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Syracuse vs. Rhode Island: Fast Start Critical For Orange

While the Syracuse Orange already have a game under their belts, Saturday's match-up with Rhode Island will be the Rams' first game of the season. Heck of a way to kicks things off as an FCS squad.

"In terms of environment, this is going to be the most hostile environment these kids have played in since they've been here," Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer said during his weekly press conference. "When you're playing a I-A game, if you can avoid the knockout punch early, then the pressure goes to them. If you can keep the game close into the second half and into the fourth quarter, you feel pretty good about that."

"Hostile environment" might be overstating things a little bit, but point taken. Doug Marrone doesn't think the fact that URI hasn't played yet is totally a detriment.

"We’re playing a Rhode Island team that hasn’t played yet," Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said during his weekly press conference on Monday. "We really don’t have a lot of information on them so we have to be prepared for everything. As of right now, they haven’t even released a depth chart."

For Syracuse, the key is going to be getting off to a good start. It's something they definitely didn't do last year and it's something they've failed to do against FCS opponents in recent years for the most part.

"We're not necessarily known for coming out of the gate and doing great things," Hackett said. "That's something our team has to be better at, and every one of them know that. And that's a big goal for us."

"We still got a lot to prove," Bailey said. "We got the crap beat out of us for three quarters, so I don't think — trap game won't be a problem around here at all."

The Orange want to dominate the New York City area in terms of recruiting. Hopefully two Staten Island standouts that got away won't come back to haunt them.

Timmins is a true sophomore from Curtis who moves into the starting spot on the strong side after compiling three sacks in situational play in 2010. Tottenville product Moody is also a sophomore who played sparingly in his only appearance against Fordham before his red-shirting. He starts on the weak side.

They room together. They train together. And together they hope to create a little chaos for quarterbacks this year, starting with the Orangemen’s Ryan Nassib.