Syracuse still won't blitz

By now, the story has grown old. <br><br> The Syracuse secondary is vulnerable to opposing quarterbacks, who throw wide-open receivers like it was practice.

The secondary has drawn a lot of criticism for its effort against North Carolina's Darian Durant and Louisville's Stefan LeFors.

Durant threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns while LeFors threw for 266 yards and three scores.

But these two statistics are only one part of the story. The Syracuse line, consisting of seniors Josh Thomas, Christian Ferrara, Louis Gachelin and James Wyche have combined for a grand total of zero sacks in Syracuse's first two games.

Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni said against North Carolina, Syracuse didn't put on a pass rush to keep Durant in the pocket. But against LeFors, who doesn't have the running prowess of Durant, Syracuse employed the same strategy.

"We were not in a mode today where we were in blitzes," Pasqualoni said. "To get a pass rush, the QB will get rid of it quickly. It's just not about the pass rush."

Syracuse didn't employ a pass rush on a key third and seven when the Orangemen had Louisville pinned inside the Cardinal's own 10, trailing 27-20. A defensive stop would've given the Syracuse offense the ball near midfield.

But the Syracuse defense dropped in pass coverage and as a result, LeFors completed an eight-yard pass and Louisville ended up kicking a field goal to give them a 30-20 lead and put the game out of reach.

"There's no margin for error," Pasqualoni said. "You lose on a couple of plays. But in football, you never know when those plays are coming."

The strategy isn't likely to change against Central Florida.

"We're going to try and make (Central Florida quarterback Ryan Schneider) one-dimensional," Pasqualoni said, "so we know he's going to throw."

Translation: Syracuse won't be blitzing much this Saturday either.

The decision not to blitz has put a great burden on a young and inexperienced secondary. Not rushing the quarterback will give the quarterback more time to look down field and find holes in the secondary.

"Teams know we're inexperienced," corner Steve Gregory said. "They're going to come after us."

Still, as the season progresses, the defense figures to only get better with more experience.

"It's going to take two of three games," safety Diamond Ferri said. "We need to make plays."

To help the secondary, Pasqualoni said he'd rotate more players in on secondary. Corner Thomas Whiffield and safety Troy Swittenburg are likely to get more time.

"We have to do a better job defensively," Pasqualoni said. "We're making mistakes that really hurt us."

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