Syracuse's offense has appeared sluggish so far this year, due in part to the senior tailback's underwhelming performances. Reyes has racked up just 92 yards in the first two games of the year. A big game Saturday would go a long way in erasing the subpar performances from the first two games. In fact, with 157 yards, Reyes will pass James Mungro for third place on the school's all-time rushing yards list.
But not all the blame can be placed on Reyes. The flip-flops at quarterback between Joe Fields and Perry Patterson have led to a lack of continuity on offense. Coupled with spotty offensive line play, the Orange offensive unit has been only a shell of what was expected of them.
The defense and special teams units will look to build off of strong performances last week against Buffalo. The defense was solid most of the day, including a streak of holding the Bulls to six straight three-and-outs. And special teams turned the tables last week as Anthony Smith (Big East Special Teams Player of the Week) blocked two punts and returned one for a touchdown. The other punt block led to a Walter Reyes one-yard TD run.
But, the Orange will have to find a way to stop Cincinnati senior running back Richard Hall. Hall comes into the game seventh in the nation in rushing, averaging 139 yards a game. He rushed for 238 yards earlier this year against Miami University.
This matchup is a sneak peak at what will soon be a Big East matchup. Cincinnati will join the Big East next year, moving out of Conference USA.
This is just the fifth meeting between the two teams. Syracuse leads the all-time series, 3-1, with the Orange beating the Bearcats 12-10 in 2000 at Cincinnati. Kickoff is set for noon.
Syracuse vs. Cincinnati Preview
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