HACK ATTACK: Jury still out on Syracuse

Two weeks into the season and it already seems the Orangemen are reeling. <br><br> "We're not a bad team," running back Walter Reyes said.

Not a bad team? Maybe not, but the funny thing is, no one accused Syracuse of being a bad football team. Reyes brought up a point that wasn't even asked – which begs the question, are the Orangemen in for one of those long seasons?

Louisville was a barometer of what's to come. Central Florida, who put up more than 30 points on the Syracuse defense last year, rolls into town this week averaging 30.5 points a game.

Their star QB Ryan Schneider has been brilliant so far, throwing for 700 yards and six touchdowns. After two pitiful outings in a row against North Carolina and now Louisville, Schneider has to be licking his chops at the thought of airing it out against the weak Syracuse secondary.

Toledo, which follows Central Florida, has vastly improved since the last time these two teams meet in 1999 (SU topped Toledo 35-12). For those who haven't heard much about Toledo football since, Toledo actually put up a fight against Miami last year, losing by 14. (Keep in mind the Orangemen were blown out by the Hurricanes 49-7 last year.)

Virginia Tech, Boston College and Pittsburgh follow, all teams that the Orangemen will be hard pressed to squeeze out a win.

So is this the start of another dreadful season for Syracuse?

Not necessarily.

Reyes may prove to be a prophet more than a politician should the Orangemen make some key changes in the approach to defense.

Certainly, one of the most glaring issues is the lack of a pass rush that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to drop in the pocket, read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, get a hot dog from the stands (which by the way are ridiculously expensive now) and throw an uncontested pass to a variety of receivers that are wide open.

Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni said he's going to try to incorporate more of a pass rush, but keep Schindier mostly "one-dimensional" this week.

C'mon. If the same strategy didn't work against the Tar Heels or the Cardinals, what makes him think it will work against the Golden Knights? The key to any good defense is to keep the offense guessing.

Not only was Syracuse giving its defense away too early, but was constantly dropping back into coverage and allowing an inexperienced secondary to get picked apart.

Pressure on the quarterback means more errant throws and less deep plays.

Is Syracuse a bad team? No one can be for sure yet. But maybe Reyes was speaking from the subconscious, and that's never a good sign.

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