Remember last year’s loss against Wake Forest? This game could feel eerily similar. Syracuse travels into the tropics this weekend to face No. 8 Miami and with it comes the seasonal South Beach storms.
I’m no meteorologist, but currently, The Weather Channel is calling for scattered thunderstorms for the entire game with around a 50 percent chance of rain throughout.
That bodes terribly for the Orange. SU’s running backs have struggled to establish a ground presence, and Eric Dungey can only be so effective with designed run plays. Meanwhile, Miami’s running game hasn’t skipped a beat since Mark Walton went down with a season-ending ankle injury. Travis Homer stepped in and lit up Georgia Tech’s run defense that ranks 26th in the country. The sophomore ran for 170 yards on just 20 carries to go along with two total touchdowns. This all comes with an offensive line that protects quarterback Malik Rosier as well as anyone in the nation. Miami has the third best QB pressure percentage amongst Power Five schools. The last time the Orange faced a team like that was NC State who ran all over SU to the tune of 256 yards and three touchdowns.
Lowest rate of QB pressures allowed, P5:
1. NC State, 10.9%
2. Mizzou, 13.5%
3. Miami, 17.2%
— #DaHale (@DavidHaleESPN) October 18, 2017
For context, Syracuse had 0 sacks and 1 QB hurry @ NC St. Next lowest combined total is 4. SU could use Josh Black & Kendall Coleman @ Miami https://t.co/00XpKySLX6
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) October 18, 2017
While Rosier is as good of a runner as Dungey, he will have the time in the world to pass against a Syracuse defensive line that is likely going to be depleted again without Josh Black and potentially without Kendall Coleman again. However, if passing plays break down, Rosier will have room to operate and create something out of a broken play.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from watching countless games at Soldier Field, it’s that speed is not necessarily an advantage. The sod gets torn apart. Players slip all over the place. It’s a mess. The Orange relies on speed, and that’s not a great approach with the field it’s about to play on. SU must hope all this is coming from another lying weatherman, or else things could get ugly.