Syracuse Football: 5 potential Orange MVP candidates for Clemson game

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

This Saturday afternoon, the Clemson Tigers will be playing in the JMA Wireless Dome against the Syracuse football team. And make no mistake about it, this is still Clemson but the Orange is playing well, too.

So while I see predictions and projections all over social media, I believe in the Orange’s chances to win. I don’t care about the records, this is still Syracuse football and Clemson in the Dome. Neither team will walk in and dominate this game barring a huge issue I’m missing.

Having said that, I’m left wondering what could Syracuse football do to win. What plays or players can make the biggest difference? And while I’m not a big X’s and O’s guy, there are definitely a few players who I think could be potential game MVPs if it’s going to happen.

A couple are obvious and a couple maybe not so much. And while it’s also possible that someone else could really step it up here, especially Garrett Shrader or Damien Alford, these are five names I think really are important for this Cuse team to get the win.

Here are five potential MVP candidates as Syracuse football will host Clemson.

Marlowe Wax Jr.

In many ways, Marlowe is a big-time leader on this team. This is a game where he’s playing against NFL-level opponents and can demand respect by making plays. Much like this Syracuse team in general, this is a game where if he can play well, it’ll be undeniable how talented he truly is to those who might think his best games are only against teams this program should win.

Marlowe is a leader on and off the field much like his predecessors Mikel Jones and Zaire Franklin. Unlike them, I could see where if Marlowe has a big game here, he could impress enough to be drafted higher than them. There is something about Marlowe when he gets on that field that almost reminds me of those guys or even a Dwight Freeney kind of guy who is everywhere and either making big plays or just missing allowing others to finish it for him.

Caleb Okechukwu

Clemson has a running back who likely will be drafted highly by the NFL. The 3-3-5 will be tested and leading that front portion is Caleb Okechukwu. If Caleb and company can penetrate the Clemson offensive line or at least slow guys down, don’t be surprised to hear that Dome get really loud on some 3rd and long or possibly 4th and short situations.

And much like Marlowe, a breakout game for another Mob member can go a long way to showing this team is special and more than just a team that barely makes a bowl game. A win here gets Syracuse football to 5-0 with 7 games left and I know Caleb and Marlowe would love nothing more than to have returned to lead this team to a 9 or maybe even 10-win season thus leaving a legacy behind them they’ve been wanting while here at Syracuse.

LeQuint Allen Jr.

Obviously, quarterback Garrett Shrader is important to the success of this team in every game. But equally important and especially in this one is LeQuint. LeQuint is capable and talented and will have the opportunity to show that on Saturday against the Tigers.

If LeQuint can get some good penetration for first downs and maybe even get open for some receptions, it’ll allow Shrader a safety net. If the pressure of the Clemson defensive line is high, he’s a guy who becomes an option instead of Shrader constantly running it himself.

Brady Denaburg

This game could very easily come down to a matter of a point or two. So therefore this game will be one placekicker Brady Denaburg will be needed. He did miss an extra point in the Army game but has been reliable otherwise. Not only will those extra points be valuable but if this team is forced into 4th downs and in field goal situations, they’ll need to rely on Brady to make the kicks and get every point it can manage.

Jason Simmons Jr.

Jason had been very impressive at times including the pick-six against Western Michigan. He’s also played well against Clemson including an interception last season. He’s also had 141 tackles in his collegiate career and along with team captain Justin Barron, Alijah Clark and Isaiah Johnson, they’ll need to limit the passing game, make big plays and make tackles if Clemson running back Will Shipley gets by the front portion of the defense.

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