Babers again has praise for another team’s defensive line
For perhaps the ninth time this season, Babers praised another team’s front seven. After calling Miami, Clemson, N.C. State, and LSU’s defensive line the best he’s ever seen, he complimented the Florida State defensive line.
“The defensive lineman are unbelievable,” he said. “Their defense is a championship defense. It is going to be a very interesting contest. They are a bunch of 5-stars with very good coaches.”
Honestly, this is the definition of coaches speak. This “great” defense just recently allowed 241 rushing yards and 35 points to Boston College, a team that only completed seven passes. Not to discount the obviously improving BC offense, but elite defenses should be able to stop a very one-sided attack.
While their passing defense ranks just outside the top 25, the Seminole rush defense is not in the top 50. With Derwin James, Trey Marshall, and company, they have made life tough for opposing quarterbacks. Defending Heisman winner Lamar Jackson totaled a 140 quarterback rating against them, though Eric Dungey may not fare as well. If Steve Ishmael is still banged up, other receivers will need to step up.
For SU to beat them, the Orange will either have to attack an incredibly athletic secondary, or look for holes on the ground using Dontae Strickland, Moe Neal, and Eric Dungey. The run game’s worked lately, but how much more can Dungey get hit by big opposing lines?
Kendall Coleman should be back
For the first time since losing to LSU, SU should see starting defensive lineman Kendall Coleman return from injury. Sidelined with a knee injury, Babers said last week that neither he nor Josh Black had started running yet.
"I think we're going to get Coleman back," Babers said. "I think Coleman could've played a little bit in Miami , but I didn't want him to play at 60, 65 percent. The wet grass and all that stuff wouldn't have been good for him."
If he is able to return, the defense will see a huge boost. In his first four games, he totaled 18 tackles, including nine against Central Michigan. The sophomore also has 2.5 tackles for a loss on the season. Arguably Syracuse’s best pass rusher, his return will definitely help the defense continue their positive play.
Antwan Cordy and Jordan Martin are both out for the year
In more negative news, starting safeties senior Jordan Martin and redshirt junior Antwan Cordy were both confirmed as out for the year. In an already banged up secondary, their absence will definitely hurt the pass defense.
“I don't think Jordan's going to be with us," Babers said. "I think he's going to pretty much be done."
After playing the last seven quarters only on special teams with a cast on, it seemed fairly likely that Martin was going to miss serious time. With him, Cordy, and Scoop Bradshaw all banged up, the secondary has seen its fair share of injury issues. While both Martin and Bradshaw were listed on this week’s depth chart, it is unlikely we see Bradshaw this week.
Missing 11 games, Cordy should be eligible for a sixth season medical redshirt from the NCAA.