This may seems obvious but Syracuse needs to contain Louisville’s dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson if they are to pull of the upset. Contain is the key word. They can’t shut him down, they can only hope to contain him and they need to do just that to snap their losing streak.
He has over 1800 total yards this season, racking up almost 500 yards on the ground. It is extremely important to prevent him from running early in the game. If the Orange get burned on the ground early, Chuck Bullough will have to throw an extra defender in the box to contain him. This would open up the Orange secondary to get torched yet again.
It is impossible to deny that Syracuse’s secondary has been bad this season, especially the last few games. Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire, who was filling in for Everett Golson, absolutely torched the Syracuse secondary.
Maguire had thrown a total of 70 passes in his two previous seasons and then he came out against Syracuse and went 23 of 35 for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Lamar Jackson has had ups and downs this year. Last week against Wake Forest, he was pulled in the fourth quarter with lingering effects of an ankle injury. He was injured two weeks ago against Boston College but he was able to play through the injury for three quarters and go 19 of 26 for 207 yards and two TDs.
The point is the Orange cannot count on him being injured. Even if he is not at 100 percent, he is dangerous.
The good news for the Orange is that Jackson sturggled on the ground last week. He had only two yards on thirteen carries. If that part of his game is limited, he is certainly less dangerous. However, the Orange cannot expected him to be hobbled.
Syracuse needs to plan for a quarterback who can run and throw. They need to be ready to have extra guys in the box and just hope their secondary can hold up. It seems like we see it every week but this is a must win for Scott Shafer and Syracuse.