Next man up

Syracuse has been no stranger to the injury bug this season, especially when it comes to the wide receiver group. With the loss of Brisly Estime and Jarrod West, Alvin Cornelius was the next in line to prove his worth for the Orange against Pittsburgh last weekend. His interview on his breakout game inside.

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer and staff have had to adjust and pencil in young talent to replace veteran upperclassmen more than once this season.

Enter Alvin Cornelius. The redshirt freshman hasn't played significant time for the Orange this season, however, last Saturday, his number was called and he responded.

"As a redshirt freshmen it means a lot to me and also to my team," Cornelius said. "As a young guy on the team, it doesn't matter, young or old, whoever it is, you have to step up and make plays. That's what I basically did this past Saturday."

Step up indeed.

The score itself was one of the few bright spots in Syracuse's 17-16 loss last Saturday at the Carrier Dome against Pittsburgh. It was also the redshirt freshman's first collegiate touchdown on the season.

Facing a third-and-15 from the Pittsburgh 42, quarterback Terrell Hunt dropped back and let it rip. Cornelius used his speed, turned it up a notch, and sprawled out for the score.

Hunt had nothing but praise for the young receiver after the score.

"Right after the play," Cornelius said, "he came up to me and he basically told me he had a lot of trust in me and that a lot of balls were going to be thrown to me. He has faith that I'm going to go out there and do whatever to go get it."

The route itself, according to Cornelius, was a play ran multiple times by junior Jarrod West. He just took a page out of the upperclassmen's book.

"I watched him run the same route and just went out there and copied his route and it was a touchdown," Cornelius said.

In the film room, West also acts as another coach, mentor to Cornelius as well.

"Jarrod sits next to me in the meeting room and every time we go over plays, he helps me out and makes sure how the route is ran and how many steps and everything," Cornelius said.

Wide receivers coach Rob Moore knows the future is bright for Cornelius.

"He's still young," Moore said. "People don't realize he's only a redshirt freshman. Alvin has good speed, runs really well, has really good transition and has good hands. It's just a matter of him getting more opportunities to play so he can get more a feel for the game -- the speed of the game -- and see some different looks and learn how to respond to it.

"Alvin is just kind of waiting his turn," Moore said. "He works hard, he does a great job on special teams and really does all the things you ask. He's deserving of getting an opportunity and he's taking advantage of that."

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