In the days leading up to each SU football game, The Juice Online will address questions about the team in “Kickoff Countdown.”
Syracuse is coming off a strong defensive performance against Pittsburgh. It will try to carry its momentum into Saturday’s game against Rutgers.
In its 14-13 win over Pitt on Friday night, the Orange defense scored on a fumble recovery and limited the Panthers to just 346 total yards.
The defense was stellar in the fourth quarter as well. Twice in the final period, the Panthers put themselves within field goal range with a chance of taking the lead. Each time, a key sack on third down forced a punt instead of a field goal attempt.
Defensive tackle Jay Bromly was pleased with his unit.
“Collectively, yes,” Bromly said when he was asked if this was SU’s best defensive performance of the season. “We definitely combined for great coverage today.”
That included Brandon Sharpe, who was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week with seven tackles, including four sacks and six tackles for loss, totaling 45 yards.
The question is now, whether Syracuse can keep it up.
Rutgers isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. It only averages 25.4 points a game and is ranked in the bottom half of the FBS in passing and defense.
But Jawan Jamison is as consistent a runner as there is in the Big east. Dating back to last season, he has rushed for more than 100 yards in six straight games.
“(Jamison is) truly an outstanding back who’s very difficult to bring down,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said during his weekly Big East teleconference on Monday. “He’s up there with the kids we just played with Pitt.”
Syracuse better hope Marrone is right, because the Orange frustrated the Pitt running game all night, as the Panthers finished with just 27 rushing yards.Wesley Cheng