As the Syracuse Orange prepare for their game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, there are a lot of people wondering if they'll see freshman RB Ashton Broyld or senior safety Shamarko Thomas in the game, though for very different reasons.
As for #SHAMARKO, we're still in wait-and-see mode. While he has practiced, Doug Marrone told reporters on Wednesday that he had not yet been cleared to play.
Thomas did participate in SU practices on Tuesday and Wednesday – the sessions reporters are permitted to view parts of – although he wore a white "no contact" jersey commonly used to protect quarterbacks and injured players.
Meanwhile, Ashton Broyld went from scoring touchdowns three weeks ago to sitting out an entire game last week. Will he enigmatic frosh see action this weekend? It remains unclear and it sounds like Broyld's late-game fumble against Minnesota may have counted for more than we thought:
"My main focus has been on ball security and tightening up on my (pass) protections," he said. "It’s just small things I need to work on to become a better football player."
"When you look at freshmen across the nation that come in and play at the skill positions, there’s not a lot of them who come in and start right away," Wheatley said. "Our job is to not screw Ashton Broyld up."
Bryold and Tyrone Wheatley both preach patience and it sounds like he's taking the unique freshman season in stride.
Meanwhile, despite who they might have played, Doug Marrone has a lot of respect for Rutgers and its defense.
"You’re going to have a difficult time if you’re playing a defense like this," Marrone said during the teleconference. "That, probably, if you look in our past of when we played someone, is probably statistically the best defense we’ve played overall since we’ve been here in the four years that I’ve been here.
"They can try to talk about (the ‘Tank’ package) all day," Coker said. "I ain’t trying to sound cocky or anything, but you’ve got to stop it. You can say anything you want, but you’ve got to stop it."
Ryan Nassib when informed that Kyle Flood called him the best quarterback in the Big East: "I’m flattered I guess. But I think that too."— (@Michael_Cohen13) October 11, 2012
I'm liking this newfound cockiness, let's just hope they can back it up.