Orange Coverage with Keon Lyn

Keon Lyn might be Syracuse's best cover corner this season. As the defense continues to improve, Lyn is ready for the challenges that await. He spoke with CuseNation.com about that.

Veteran cornerback Keon Lyn had some of the best man-to-man coverage plays last season for the Syracuse University football program, despite their dismal season.  

With the starters that are on the field at cornerback, in Ri'Shard Anderson, Brandon Reddish, and Lyn, Lyn has been more reliable to make plays on the ball in single coverage than his teammates.  

However, in the first two games of this season, Lyn was relatively quiet, getting beat for big gains and touchdown opportunities against both Northwestern and USC.  

Then came Syracuse's third game of the season versus Stony Brook. In that game Lyn was responsible for stunting three of the Seawolves' drives, forcing punts in each.  

"Anytime I get an opportunity for a play to come my way, I wanna be able to make it," Lyn said. "Knowing your team is in a tough situation, you wanna be able to make that play. So if a quarterback tries, I wanna make the play 100% of the time."  

Making every play has not occurred for the Orange, who have struggled in coverage against quarterbacks who take to passing. Syracuse's contest with Stony Brook differed from Northwestern and USC because the Seawolves' man under center handed the ball off more than testing the air. The secondary unit continues to grow as the season progresses, with these non-conference games helping the Orange prepare for their in-conference schedule.  

"Playing these guys, they're great, and I feel like this is preseason action before we start Big East play so going against these guys [is] great…because you know what type of talent's in the Big East, so it's a good opportunity to go up against some great athletes," Lyn expressed.  

Syracuse has played some of the best receivers the NCAA has to offer with Robert Woods and Marqise Lee from USC. They faced another big play receiver in their last game when Kevin Norrell of Stony Brook took the field against them. Norrell came into the game with a reception play of more than 80 yards in each of his first two games. Versus Syracuse, Norrell took a deep route reception 63 yards for a touchdown.  

"We just gotta gameplan against guys like that," Lyn said. "Great guys, great athletes. They came ready to play, so I was hoping I coulda got one of those deep balls but obviously I couldn't, but you just gotta gameplan and be able to stop their key players. They wanna feed their key players so you just wanna be able to make plays."  

Despite not quenching his thirst for an interception, Lyn's teammates, free safety Jeremi Wilkes and cornerback Brandon Reddish, each had an interception against Stony Brook to give Syracuse their first multi-interception game of the season.  

More importantly for the Orange, those two interceptions aided the team to their first win of the season. "In the locker room, I pushed that we didn't get a win since, I think, last October I believe, so the environment in the locker room is we gotta get this win," Lyn proclaimed. "Don't look ahead. Play every play, play by play, and just get that W."  

Lyn will continue to work with teammates, Reddish and Ri'Shard Anderson, along with the rest of the secondary to improve on coverage as the team enters into their next match this Saturday at 8pm Eastern when they take on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.  

"Ri'Shard Anderson and Brandon Reddish [are] physical," Lyn shared. "They take coaching. That's the biggest thing is take coaching and get your job done, so them two guys there, they compete. They compete every day, in and out."  

"All three of us and all of us wanna make plays. We just gotta go out there and show it on Saturdays."  

The 1-2 Orange take to the road looking to get even at 2-2 before entering into their final season of Big East Conference play.


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