This was actually a hard decision. There were a few defensive players from the Syracuse Orange that had an excellent game against the Louisville Cardinals. As is the recurring theme of the 2020 season, the defense can only do so much to keep the Orange in games. Pro Football Focus gave the Syracuse defense its best overall grade of the season with a 75.1.
It’s a shame that so much talent is going unnoticed on defense as Syracuse has a couple of draft picks roaming the field. One player in particular might be making the right plays at the right times to get his name in the national headlines…
Good lord, watch that interception again. First of all, Williams sticks with one of the fastest wide receivers in the conference in Tutu Atwell throughout his whole route. He then does well to reach for the ball and tip it as it’s sailing over his head. Then he does well to track the ball and stay up to secure the pick and get decent yards on the return. It’s easily the interception of the season for Syracuse this year based on the pure pick.
Malik Cunningham targeted receivers covered by Williams three times during the game. Cunningham only completed one of those passes: a nice curl route executed by Jordan Watkins. The Louisville quarterback’s other two passes were to Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick. It seems that Cunningham got the message clearly to not throw to guys that were covered by Williams.
Consider the competition that Williams has had his best games against. The redshirt freshman kept Amari Rodgers in check and aided in limiting Atwell’s influence on the game. Those two are considered among the best in the ACC. Williams is a first year starter, and he’s not acting like it.
Cast your mind back to the spring depth chart when Trill Williams was listed as the other cornerback to line up opposite to Ifeatu Melifonwu. While that duo would’ve been interesting to watch, the younger Williams defensive back has cemented his spot in Syracuse’s secondary and should have more eyes on him as his collegiate career progresses.
Honorable Mentions: Sean Tucker, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Stefon Thompson, Geoff Cantin-Arku
Now it’s your turn. Who was Syracuse’s player of the game against the Cardinals? Sound off in the comments below.