Published on November 1, 2012 at 1:53 am Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 Facebook Twitter Google+ Marquis Spruill bit on the fake and incorrectly pursued the running back. He stepped to the middle of the field on a zone-read play by South Florida, only to watch quarterback B.J. Daniels keep the ball himself and break free to the outside.By the time Spruill planted his left foot in the ground to change direction back toward the outside, Daniels had already turned the corner and reached full speed on what would become a 53-yard gain.“There were a couple times I had missed an assignment and B.J. broke for like long,” Spruill, the outside linebacker, said with a chuckle, stretching out the word long to convey the negative result of his mistake.And he wasn’t alone. The Syracuse defense had statistically its worst game of the season in last week’s thrilling victory over South Florida, giving up 552 yards of offense — 317 of which Daniels accounted for — before a last-second touchdown pass by Ryan Nassib salvaged a win.Saturday brings an eerily similar challenge as the Orange (4-4, 2-1 Big East) travels to Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1 Big East) with the goal of containing another dual-threat quarterback and inching closer to bowl eligibility. A week of repairs designed to patch last week’s leaks has renewed the defense’s self-confidence as it prepares to face Munchie Legaux and the highest-scoring offense in the league at noon Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs he did last week, John Kinder once again drew the assignment of simulating the opposing quarterback. Kinder, a backup quarterback himself, is a run-first player whose tendencies are akin to those of Daniels and Legaux. It’s a role he played last season as well, doing such an admirable job in his mimicry that linebackers coach Steve Morrison said he was often the team’s most valuable player in practice.And in facing dual-threat quarterbacks in consecutive games, the Orange had the opportunity to dissect its mistakes against Daniels and revise its plans for Legaux.“There’s some carryover, certainly, from this week to last week,” Morrison said. “I’m sure that’s a good thing in our favor. We have to shore up some areas, but we’re certainly looking forward to getting another opportunity.”First and foremost, Syracuse must improve its tackling. Safeties Shamarko Thomas and Durell Eskridge joined Spruill and Morrison in pointing out the poor tackling that allowed the Bulls to rush for 369 yards, which is 133 yards more than SU allowed in any game last season.When asked what letter grade he would give to the Orange’s tackling last week, Spruill said somewhere between a D and a C-.“At the end of the day, you’ve got to stop them and we didn’t,” Eskridge said. “But I feel like going into this Cincinnati game, it will be hard for them to run because of the mistakes we corrected.”Another area of concern for Syracuse was tempo. Eskridge and Morrison both said that the SU defenders struggled with South Florida’s brisk pace last weekend, something they hadn’t faced in several weeks. Eskridge even said there were plays where the defense was not in the proper alignment, and by the time he looked up, the Bulls were running another play.The Cincinnati offense operates at a similar pace, but the SU defenders have noticed several differences between Daniels and Legaux. While Daniels often looks to run whenever the chance presents itself, Spruill said Legaux uses his foot speed as more of a last resort.That was evident in the Bearcats’ 27-24 win over Virginia Tech in September, when Legaux threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns while only rushing for 27.“Against Virginia Tech he had a hell of a game throwing the football, so obviously he is capable of that,” Morrison said. “I think every time in football, you want to try to make a team one-dimensional. I’m not sure if that’s ever fully possible, but first and foremost, we’ve got to try and stop their running game.”Behind Legaux and tailbacks George Winn and Ralph David Abernathy IV, Cincinnati leads the Big East in rushing at 221.4 yards per game, using the same zone-read system that South Florida employs.It’s when the run game is limited that opponents have had success, and Louisville’s come-from-behind victory last week speaks to that. The Cardinals allowed just three rushes longer than 10 yards in the second half.And while stopping the Bearcats is certainly easier said than done, having Daniels shred the Syracuse defense could actually be a blessing in disguise. He probed the wall and found its leaks; all the Orange has to do now is patch it.“We just know we have to get stronger at this point,” Eskridge said. “Around this time last year we slipped, so we know this is where outsiders think we’re going to slip. And that’s why we have to tighten up our screws.” Comments
Chloe and Sam Magee are presently taking on a Polish pairing into the Mixed Doubles Quarter-final.Scott Evans also remains unbeaten as he targets a medal in his Men’s Singles Quarter-final against Emil Holst of Denmark.Later this afternoon, Sam & Josh Magee will look to improve on their bronze medal as they face a Russian pair in the Men’s Doubles Semi-finals. The London Olympic hero will have to overcome the home town favourite in her Lightweight semi-final as she goes up against Yana Alekseevna of Azerbaijan.Lightweight Sean McComb and Middleweight Michael O’Reilly are also involved in semi-finals this morning as they look to improve the squad’s medal haul.The Irish badminton squad are also making waves in Baku this week.
Race against time UBAI, United Arab Emirates, (CMC): West Indies’ hopes of an automatic World Cup spot suffered yet another blow when they slid even further in the latest ICC One-Day International (ODI) rankings released yesterday. The Caribbean side remained ninth in the rankings but lost four ratings points to slip to 79, falling further behind eighth placed Pakistan in their race for a top eight place in order to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in England. Hosts England and the next seven highest-ranked sides at the September 30 cut-off date will qualify for the showpiece. With their latest slide, the Windies are now nine points adrift of Pakistan who dropped two points in the latest rankings. The two sides met recently in a pivotal three-match one-day series with Pakistan emerging winners by a 2-1 margin. Two-time World Cup champions West Indies are running out of time to improve their ranking with series against minnows Afghanistan in June and England in September remaining. Should the Windies fail to qualify automatically, they will enter a 10-team qualification tournament in an attempt to secure one of the two remaining World Cup berths. South Africa and Australia, meanwhile, have remained top of the ODI rankings, with the Proteas gaining four points to move up to 123 and the Aussies remaining stagnant. India, meanwhile, have gained five points and replace New Zealand in third place with the Black Caps dropping to fourth. England lie fifth on 109 points, Sri Lanka are sixth despite dropping five points while Bangladesh are seventh on 91.
West Ham new boy Nene in action for Paris Saint-Germain 1 Nene will not make his West Ham debut this weekend as he is not yet fit enough, according to Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.The Brazilian joined West Ham on Wednesday, arriving on a free transfer from Qatari club Al-Gharafa until the end of the season.The 33-year-old is still awaiting international clearance, but Allardyce has revealed that even with it the former Paris Saint-Germain forward is not ready to make his Hammers bow.“Whether it did come through or didn’t he wouldn’t be part of the squad this weekend on the basis of his physical condition,” said Allardyce.“As naturally fit as he is, he hasn’t been training with a team on a regular basis.“We envisage [him making his debut] in two weeks, we will assess that after seven to 10 days. We will see what he is like for Crystal Palace next week.“It is nice to have him here with the CV he has got.”