Syracuse wide receiver Steve Ishmael is ready to go. Ready to get the taste of a bad loss against South Florida out of their collective mouths. Ready for the return of conference play, where all of the goal they set for themselves in the preseason are still in front of them.
"Most definitely," Ishmael said. "We're looking forward to (the chance of) going 2-0 in the conference. We lost against USF but that wasn't a conference game. It still hurt because it was a loss, but we're really looking forward to the ACC games. We have a two week stretch of ACC opponents. I know we have Virginia and then Pittsburgh next week.
"We can really change this thing immediately."
It is clear that Ishmael has confidence and belief in himself and his teammates. He believes in the direction of the program and where this team, this season is headed. But first things first. The Virginia Cavaliers await, and they are, despite playing inconsistent football so far this year, talented enough to win on Saturday.
This is not lost on Ishmael, who has been impressed by the Cavs on film. This is a defense that features several four and five-star recruits (S Quin Blanding, DE Kwontie Moore, DT Andrew Brown, LB Michael Moore, and CB Demetrious Nicholson).
"I know they have number 26 and number 3," Ishmael said. "Those two are pretty good. But, you know, I'm looking forward to the competition. I don't ever back down from competition. I'm really just excited for this game. I know Virginia is a really good team. I just look at everything like a blessing.
"I thank God for everything. Just want to go out here and play the game that we love."
Syracuse and Virginia kickoff on Saturday at 3:30pm.