In the days leading up to each SU football game, The Juice Online will address questions about the team in “Kickoff Countdown.” Today’s question: Can Syracuse’s defense slow down USF’s BJ Daniels?
Syracuse, coming off its most dominating defensive showing of the season, will face a difficult challenge in trying to contain USF quarterback BJ Daniels.
The Orange defense was electric on Friday night in a 40-10 win over UConn. It held the Huskies to 290 total yards, including -6 rushing yards. They also forced a pair of turnovers and sacked Chandler Whitmer twice.
“We go out there and dominate,” safety Shamarko Thomas said. “And that’s what we did today, dominate.”
But Whitmer is not nearly as mobile a quarterback as Daniels, who has torched the Orange throughout his career.
Last year, in a 37-17 win at the Carrier Dome, Daniels threw for 254 yards. But he did the most damage with his feet, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the Bulls rushed for 236 yards and four touchdowns.
“When you try to contain him it really opens up things for other players in their offense,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said. “You’ve got to try to do the best job you can and contain him.”
Daniels has had a largely mercurial season. Though he continues to be a dual threat in his senior season, he’s also thrown nine interceptions as the Bulls have dropped five straight games since opening the season 2-0.
Still, of the five losses, none of the losses have been more than 10 points, including a 27-25 loss to undefeated Louisville on Saturday.
One of these days, USF is going to put a full game together. Marrone just hopes it’s not against his team.
“I know they want to get this ship righted and get back on track,” he said. “And they’re going to try and do it against us.”