Sophomore linebacker Ziare Franklin has a huge day for the Syracuse defense

Zaire Franklin leads the Syracuse defense in tackles, sacks and more.

The Syracuse defense had some strong moments in Saturday's loss to Pittsburgh. Prior to allowing a long drive to end the game, the Orange defense tackled better, covered well down the field, and made a lot of plays in the backfield. A lot of that was led by Sophomore captain Zaire Franklin.

Franklin finished with 11 tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. He was around the ball all afternoon and nearly made a huge play in the first quarter. 

Pitt was driving on their first possession and were deep in Syracuse territory. Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman took the snap was looked to handoff to his running back. But Franklin timed the snap perfectly and immediately shot the gap into the backfield. As soon as Peterman took the ball from his center, Franklin was on his back and popped the ball loose.

Unfortunately for Syracuse, the ball rolled and stopped right next to Peterman, who was able to recover the fumble. Still, it was one of several big plays he made on the afternoon. 

More from Franklin in the video at the top of the screen.

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