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Syracuse vs. Notre Dame: Wayne Morgan Out, Starting Kicker TBA

Some final tidbits, updates and notes related to Saturday's game between the Syracuse Orange and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Orange will be without one of its primary corners on Saturday. Junior Wayne Morgan will miss the game with a knee issue.

"We don't know how severe it is," Shafer said Thursday morning at his weekly press conference. "We think it's probably something that they possibly clean up and we can get him back, but you never know until they go in there. So we'll see how Wayne gets through that."

The big question on special teams is whether Ryan Norton or Cole Murphy will be the go-to kicker for the Orange on Saturday. Scott Shafer knows the answer and that answer is...his alone to know.

"I just wouldn't want to share that with you and give any tactical advantage to the Fighting Irish," Shafer said in his weekly press conference. "They've got plenty of advantages going into this thing as it is, so I wouldn't want to give them another wrinkle here or there."

My gut tells me it must be Murphy's job now The only thing that makes sense is that Shafer doesn't want ND scouring tape of Murphy to learn his ticks. Otherwise, why would it matter? We'll see...

The SU running back corp has shifted as the season has gone along. Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Ameen-Moore are all set. Ervin Phillips seems to have moved firmly into the mix and that means George Morris II or Devante McFarlane are getting pushed out. See, RB coach DeAndre Smith only has room for four guys. No more, no less.

"The fifth guy is kind of hard," Smith said. "It's hit or miss. I can probably get four but there's going to be a limit to the carries."

"Right now we're going with Gulley and Adonis as a normal rotation," Smith said. "Within the game plan there are packages where we can go two backs and there might be Devante (McFarlane) and Gulley or Ervin (Philips) and Gulley. I can slide those four guys in. If Gulley is hot he'll get the ball. If Adonis is hot, he'll get the ball. Down the road, there will probably be a third. It might be Ervin. It might be George Morris. I go in with a couple guys, maybe a third guy if we need a spark."

Since we are talking about Notre Dame here, vaunted Notre Dame, storied Notre Dame, are the Orange going to come out in awe? Probably not. Scott Shafer knows "it's still football" and the players are treating it as just another game. Even if they remember watching Notre Dame on the big screen...

"The movie 'Rudy' I know," running back Devante McFarlane said. "Back when I was 12 or 13. I haven't watched in a couple years but when it comes on TV. I liked the fact that he comes back against all odds."

More than anything, let's just shore up that punt block unit, okay?