Last year, the Orangemen didn't stand a chance at home, as quarterback Ken Dorsey threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns against a demoralized Syracuse secondary as the Hurricanes pummeled Syracuse, 49-7.
Syracuse didn't fare any better in 2001, losing to Miami in the Orange Bowl, 59-0.
"You wish you played better against them," Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "We've played them in a stretch where they've been awfully, awfully good."
But the Orangemen (5-3, 2-2 Big East) won't have to deal with Miami (7-2, 3-1) on their schedule for much longer. This Saturday, when Syracuse heads down to Miami for a 12 p.m. game against the Canes, it will mark the last game between these two teams for the foreseeable future, as Miami will defect to the ACC at the conclusion of the season.
"This is one of the toughest games we have to play," senior Darryl Kennedy said.
But this year may prove to be the year the Orangemen will finally break through. Miami has dropped its last two games against Virginia Tech, and most recently Saturday against Tennessee, 10-6, snapping its 23-game winning streak at home.
"It shows they're beatable," wide receiver Johnnie Morant said. "We have to take advantage of that."
To do so, the Orangemen secondary will have challenge on their hands, trying to stop Heisman-hopeful Kellen Wislow, whose 527 receiving yards and 51 receptions leads the Hurricanes.
Syracuse did fairly well in its tune up against Temple's Zamir Cobb, holding the Owls' star receiver to just 31 yards on five catches.
"Every week we're getting better," Pasqualoni said. "Defensively, we're playing much better."
The Orangemen will also have the aid of a quarterback controversy in Miami. Brock Berlin, who has thrown 14 interceptions to just nine touchdowns this year will be lifted from the starting job for Derrick Crudup, who has appeared in five of the team's nine games this season.
It will be a change of tempo for the Hurricanes, who have grown accustomed to Berlin's style of dropping back in the pocket and throwing, as opposed to Crudup's ability to run with the football.
"(Crudup) can beat you with his feet rather than his arm," Pasqualoni said. "Derrick is more mobile, he's faster."
Still, the Orangemen will prepare for the possibility of facing both quarterbacks this week, Pasqualoni said.
While Pasqualoni expects his defense to be ready for both quarterbacks, he also expects his offense to continue their solid play. RJ Anderson enjoyed one of his finest games against Temple, completing 16-of-20 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown.
Walter Reyes impressed as well, rushing for 93 yards on 25 carries.
"We need to do the basic things," Pasqualoni said, "like take care of the ball, keep the chains moving, and not let up big plays on defense."
Syracuse will try to end domination
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