Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
When the Syracuse Orange visit the South Florida Bulls on Saturday in Tampa, quarterback Ryan Nassib should have the opportunity to win the game all by himself.
Syracuse enters the game 15th in the nation in passing while South Florida enters the game dead last in the Big East in pass efficiency defense. They don't have any interceptions and are ranked 59th nationally in pass defense (70th overall). Nassib seemed to find his touch again last week and Sir Alec Lemon has joined Marcus Sales in the top of the conference's passing stats. By all accounts, the Orange *should* be able to open this one up.
If the Orange can grab an early lead and hold on to it, it also bodes very well for their chances. The Orange are 2-0 when leading at the half and 3-0 when leading after three quarters. Meanwhile, in 32 games under Holtz, USF has lost seven times despite entering the fourth quarter lead and four times when entering the quarter tied.
Of course, this is all what South Florida wants us to think. They want us to look across the room, see a 2-5 team that's lost five-straight and assume we've got this one in the bag. Doug Marrone ain't buying it.
"They have the ability to have beaten every team they’ve played this year," Marrone told reporters on the weekly Big East coaches’ conference call. "I know they want to get this ship righted and get back on track. And I’m sure they’re going to try and do it against us."
"We’ll get the best of South Florida."
On the injury front, some good news and some bad news (as usual).
Jeremiah Kobena, who has missed the last five games with a
hand injury upper body injury, is practicing at full-strength and seems to be a lock to play this weekend. Kobena is arguably our best return man and a solid deep threat for Nassib. His return will be appreciated.
Meanwhile, Adonis Ameen-Moore, Mr. TANK Package, will miss the game due to a lower body injury that will apparently require "some time to heal." Ameen-Moore has become a huge part of the offense thanks to the TANK, scoring three touchdowns in three games for the Orange. Without him, it's unclear if we'll see someone else step into the TANK or if it will be put on hiatus until he returns. Perhaps it's finally Lewellyn Coker's time to shine.