If there's any one player Syracuse is game-planning for, it's Dion Lewis. The Pittsburgh running back is a leading contender for college freshman of the year, having rushed for 1,065 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
For the record, Lewis is from Albany. And he was not recruited by Syracuse. Greg Robinson, ladies and gentlemen!
Lewis has gone over 100-yard five times this season including a 190-yard, 2 TD day against Buffalo and a 180-yard, 2 TD day against Rutgers.
Now Syracuse's run D is it's best asset but that doesn't mean a quality RB can't break through. West Virginia's Noel Devine managed 91 yards and a TD against the Orange. If any back is going to be able to find similiar success, it's Lewis. I mean, listen to the kind of praise he's getting from the Orange:
"I think he has tremendous vision. I think the line does a great job. I think the receivers do a good job blocking down the field. You're looking at a running back who averages five yards a carry. You're looking at vision, you're looking at toughness, you're looking at someone who can hold onto the football and someone that can score." - Doug Marrone
"(Lewis) has done a tremendous job coming in for LeSean McCoy...He's probably one of the best backs in the country." - Derrell Smith
Antwon Bailey is using his suspension wisely, acting like Lewis on the practice squad to help them prepare. At the end of the day, it's going to be a dogfight in the trenches and Derrell & Co. are ready:
"It's strength against strength," Smith said. "We have a good rush defense. They have a very good running attack. So may be the best man win."