It’s a laundry list. AJ Long is doubtful for today’s game against Duke and wide receivers Brisley Estime and Ashton Broyld as well as offensive linemen Ivan Foy and Michael Lasker are out. Scott Shafer will rely on some younger and more inexperienced players today and it starts under center.
Usually a third string quarterback has no experience, but Austin Wilson has been fortunate (or maybe not for SU fans) to have played significantly in two games this season against Villanova and Florida State. Wilson moved the ball well in his first series against FSU in October but threw a terrible red zone pick later in the drive to Jalen Ramsey. The redshirt sophomore should target freshman Steve Ishmael early in order to get in a rhythm and avoid a start similar to the Florida State game.
Protecting Wilson will be an adventure today after Long was sacked eight times last week againstNC State. Foy and Lasker both play right tackle so there’s a gap on the outside. Look for redshirt sophomore left guard Omari Palmer to move out there in order to cover and for redshirt sophomore Jason Emerich to slide over from center to left guard because of the injuries and with starting center John Miller returning.
The X-factor in the receiving corps today against the Blue Devils is junior Ben Lewis. There’s no question the first two receivers in this offense are Ismhael and Jarrod West, but having a reliable third option is huge, especially with a backup QB against #22 Duke. Lewis doesn’t put up big numbers but he can be a reliable option in the red zone for the Orange. He caught his first touchdown of the season last week against the Wolfpack.
Syracuse would be overmatched today even if the whole roster were healthy. It’s going to take something special to defeat Duke today in the Carrier Dome.
Posted: Connor Morrissette