It’s finally here! If you’re not watching last year’s highlights on a loop, it’s time to look ahead to the Syracuse Orange’s trip to (the other) Death Valley to take on our “friends,” the Clemson Tigers. As they have all season long, Dino Baber and the football staff have released the depth chart for this week’s game. Just like every week to-date, there aren’t very many surprises.
Just a few changes on Syracuse's depth chart for the Clemson game, largely catching up on changes made the previous week. Surprising Moe Neal hasn't been listed as starting RB at this point, though. pic.twitter.com/L5r4oSlx7G— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) September 24, 2018
A few notes...
- Again, as obvious by the title, Ravian Pierce is out. This is upsetting mostly because a lot of people (including myself) had high hopes that the offensive staff would better utilize him come the heart of the schedule. Looks like those plans are on hold for awhile.
- In his stead? Chris Elmore gets the nod. Elmore has looked solid as an additional blocker, which in reference to above, has been what Pierce was mostly used for so far. This doesn’t change the style too drastically, but I like Elmore in the backfield creating a lane on short yardage sets. True freshman and Baldwinsville local Gabe Horan and sophomore Aaron Hackett get the chance for snaps if the Orange want to use Elmore out of the backfield and still line up with a tight end on the line. One of them stepping up in the passing game would be awesome.
- Moe Neal looked every bit like a true RB1 on Saturday, doing a better job calling out coverage and being a more viable every down option. Even if Neal moves forward as the RB1, Dontae Strickland is too talented to stay off the field, and is a beast in open space. Maybe he lines up outside for some linebacker mismatches now that Pierce is out?
- The “OR” comes in for Sean Riley and Antwan Cordy at punt returner, something we already saw in action vs. UConn (and obviously it worked out pretty well given the fact that Riley had a 69-yard return for a touchdown).
These are usually delayed a week, so perhaps there are more changes coming against the Tigers? But it’s unlikely we know about them until SU takes the field.