Here are five things Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said on his weekly teleconference Tuesday:
1. Offensive line to stay the same
Syracuse will start the same offensive line against South Florida on Saturday that it started against LSU, Shafer said. That means Jason Emerich will start at center and Rob Trudo will stay at right guard. Seamus Shanley, who started the first three games at right guard, will be kept on the bench.
2. Complimentary of USF
Shafer was quick to praise different aspects of USF's team. He called the Bulls' front seven "very active," specifically pointing to defensive tackles James Hamilton and Deadrin Senat and defensive end Eric Lee. He said that Marlon Mack is a "very good" running back and added that quarterback Quinton Flowers has been getting better every week.
"They are a 1-3 football team, but they have played some very good football teams and we will have our hands full on Saturday," Shafer said.
3. Hybrid back
On the subject of the hybrid back, Shafer said that he thinks wide receivers coach Bobby Acousta and tight ends coach Jake Moreland have done a good job working with the players at the position. Shafer added that the play at the hybrid back has been getting better; against LSU, hybrids Ben Lewis and Dontae Strickland combined for 6 receptions for 38 yards and two touchdowns.
Syracuse will be getting back hybrid Ervin Philips this week. Philips has been out since scoring two touchdowns in the season-opener against Rhode Island.
4. Prepping for USF
Despite it being Week 6, this week's game against USF marks Syracuse's first road game of the season. Shafer said that the team will be doing its walk-throughs and having meetings before they board the plane on Friday for Tampa. Typically, SU does those things later than that, Shafer said.
5. On Thompson
Shafer said that Ron Thompson is "one of the better" defensive ends that he has ever coached. In three games played, Thompson has recorded four sacks and forced three fumbles. Shafer added that SU has a "high bar" for Thompson and that the defensive end still has some things to clean up.