Coming off its bye, Syracuse could easily have found itself 5-1. But as easy as it is to rue letting the Rutgers game literally slip through its fingers, Syracuse could also count itself lucky that it isn’t 0-5. As it turns out, after a first half of the season that saw three overtime games and two other close calls, the Orange is 4-2, two wins shy of a bowl berth. Syracuse will attempt to get one win closer on Friday night against its highest ranked opponent of the season, West Virginia (#11/14).
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.