last week).
This unit will surely bend, but it cannot break.
Posted: Connor Morrissette