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Syracuse vs. Cincinnati: The Hoguening

First things first...what's the deal with Zach Collaros?

Zach Collaros practiced more Wednesday than he did Tuesday, but the University of Cincinnati quarterback remains questionable for Saturday's homecoming game against Syracuse.

"I thought he looked sharp," said UC coach Butch Jones. "His ball had good velocity on it. I also liked the things that Chazz (Anderson) is doing well. We'll continue to monitor Zach and we'll go with the guy who gives us the best opportunity to win."

And so there you go. Still a whole lot of "who knows?"

Cincy coach Butch Jones has to be concerned about not just the QB situation but also the guys who are trying to injure them. This week it's players like Syracuse's Doug Hogue.

"When you look at them, they're not playing defense with separate entities or position groups," Jones said. "They're playing as one unit and he's a big part. He's very active, he runs extremely well and you have to know where he's at."

Folks in Cincinnati have taken notice of the job Doug Marrone has done so far. Especially the former SU players who now call it home:

"I think he's had a very positive, major impact," said former Bengals lineman and radio analyst Dave Lapham, who himself was a three-year letterman at Syracuse in the 1970s. "They're playing great defense, running the football well. He's got a heck of a pedigree. Having played there, I think he has a positive relationship with high school coaches. I think they've embraced him."

Going back to Hogue, he and Derrell Smith are the heart of the SU defense. The two are also roommates, and as roommates, they're constantly in competition with one another.

'A lot of times I'll be in the living room, hanging out, and he goes, 'How many tackles do you have?’ " Hogue said of Smith, who leads that race, 59-49, after seven games.

"I always try to out-hustle him on the field, or we watch film to see who's running harder," Hogue said. "It's a friendly competition to raise our level of play.''

At the end of the day, expectations are high for Syracuse. And Doug Marrone wouldn't have it any other way:

"What's wrong with that?" Marrone said when asked if there were some unreasonable expectations following the USF victory. "What's wrong with someone thinking we're a good football team? What's wrong with thinking that you're better than you are? There's nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. … You want high expectations. I want my players to think that they're better than they are."

Syracuse University Football Another Saturday On The Gridiron