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Syracuse vs. Washington Week: Secondary Coming Around

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Of all the positions that played well on Saturday, perhaps the most surprising one was the defensive secondary.  Not that we didn't think they were capable, just that we're not all that used to it.  But Merk, Mike Holmes and the rest of the secondary are feeling good after their performance against Akron.  Doug Marrone is a fan as well.

"I thought the corners played well," SU coach Doug Marrone said. "Merkerson’s been playing well really since the spring. He’s very competitive. He’s a long guy (6-foot-1, 184 pounds). There were times last year where there were plays made over his head. But we worked on that, and Merk is a real conscientious kid. And then Mike has played this position before and really did a nice job out there."

Marrone also added that he didn't expect to make many changes this week with the secondary:

"I don’t know if we’re going to find anything (wrong) on the tape in terms of how (the SU cornerbacks) played," Marrone said. "There’ll be less to correct with them with the way the corners played in that game and the scheme that we were in, but everyone else has a chance to improve greatly."

They're going to need to keep it up this week where a slightly stiffer challenge awaits them in Jake "Chris" Locker.  Thankfully they'll be getting some help back just in time.  Kevyn Scott and Keon Lyn are both back.  Scott is recovering from a hamstring issue while Lyn needed to sort himself out after a bout with mono.  Both are working with the 2nd team but expect Scott to make some contributions this weekend.

Orange Secondary Faces Tough Test at Washington

Mike Holmes might have been a beast on defense last week but his punt returning left something to be desired.  Okay, a LOT to be desired.  And it looks like Marrone is taking those responsibilities off his plate.

Holmes, who had trouble with a couple of kicks on a windy night in Akron last Saturday, was at practice and working at his usual cornerback spot. But the punt returners working on Tuesday were freshman Prince-Tyson Gulley, senior Max Suter, and junior Dorian Graham.

It appeared that Gulley was getting most of the work.

So what's the deal with the kicking situation?  It's become apparent that Ross "Das Boot" Krautman's starting nod wasn't based as largely on Ryan Lichtenstein's injury as said.  It appears as though it's now Krautman's job, a job he didn't do a great job protecting by missing an XP.  According to HCDM, Ryan is feeling fine but Das Boot is going to keep the starting gig...for now.

"(Lichtenstein) is OK now," Marrone said. "But we’re happy where we are with Ross (Krautman), we’re happy with his kickoffs. … But right now, it should remain status quo unless something changes throughout the week."