Reality check

Syracuse senior wide receiver Chris Clark knows that his collegiate football career is nearing. With two games remaining, Clark and the rest of the senior class are looking to make a push to become bowl eligible. He discusses that and the work that the receiving group has been doing with quarterback Terrell Hunt inside.

Syracuse wide receiver Chris Clark knows that his collegiate football career is coming to an end and that time is not on his side. That's why making the best of these last two games against Pittsburgh and Boston College are especially crucial for him and the rest of the senior class.

"I wouldn't take any game lightly," Clark said when pressed about which team might pose a lesser challenge. "I mean, we're just trying to do what we can to make that bowl game. We're focused on (Pittsburgh). I don't know anything about Boston College right now. My eyes are on Pitt."

Indeed, Pittsburgh is the next team up on Syracuse's schedule. The Panthers will pull up to the Carrier Dome gates like it has done many times before to take on the Orange. Both team's will enter the contest in similar fashion: bruised, battered and looking to become bowl eligible.

"That's very important," Clark said about making it to a bowl game. "I tell everybody it's a fun experience. You have a week with your team, it's like a family environment and you hang out with everybody. It's just your team. We're focused on Pitt right now and making it to a bowl game."

With the Florida State thumping in the rearview mirror, considered a learning experience for most, Clark said that the Seminoles were a "great team" and that "they just capitalized on our mistakes and did their job."

On the flip side, though, Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer has complete faith in his team, in particular, the senior class, to regroup with that patented resiliency.

"I think we have a very strong football team of high character," Shafer said. "I really do, especially our senior class. Kids are going to be kids, they're make mistakes along the way in their young lives. For the majority of this senior class, these are kids that are very sturdy, they're strong individuals. They fight for the next day and the next opportunity."

Putting in work

There is no surprise that Syracuse's identity for a majority of the season on offense has been backed by the stout running game of seniors Jerome Smith, Prince Tyson-Gulley and a few young pups in DeVante McFarlane and George Morris. The passing game, however, has been puttering as of late. It's been almost a month since Syracuse has found the end zone via the air. The team's last touchdown? When receiver Jarrod West found freshman Brisly Estime on a trickeration play against Wake Forest back on November 2.

"It's definitely frustrating if you're not putting up points," Clark said, "especially when you're on offense and that's your job. It's frustrating as far as not being able to capitalize on it. We definitely work. We just say, ‘OK, lets work hard and lets get it this week.'"

The senior has been held without a touchdown since its contest against Tulane. He has 27 catches for 276 yards on the season.

Clark and the rest the receiving core, though, have been staying after practice this week with quarterback Terrell Hunt to ensure timing on routes -- short, long -- are down pat for this weekend's game.

"It's all from his perspective because he is the quarterback," Clark said about the timed routes. "I don't know what he sees. He might see something different from what we see. I feel like he's comfortable making some throws and he's just working on being comfortable. He is working at it and trying to become better everyday."

Clark is also one of Hunt's biggest advocates when it comes to backing the starting quarterback. The receiver elaborates that Hunt is a youthful, work-in-progress leader.

"I always tell people that I see him being one of the top, future quarterbacks of the ACC," he said. "I still feel like he gets the job done. He knows if it's not there he is going to take off and run -- It's going to be a first-down guarantee.

"As far as anything else," he continued, "I just try and do whatever I can for him to help him out."

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