Top Talent: QB A.J. Long – Long was very good again, against a solid defense that game planned for him all week. He was still able to make plays with both is arm and legs. He completed nearly 70% of his passes, did not turn it over and ran for his first rushing touchdown of his early career. It was another strong performance from the true freshman. He had a touchdown pass called back on a ticky-tack offensive pass interference penalty that showed anticipation and touch.
Middle Man: RB DeVante McFarlane – McFarlane only needed 10 carries to put together the best game of his career. He racked up over 110-yards, but failed to score. He broke through for an 86-yard run in the second half, but was tripped up at the five-yard line. It was the third longest run in Syracuse history and longest non-scoring rush in program history. In his first game back from injury, McFarlane showed burst and strength. He should see touches going forward.
Bottom Feeder: OL Omari Palmer – Since transitioning to right tackle. Palmer had been very good. He more than held his own despite playing out of position against some good defensive fronts. But against Wake Forest, he looked overwhelmed for the first time. He was beaten on more than one occasion.
Top Talent: CB Brandon Reddish – Welsh and Robinson will get most of the fanfare for their defensive touchdowns on Saturday, but Reddish put in his best performance of the year. Not only was he very good in coverage, but he led the team with seven tackles. His best play, however, was a blitz where he sacked Wake quarterback Tyler Cameron, forcing the fumble that Robinson returned for a touchdown.
Middle Man: DE Robert Welsh – Welsh had only three tackles, but two of them were for a loss. His best play was when he dropped into coverage, read quarterback John Wolford’s eyes and stepped in front of a pass for an interception. To top it off, he took to the house to complete the pick six. A strong day for the senior defensive end.
Bottom Feeder: N/A – With a dominant defensive performance, it seems wrong to declare a bottom feeder. That combined with the lack of anyone playing poorly means this is the first week this slot is empty. It may have been against the nation’s worst offensive unit, but Chuck Bullough’s group did what they needed to. They completely controlled the game.
Top Talent: K Cole Murphy – Murphy has brought stability to the kicking game for Syracuse. After his three for three performance on Saturday, the walkon freshman is now 9-10 on field goals this season. He has more kicking power than Norton and has proven to be significantly more accurate.
Middle Man: P Riley Dixon – Dixon is good every week and was at it again on Saturday. No trick plays, runs or throwing touchdowns, but he did average over 44-yards per kick on six punts. He even had a long of 60-yards and pinned two of them inside the 20.
Bottom Feeder: PR Prince-Tyson Gulley - Gulley struggled as a punt returner one week after providing a spark. He nearly fumbled one away, but was bailed out by a questionable catch interference call. He has to be more secure with the ball. Gulley only averaged three yards per return on two attempts.