Syracuse Strong linebacker EJ Maeweather took home MVP honors for his performance in the NFA title game. Here are all the details.
On Saturday night Syracuse beat the Troy Fighting Irish 22-12 to complete an undefeated 14-0 season.
The offense came in small spurts, but it was ultimately the defense that defined this ball game.
This contest featured a safety, multiple turnovers, and two identities clashing.
Syracuse has made it a habit of destroying opponents with the majority of their wins coming by way of blowout. So the Irish brought their wing-t offense in to slow the game down, minimize mistakes, and hopefully knock off Syracuse.
We spoke to EJ Maeweather after the game to get some more details.
This was a really weird game with a lot of momentum going back and forth, how were you guys able to keep a level head?
“We got a lot of experienced guys on our squad and we’ve been in these situations before. So we just had to settle down and get back to playing Strong football and everything took care of itself.”
Speaking of keeping a level head, after an undefeated 2018 season there was a massive target on the Strong’s back this year, how were you guys able to stay focused on the task at hand?
“We have bigger goals than most of the teams, we stay hungry. We enjoy playing football in January down south. This Syracuse team takes it one game at a time, never looking ahead. If we don’t take care of business, we aren’t going anywhere in January.”
It’s difficult to beat an opponent twice, it’s nearly impossible to beat the same opponent three times in a single season. Yet that’s exactly what you guys accomplished on Saturday night, how did you do it?
“It all goes back to preparation. Like I said before, we have a lot of veteran guys on this team that isn’t easily rattled. This defense is plug and play, it’s the next man up mentality. When you have the ability to do that you can adjust on the fly and not miss a beat.”
This was a very weird offense (wing-t), how did you guys get ready for this unique opponent?
“Gap integrity is so important man. This defense is predicated on everyone doing their job and not worrying about anything else. You have to play your position and your assignment. If we didn’t fill those gaps, the Irish would’ve found it for some big plays. We did a pretty good job, always room to improve, but we got the win.”
You guys are now back-to-back league champs, how does that sound?
“Back-to-back NFA champs sounds good, but back-to-back National Champions sounds even better.”