After getting off to a blistering pace early in the season, the Syracuse offense has been pedestrian in recent weeks. Despite that, their confidence level remains high. One player that can help turn that around is senior wide receiver Marcus Sales. He spoke with CuseNation.com about their preparation for Connecticut.
"All I really know is he ran the triple option," Sales said of UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni. "Donovan McNabb was around. But other than that, I don't really know any of the details."
The Coach P situation aside, this game is of critical importance to the Orange as they look to turn around their season. Sales and his teammates know what this games means.
"It means a lot," he explained. "To get to 2-1 for us, we know our goal is to make a bowl game. So, we've got to get to six games and that's our goal. We've got to focus on our game plan, learn all the little details. We can't really get excited until Friday night at the game. We use a lot of energy and get hyped up during practice.
"The main thing right now is to get the game plan down, and know it inside and out."
Playing on a Friday night seems to brings the best out of the Orange. Last season, they had a memorable upset of West Virginia on a Friday night. This season, they defeated Pittsburgh. Sales says, the lights make everyone play their best.
"It's a little different," he declared. "We know everyone's going to be watching the game. They're in their hotel rooms getting ready for their game Saturday. When the lights are on, everybody's going to show up. So that's big for us."
Despite the offensive struggles from the last few weeks, the offense still has the capabilities of putting up big numbers. Sales says they are continuing to improve week after week.
"We're definitely improving," he said. "We just have to cut down on the turnovers, get better in the redzone. That's killing us right now. We're moving the ball, were just not getting it into the endzone.
"We really don't know what it is. But we've got to get better. It's hurting us right now. When we're not scoring, it's killing our momentum. So we've got to get better if we're going to reach our goals and get to a bowl game. So we know we've got to get better in that part of the field."
Those issues have brought about some frustration. Despite that, they remain a confident bunch.
"We're definitely still confident," Sales claimed. "We know what we can do as a team and as a whole offense. We've just got to get rid of the mistakes like Coach Marrone said and go out there and score touchdowns."
With the struggles the offense has had, each player must look at themselves to see how they can do their job better. Sales knows exactly what he can do to help bring this offense back to executing at a high level.
"Just getting off the press better," he outlined. "Just getting open for my quarterback a little more. Getting separation basically."
Sales and the Syracuse offense will look to get back on track on Friday night against the Huskies.