Q&A with DeAndre Smith

Syracuse running backs coach DeAndre Smith discusses his unit inside.

Syracuse running back coach DeAndre Smith discussed where his unit stands entering Saturday’s matchup with Notre Dame.

Q: When you have 5 running backs, it’s a good problem to have, but there’s only so many carries to go on…is there generally a plan for how many reps a guy gets or what’s the general idea?

Smith: Generally, the idea is this, we start off with Gulley and then Adonis as a normal rotation. And then the game plan has different packages. Where we have Devante and Gulley or Ervin and Gulley. So I’m sliding in those 4 guys. The fifth guy is kind of hit or miss. I can get 4, but there’s some limits to carries. Gulley gets the most, but down the road it can change like Ameen-Moore.

Q: Last game it proved to be one guy, Prince. When you look back at that game, how did he run so well?

Smith: Well at the very first snap, he just fired up. It was a big play for him; it was a nice run. And he was locked in. Sometimes I have to corral him in, because he gets too fired up. But last Saturday, I just told him, go play football. I needed that energy and I needed that spark

Q: For Adonis and what he’s bringing it to the table, does he remind you of Jamal from last year?

Smith: I still think he can be better and faster, there’s some runs that can be better. And I keep saying that, but I think that’s because he hasn’t played a whole lot. But, there’s some things within his makeup that he should get a 2-3 extra yard score in the red-zone, so I encourage him to stay as physical as possible as he can.

Q: Do you essentially have a 6th running back in Terrel Hunt?

Smith: Oh, absolutely. And to be honest with you, he’s probably number 2…he’s not number 6. But he’s at the top of the food chain without a question.

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