With Wake Forest up next on the schedule for Syracuse, the team has turned its focus to Saturday. Linebacker Mikel Jones said that the Demon Deacons have a good rushing attack. That’s been SU’s kryptonite on defense the past couple of seasons. While the Orange held Clemson to under 150 ground yards, they did allow over 300 rushing yards to both Duke and Liberty.
“We were way more locked in on our assignments,” Jones said. “Our game plan probably put us in better position.”
Jones also said that there was more trust between teammates against Clemson to fill the gaps that the Tigers tried to open up. Against Liberty, Josh Black said there were huge holes in the defense that allowed Shedro Louis to rush for 170 yards, including a 52 yard and 75 yard touchdown.
It makes sense that players may be more focused playing the top ranked team in the country. And it’s probably more difficult to have the same excitement playing against a second-year FBS team in an empty Dome, versus Clemson and fans for the first time this season. Regardless, Syracuse should not have trouble being focused against Liberty. Especially after losing the week before to Duke. The game against the Flames was a prime opportunity for the second win for SU this season. That’s a knock on the coaching staff. This Syracuse team shouldn’t have any issue being focused this season.
Against Clemson, it seemed like Syracuse had a new back-up quarterback in Jacobian Morgan. Prior to last Saturday, Dillon Markiewicz had been dressing out as the back-up, or third-string before Tommy DeVito was injured. But against the Tigers, Morgan came in late in the fourth quarter and handed the ball off six times. Wide receiver Nykeim Johnson had some advice for Morgan, in case SU needs him.
“Just make sure his attention to detail is sharp every single day no matter if he’s taking a rep or if he isn’t taking a rep,” Johnson said. “Whatever the guy that is in front of him is doing, just making sure he’s paying attention to whatever he’s doing. Going through the same reads while he’s on the sideline or just thinking about the way he can make a play better.”
Regardless of who the quarterback is, Syracuse needs its defense to play well against running back Kenneth Walker III, who already has eight rushing touchdowns. On offense, Johnson said Wake Forest has a strong secondary, and SU needs to take advantage of holes it finds on Saturday.