Syracuse football midseason report card – Defense

Injuries have ravaged the Syracuse defense, as Shamarko Thomas, Olando Fisher and Chandler Jones have all missed multiple games. Because of that, it’s difficult to give an accurate assessment of Syracuse’s true potential on defense. That being said, games are played regardless of who is hurt, and the Orange, which has given up 27.3 points per game (68th in the NCAA), are a far cry from a defense that was ranked No. 7 in the country last year.

Defensive line

The Orange has gotten little pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as SU only has a combined 13 sacks on the year and has allowed 104.3 yards a game on the ground. The unit gets a bit of a break because Chandler Jones has been sidelined for most of the first half of the season with injuries. Jones’ absence has really hurt Mikhail Marinovich, who has just 19 tackles. Deon Goggins has been a pleasant surprise, though. GRADE: C-

Linebackers

The linebacker group definitely misses Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith. But SU has gotten decent production from Dan Vaughan (41 tackles) and Marquis Spruill (34). Another bright spot is freshman Dyshawn Davis, who leads the time in tackles for a loss with seven. GRADE: B

Secondary

Oye. Where to start. SU’s secondary has definitely been its Achilles’ heel, as the Orange has given up 293 yards a game through the air. To sum up Syracuse’s struggles, take a look at Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin. In the games sandwiching Tulane’s game with Syracuse, Griffin passed for 74 and 77 yards, respectively, against Army and UTEP. Against Syracuse? He threw for a season-high 320 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, Shamarko Thomas and Olando Fisher have missed extended time, but there is no excuse for the field days opposing quarterbacks have had against SU. GRADE: D-

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someonePrint this page
Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
Report: Syracuse picked as preseason favorite
Notebook: Syracuse defense finally healthy
This entry was tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. More From:

The Juice on the Cuse Podcast



Discussion