After notching the best win of his career, Syracuse Orange football head coach Dino Babers previewed the team’s matchup against the Miami Hurricanes this week.
Chris Slayton receives due praise
With a solid matchup against the Tigers on Friday, junior Chris Slayton was given a fair amount of love from his head coach.
That’s the position he plays and he plays the position like a grown man in a grown man’s league,” Babers said. “He is the key to what we do on defense.”
Through seven games, he has 4.5 sacks and 17 tackles. He also has tallied a forced fumble. Overall, he has been important for the success of the team. Along with injured Kendal Coleman, they have been vital for the defense’s resurgence.
Ravian Pierce has seen more playing time
After a disappointing start to the season, junior Ravian Pierce has become a larger part of the offense. Babers said that, as defenses are keying in on seniors Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips, more opportunities have arisen.
“It’s how people are playing us. They’re doing more things to take away (Ishmael) and (Philips), which gives other people opportunities to exploit other parts of the defense. It’s just part of the chess game.”
After only accumulating 49 yards in the first five games, he totaled 166 on 13 catches against Pittsburgh and Clemson. For the rest of the season, hopefully he will be able to keep an active role in the passing game.
Miami will prove to be difficult
With one top 25 win in the books, Syracuse will have another opportunity on Saturday down in Coral Gables, Florida.
“You’re playing another undefeated team in the Top 10,” Babers said. “Another storied program. We’re playing them at their place, it’s going to be a difficult game.”
Miami is 5-0 and ranked eighth in the nation, even though they have zero top 25 wins. Still, they are not going to be an easy matchup. Their defense has not allowed over 30 points at any point this season, as they rank 20th in the nation in points per game allowed.