Evanston, Ill. - Everybody remembers last season’s heartbreaking loss in the Carrier Dome to Northwestern to start the year. The orange stormed back from 22-point deficit to take the lead with just over two minutes to go in the game and ultimately lost on a Northwestern final drive making the score 42-41 Wildcats. The two teams face off again this Saturday and this time it is in Evanston.
The platoon quarterbacks for the wildcats remain the same. The senior Kain Colter, who had three touchdowns against the orange last time he faced them, is likely to face the orange again despite being held out of practice this week with a concussion. The junior Trevor Siemian, who threw the game winning touchdown in the dome last year, played the majority of the 44-30 win over California last week and is expected to face the orange again.
For the orange, there is no Ryan Nassib and his 482 passing yards and 4 touchdowns and no Doug Marrone. Instead this year for the orange it is now up to Coach Scott Shafer and Senior quarterback Drew Allen. The transfer from Oklahoma had less than 200 yards and two interceptions in the 23-17 loss to Penn State and did not do much to win over Syracuse supporters in his first game under center. As for Coach Shafer, it is interesting to note that Marrone got his first ever win as Head Coach at SU against Northwestern back in 2009.
Some standouts for the orange from last week’s loss at MetLife Stadium were Robert Welsh. The junior defensive end recorded six tackles, a sack, and an interception which he nearly returned for a touchdown. Welsh was rewarded for his big game by receiving the ACC Defensive Lineman of the week for week one.
Offensively, the bright spot for the Orange was Jerome Smith. The captain rushed for two touchdowns and 73 yards on the day – producing 14 of the oranges 17 points. The problem for Smith and the rest of the SU running attack is that Northwestern only allowed 89 rushing yards against Cal in the season opener, while giving up 450 yards in the air.
The orange passing game took another hit this week as SU Athletics said in a statement, “Syracuse receiver Adrian Flemming sustained a lower body injury which will require surgery. As a result of the surgery and rehabilitation process, (he) will not return for the 2013 season.”
You can tune into coverage of the orange and the wildcats on WAER (88.3FM) tomorrow. Coverage starts at 5:30 with Countdown to Kickoff with the game scheduled to start at 6.