This is part of a three day series on three keys to victory for the Orange against Northwestern on Saturday. Check back tomorrow for the next one!
The Syracuse Receivers Will Have To Torch The Young Northwestern Secondary
I spoke in depth about the skill players that Syracuse have this year on Monday, and I think it is going to absolutely be a critical factor in the game against the ‘Cats this Saturday. The Wildcats have a very young and inexperienced secondary aside from Freshman All-American Ibraheim Campbell at safety, so Ryan Nassib will absolutely have to test them early and often with the hopes of taking some shots and making some plays down field. The lack of offensive production helped doom the Orange last season, and that is going to have to change heading in to this year.
In order for the Orange to take advantage of the secondary, balls are going to have to be thrown to multiple receivers. It is going to be all hands on deck for a team that averaged around 5 yards per play on offense, and just about 40 yards offense less than their opponent per game. The offense is going to have to be improved for the Orange to get some points on the board.
Establishing the run is always important, but I believe for the Orange to be successful Saturday they are absolutely going to need to be effective and efficient passing the ball. With all of the closed practices this off season, little is known what to expect from the Syracuse offense, but we definitely should expect a different look than what we were getting last season. I think there will be more no huddle along with added screen passes to get players like Marcus Sales, Alec Lemon, and Ashton Broyld the balls out in the open field. This would force the Wildcat secondary to make open field tackles, which again they are unproven in being able to do.
I would also advise to keep your eye on Jeremiah Kobena, Kobena is a 6’0, 182 lb sophomore who has speed and showed flashes of brilliance last season in the open field. I am really excited to see what he can do if he has a some balls thrown his way throughout the game.
Domination over the Northwestern secondary is absolutely critical in being successful on Saturday.