Another week, another elite receiver the Syracuse secondary will have to matchup with.
In each of its three games against Division I teams this season, the Orange has had to contend with a top-flight receiver. Chris Givens (Wake Forest), Robert Woods (Southern California) and Eric Page (Toledo) all enjoyed spectacular performances against the Orange.
This week, it will be Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu.
“I hope it’s not a week-to-week thing,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said on Monday during his weekly press conference. “But it seems to be going that way.”
Sanu has 36 receptions for 363 yards and four touchdowns in three games. Against Ohio, Sanu set a Big East record with 16 receptions.
Overall, he’s accounted for more than half of the Scarlet Knights’ receptions this season.
“I’ve watched them on film. They’ve made some acrobatic catches,” Marrone said. “It’s a great challenge for our defense.”
The defense has already been challenged plenty this season.
Givens had seven catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns in Syracuse’s season opener. Woods caught eight passes for 82 yards and a score. On Saturday, Page caught 13 passes for 158 yards.
Sanu will try to put up similar numbers against Syracuse.
“He’s an excellent player,” Marrone said. “And they have other players, too.”
Placing too much attention on one player hurt Syracuse against Southern California. SU spent so much time trying to stop Woods that four other USC players caught touchdowns.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano will try to play that to Rutgers’ advantage.
“The thing I love about our scheme is that the quarterback has a progression every play,” Schiano said on Monday during his weekly press conference. “If somebody takes away Mohamed, that means somebody else should be available in the progression.”