Syracuse football’s 5 keys against South Florida

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Coming off a bye week, Syracuse (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) travels to South Florida (1-3, 0-1 American Athletic) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for its first road game of the season.Here are five keys for the game:1. Stop the runUSF is 107th in the country in passing offense and 28th in run offense. Syracuse defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough said on Tuesday the Orange knows the Bulls rely heavily on the run. The Bulls’ 210.5 rushing yards per game and 175 rushing attempts through four games are a testament to USF’s reliance on the ground game.2. Back to businessErvin Philips and Eric Dungey will add an element to the Orange’s roster last year that it didn’t have. Philips’ ability to take advantage of open space with his speed and Dungey’s efficiency through the air are two key attributes their backups didn’t possess as much. If they can each prove they’re fully recovered from injuries (Philips with a left knee and Dungey coming off a head injury), Syracuse’s offense has more firepower.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text3. Don’t get burnedSeveral times this season, the Orange’s defensive backs have given up big passing plays. USF quarterback Quinton Flowers struggles throwing downfield, so as long as the secondary doesn’t get beat over the top, stopping the pass shouldn’t be an issue. Flowers is averaging 131.2 passing yards per game entering the game against Syracuse with a long of 71 yards. Flowers is also the Bulls’ second leading rusher with 209 yards — 52.2 per game — and will have to be contained.4. Punt returnsUSF punted six times last week and SU returner Brisly Estime has proven his ability to make big plays this season on fourth down. All he needs is one touch on the ball to change the game and against a team that is 14-of-56 on third down this year, Estime could have plenty of opportunities to flip the field position.5. Get off to an early startThis could be said every week, but playing in its first road game of the year, SU could neutralize a home team that drew less than 23,000 fans last week. After taking a 10-0 lead, the Bulls had eight straight drives in the middle of the game that ended in either a punt or the halftime buzzer and fans booed as the lead slipped away. If Syracuse takes the lead early, the 1-3 team will be in a spot it hasn’t been able to climb out of often.For the rest of The Daily Orange’s coverage of SU-South Florida click here and follow along on Twitter @DOSports. Comments Published on October 9, 2015 at 9:32 am Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img