As the Syracuse Orange prepare for the Louisville Cardinals on Friday, they met with the media to discuss the issues and concerns they have headed into the game.
First up, what of Cole Murphy? Murph is the latest in a long line of walk-on kickers to achieve the mantle of starter. In fact, he joins former walk-on Riley Dixon on the starting line. Or does he? Scott Shafer isn't ready to close the door on the kicking competition just yet.
"And like all the players we’ll continue to watch him every day and I’m not steadfast on having to name a starter at any position at any time," Shafer said. "Competition is what makes players excel at higher levels. So we’ll continue to create those competitive environments in practice."
The D.O. profiles the freshman, who, as a high school junior, didn't look much like the kind of kicker who'd be starting for a D-I university one day.
When the kicker first transferred to Valencia (California) High School in his junior year, he had an unrefined and inaccurate kicking leg.
His body was out of control. His only redeeming quality was his power.
One of the biggest issues concerning Syracuse's ability to sustain momentum and field position is penalties. The Orange commit a whole slew of them. What's he doing to correct the issue? I'm not really sure, to be honest.
"I think it's a mental thing," Shafer said, "and the way we have to work on that is to have a mental plan of how we're going to set our minds up in that situation."
"You don't want to cause extra pressure in those situations, especially when you get down in the red zone," Shafer said. "I think to some degree our kids have. They want it so bad that sometimes they don't play with that balance they need to have."
Finally, we already know that Wayne Morgan is out, Kendall Moore is unlikely and so is Ivan Foy. You can add Ashton Broyld to the list of guys who won't play on Friday and he might even be joined by Brisly Estime. Oh boy.
Ben Lewis, it's your time to shine...