Syracuse vs. Toledo: Question Marks In Orange Secondary

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive back Keon Lyn #8 of the Syracuse Orangemen and wide receiver Robert Woods #2 of the USC Trojans battle for a pass at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Syracuse Orange defensive secondary was the talk of the town following SU's 38-17 loss to USC last week and not in the happy-go-lucky way.

No unit on the team has more concerns and no unit on the team has SU fans more concerned.

Injuries, major or nagging, have been a major problem all season. That continues now as starting safety #SHAMARKO Thomas is in wait-and-see mode, recovering from the dreaded "lower body injury" against the Trojans.

Marrone offered a hint that the team’s leading tackler might be okay for the Toledo game, saying that team medical staff would check Thomas later today to see if he’s ready for practice.

On top of off-season arm surgery and a preseason concussion, it's been a rough year for #SHAMARKO so far. If he can't go, sophomore Jeremi Wilkes will likely start in his place.

When Keon Lyn went down with an injury against USC, true freshman Brandon Reddish stepped in his place. And...well...it didn't work out so great.

Reddish had just stepped onto the field for injured starter Keon Lyn, and the Trojans went right after him. Quarterback Matt Barkley launched a deep spiral down the right sideline and Reddish, in hot pursuit of receiver Marquise Lee, looked skyward to pick up its flight. Oops.

"When I looked up I didn’t know for sure if it was going to be . . . it looked to me like he was going to overthrow both of us," Reddish said. "But I guess when I looked up it slowed me down a lot, and the receiver just keep running as fast as he could and he caught it."

Marrone took the blame for putting Brandon in that position. While it was a rough way to start things off for the frosh, it's nice to hear what senior leader Kevyn Scott did following the score.

"I just told him I’ve been there, done that," Scott said. "It’s going to happen, you know? You just have to keep your head up. You can’t let it diminish your confidence. Just move on, because it’s going to happen."

Ri’Shard Anderson ended up playing for most of the game afterward.

Scott Shafer remains upbeat following the loss and knows his defense is work in progress:

We have good kids in the program that are playing hard but we have to play smart and hard and when you have a little bit of a youth movement, that the biggest thing and the biggest concern as a coach that you have is, how do get this kid to play strong, fast and hard, but also smart and make the proper adjustments in alignment and assignment."

Chandler Jones and Olando Fisher are "both getting close" to returning from their injuries but no official word yet.

  • SU football staying focused on the task at hand...YNN
  • Syracuse, Pittsburgh not focusing on conference realignment...The Daily Athenium
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