Syracuse Football: Can Cuse contain Jared Verse and No. 4 Florida State?

Syracuse football (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images) /

I have to admit that I don’t watch a lot of college football unless Syracuse football is playing or a future opponent. But as Syracuse heads to Tallahassee this Saturday to play No. 4 Florida State, I’m reminded of one player that I wished was Orange…Jared Verse.

You see once upon a time, Jared played for Albany and when they played Syracuse, you could tell he was an amazing player. You might remember him as the defensive lineman who almost caught Syracuse football running back Sean Tucker from behind. Even Coach Babers still remembered this play when asked recently in his weekly press conference.

Well shortly after that season, Jared announced his intention to transfer. And at one point, it was thought Syracuse had a chance to get him, and he was excited to play there. Then teams from the SEC and Florida State came calling, and he eventually chose Florida State.

I took that miss hard. I thought he’d be a Dwight Freeney-type player for the Orange…a player who’d be forever remembered for his talent if he came to Syracuse.

But instead, on Saturday at noon on ABC, Syracuse football will face off against him and his Seminoles teammates. And Verse is coming fresh off a game against Virginia Tech where he had two quarterback sacks.

The Syracuse football offense will face a top defensive lineman in Jared Verse.

Make no mistake about it though, this Florida State team is not just about Verse. It’s loaded with talent which is why they’re in the top five in the country. FSU head coach Mike Norvell came there from Memphis after an 11-1 season and has shown he’s building a contender in Tallahassee.

Seminoles QB Jordan Travis has even gotten a lot of love from Syracuse head coach Dino Babers praising him as “the best quarterback that we play.”

And while I still love Syracuse and I’m not going to say Syracuse can’t win because I believe they can, I am saying that Syracuse better pack a lunch and be ready to play against Verse and Florida State.

There is a reason I wanted him in Syracuse Orange and so did the Syracuse coaches and on Saturday, I fully expect LeQuint Allen Jr. and Garrett Shrader will see plenty more of him than they’d like.

But man how sweet would it be if Syracuse went down there and came back with win number five for the season, only needing one more for bowl eligibility? Coming off two straight losses and winning on the road in a loud, hostile environment against a player Syracuse football wanted and a top-five team?

Syracuse will have to execute to near perfection on all sides of the ball. Receivers will have to make catches and make plays. The offensive line will have to stop Verse and his teammates or at least give Shrader time and Allen some running room.

The defense will have to get turnovers. And the penalties will have to be minimal. But I believe in my heart that this team is capable of beginning a new chapter, or “verse” if you will, for this season going into a bye week searching for a way to still deem it a successful season.

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