Keon Lyn Eager to Correct Mistakes

The Syracuse defense has struggled the last couple of games, but the secondary has taken a step forward. CuseNation.com caught up with Syracuse corner Keon Lyn to discuss the upcoming matchup with Louisville.

Coming off its two worst performances of the season, the Syracuse defense is facing the most explosive offense in the Big East on Saturday. Keon Lyn knows it will be a big challenge for the Orange.

"Pretty much, their offense does a lot of shifts to try to get our eyes off and lined up wrong," Lyn explained. "We just got to come prepared, be sound, and communicate as a defense. They're a good team. They're undefeated.

"They're quarterback is playing great. You just have to be sound. You can't make any mistakes against teams like this. We've got to take advantage of their mistakes."

Part of that is jumping on turnover opportunities that present themselves. Last week, the defense had two dropped interceptions, something that has plagued this team all season. Lyn knows Syracuse cannot afford those type of mistakes this week.

"We have to take advantage of turnovers," he said. "Everybody's got to fly to the ball. Everybody. If you think somebody's got the tackle and you're jogging in, and the ball comes loose, the guy who fumbled the ball, or anybody, can jump back on it, if you're not hustling to the ball. Everybody's got to be hustling and flying to the ball. We've got to make plays."

One of Louisville's strengths is their vertical passing attack. DeVante Parker leads a talented group of receivers that play very fast. The Syracuse secondary has faced talented receivers earlier this season, but they must be prepared for the Cardinals.

"We've seen great receivers all year," Lyn described. "That's why you've just got to play your game. Be patient, and win at the line of scrimmage. If you win before the snap, you can take it one play at a time and you should be fine out there."

The last two weeks, the biggest struggle for the Syracuse defense has been defending the run. That comes as a surprise for anyone that watched the Orange during their first three conference contests. Lyn believes they can turn things around.

"You've just got to go back to basics," Lyn detailed. "We've had two straight weeks where teams are rushing for over 200 yards. We've just got to go back to doing the things that made us successful. Just go over those things that you were doing, and communicate to the guys to do the same things that you were doing to make you successful. So the defense just has to fly around and make plays and not miss tackles.

"You're kind of glad that they don't do it (zone-read) that much. Two weeks straight we struggled with it so I wouldn't just throw it out that easy on Louisville. They will try to come out and do some zone-read and see what they can do with it at first before they go back to what they normally do. So we've got to be prepared for anything. They've got a great quarterback and great receivers. They play sound football, so we've got to be prepared for anything."

One of the plays that had some controversy surrounding it was Keon Lyn's big hit in the third quarter against Cincinnati. Lyn says you can't focus on calls like that.

"I guess it's the call," he recalled. "The refs made the call or whatever. It's hard to play it any other way than how I played it. I was there, but I guess they want us to go for the legs or something. I don't know. You're just trying to separate the ball, but the refs made the call. You've just got to live with it.

"You just tell your players not to worry about it and go out there and make another play. You just can't dwell on the mistakes and the penalties. You've got to live with them though. It hurt the team so you've got to try not to hurt it so much."

The big focus of Syracuse this week will be stopping Teddy Bridgewater. While Keon Lyn did not play against him in high school, he certainly knew who he was.

"I didn't play my eleventh grade year," Lyn said. "They did play Northwestern my eleventh grade year but I wasn't playing football. Twelfth grade year central beat them and we beat central. I know Teddy very well. We ‘re close off the field and on the field.

"With this generation, I feel like we're producing a lot of talent. A lot of players don't get that opportunity at Miami like he did. You also just feel like you want to go away and start something new instead of being so close to home. So that was the opportunity he took. He went away and went with my friend Eli Rogers and Michaelee Harris. They all went to Louisville.

"They're starting something new there and creating new opportunities for people from Miami to come up north and keep producing those types of players. So it was a great opportunity for him but we thought he was going there and he bailed out at the last second."


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