‘Stock Up/Stock Down’ aims to illustrate which SU football players are on the rise and which are on the decline. These decisions are made based on playing time, actually making plays, and statistics amongst other things. When it comes to last Saturday’s game between Syracuse and Florida State, let’s just make the disclaimer that that game was awful. The Orange and the Seminoles played some of the worst football by anybody this season. So when it comes to recapping how it all went down in Doak Campbell Stadium, there shouldn’t be much stock placed in this game for either team. With that said, it’s Tuesday which means there is an article to be written so let’s go.
QB Garrett Shrader
The Mississippi State transfer started for the second consecutive week and showed improvement. His ability to create on the ground was apparent once again on Saturday but Shrader was also more efficient through the air. The dual-threat talent doubled his completion numbers from the Liberty contest and even hooked up with Anthony Queeley for the score. Take it with a grain of salt because Florida State’s passing defense is abysmal. Still, seeing is believing right now for Syracuse fans.
All of the Wide Receivers
This decision is made by default because a whole lot of playing time just opened up. Taj Harris recently announced his decision to enter the transfer portal and depart the program. This is a major blow to the team this season as Harris ranks top 10 in most receiving categories in program history and presents a major threat to defenses. Now other pass catchers will need to step up to weather the storm with Harris gone.
The Offensive Line
The front five hasn’t received its due share of praise after being lambasted with negativity last season (rightly so). The group allowed just one sack on Saturday against a talented defensive line. Perhaps it’s because of the change in offensive approach and/or the fact that a mobile quarterback is maneuvering in the pocket. Either way, this group has taken massive strides this season from at least a statistical perspective.
LB Marlowe Wax
The Baltimore native’s stock is getting dangerously close to capping out. Wax gets better and better each week and continues to play his way into the ‘most improved’ award winner. This time out, the converted running back tied for the team with ten tackles (Mikel Jones). Yes, you may only remember the roughing the passer penalty or the whiffed tackle near the end of the game. Once you see number two corralling Sam Hartman next week in the backfield you will no longer be talking about it.
DL Terry Lockett
The true freshman has racked up a sack in back-to-back weeks. His production should warrant more playing time and add even more depth in the trenches.
DL Josh Black
The leader of the defense has stepped up but been overshadowed thus far by the breakout of Cody Roscoe. The Illinois native was disruptive and blew up some FSU run plays. The super senior tallied one-and-half tackles for loss with four tackles.
RB Abdul Adams
This might be by no fault of his own, but Adams and for that matter no other SU running back is getting touches. Right now it’s Sean Tucker carrying the entire load of runs. This isn’t something that sustainable, Tucker can’t get 25+ carries on a week-to-week basis and expect to be healthy enough to play come November.
DL Caleb Okechukwu
The Fizz has been high on Okechukwu since the season opener, but what have you done for me lately? Just two tackles on Saturday for the Washington D.C. native. He needs to step up again to elevate the play of the Syracuse defensive line which showed some cracking points on Saturday.
DB Rob Hanna
The second year freshman was on this list last week and nothing has changed seven days later. Hanna has largely been a non-factor this season and it has everything to do with the breakout of Justin Barron. Wild considered Hanna played an integral role in the 3-3-5 defense last season while Barron was playing wide receiver.
Be sure to check out all the previous editions of ‘Stock Up/Stock Down’ and we’ll be right back here next Tuesday.