Woah, woah, woah. Take a deep breath and hear me out.
Is Andre Cisco the best player on the Syracuse defense? Yes. Is he the best player on the entire Syracuse team? Yes. Is Cisco a top-three safety in the entire country right now? Also yes. This isn’t an argument against Cisco or an article questioning his abilities. Instead, it is more of a testament to the Syracuse defense. Let me explain.
Through the first two games, Syracuse allowed 26 points and forced 2.5 turnovers per matchup. Those games were with Cisco. Then, before the Georgia Tech game he collided with Ed Hendrix during warmups and didn’t step on the field during the game.
In the one game that Cisco was out, the Syracuse defense was fantastic. The Orange forced five turnovers, including four interceptions. Trill Williams stepped up big time and put together an ACC Defensive Back of the Week-worthy performance. He tallied five tackles, two pass breakups and returned an interception to the house. Plus, two freshmen, Rob Hanna and Ja’Had Carter, both picked off the GT quarterback.
It is a small sample size, but the Syracuse defense not only stayed afloat, but thrived without Cisco in the lineup. The Orange didn’t thrive because he wasn’t there, but the point is they still thrived. Tony White’s 3-3-5 scheme is so effective that no matter who is in, the defense will still be successful. And it doesn’t hurt that there is so much depth on that side of the ball.
So moral of the story is, yes Cisco is great. He is arguably the best defensive talent Syracuse has had in awhile. But Cisco isn’t the end-all, be-all for the Orange. We obviously hope he comes back and is healthy to help SU, but if his injury is more time consuming, then Syracuse should be okay.
It’s good news. Even without their All-American safety, the Syracuse defense is one of the best in the entire country.