In the days leading up to each SU football game, The Juice Online will address questions about the team in our “Kickoff Countdown” segment.
Today’s question: Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux has struggled over his past two games. Can the Orange defense take advantage?
The Syracuse defense is playing Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux at the right time.
The Bearcats started the season on a torrid pace at 5-0, and Legaux was a big reason for that. He had a passer rating of at least 135.1 through those first five games, throwing for 11 touchdowns against three interceptions.
But Legaux threw a pair of picks as Cincinnati was stunned by Toledo for their first loss of the season. Then, he had another tough performance against Louisville on Saturda, throwing three picks, as the Cardinals defeated the Bearcats 34-31.
This came after Legaux commented earlier last week that he was a better quarterback than Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater. He sure didn’t look like it, as Legaux’s last interception came in overtime set up Louisville’s game-winning field goal.
As for Bridgewater? He threw for a career-high 416 yards and a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns and was named Big East’s Offensive Player of the Week.
Despite the struggles, Legaux earned a vote of confidence from UC head coach Butch Jones.
“We’re going to stay with him and continue to coach him,” Jones said on Monday during the weekly Big East coach’s teleconference. “I’m not a believer in playing musical chairs at the quarterback position. Right now he needs people to show him confidence.”
The same could be said of the Syracuse defense, which allowed BJ Daniels to a monster game in Saturday’s 37-36 win. Daniels threw for 183 yards and rushed for another 134 as USF gained 552 yards.
Legaux is a similar quarterback to Daniels. This season, he’s averaged 227 passing yards per game and 42 on the ground. Last year, Legaux threw for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 30-13 win over the Orange at the Carrier Dome.
But that’s not a surprise, as Syracuse has perennially struggled against mobile quarterbacks.
In other words, the news isn’t all bad for Legaux.Wesley Cheng