Patterson will start Saturday

Perry Patterson will start at quarterback, although Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni plans on using freshman Joe Fields as well, when the Syracuse Orange turn their attention to No. 12 Virginia this Saturday.

"We have a quarterback unit," Pasqualoni said. "They talk to each other and make suggestions … Perry was more productive (Saturday)."

The Orange hope to be more productive against a top 25 team after defeating Buffalo and Cincinnati in consecutive weeks. The Orange played No. 25 Purdue to start the season and was pounded 51-0.

"Purdue is long gone," senior running back Walter Reyes said. "This is a chance for redemption."

Pasqualoni echoed Reyes' sentiments, but said his team learned from the experience, and after the two consecutive victories, Syracuse has new confidence.

Nonetheless, Pasqualoni said during his weekly press conference, playing Virginia is going to be an uphill battle.

Pasqualoni outlined several factors that will make Virginia a difficult opponent, while stating that it is really hard to find a weakness after watching game film:

  1. Virginia's 3-4 defense is very complicated and unusual with "very big" linebackers who handle two gaps each instead of one. He also said that there is no greater complexity on 3rd down in college football, making it tough on the offense.
  2. Virginia's running game (303.7 yards per game) is better than Purdue's and attacks the holes well.
  3. "They can pass too." QB Marques Hagans leads the ACC completing 72.9 percent of his passes, good for eighth in the nation.
  4. Put the offense and defense together and you have a team averaging 50.3 ppg through the first three games of the season, good for third in the country.

Still, Pasqualoni is confident that his team can do a couple of things to garner a better result than in the Purdue game:

  1. Pass for 200 yards (Passed for 160 yards against Cincinnati)
  2. Cut down on turnovers and X-plays (explosive gains meaning 12-yard runs and 16-yard passes.) According to Pasqualoni, when you win both categories you win the game 98 percent of the time. Against Buffalo and Cincinnati the Orange won both categories, meanwhile Purdue scored 42 points on big plays.

News and Notes:
  • Pasqualoni said he'll refrain from calling Walter Reyes and Damien Rhodes the best 1-2 combo in the country until after the season, but they are up there with the best.
  • Junior free safety Anthony Smith was awarded co-Big East Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 11 tackles, one interception, and one blocked kick against Cincinnati. His blocked punt tied the Syracuse single-season record of three blocked punts and put him tied for the career record with five.
  • SU's win Saturday was the 100th Orange victory in the Carrier Dome.
  • Junior wide receiver Steve Gregory, who missed the Cincinnati game because of a thigh injury, is day-to-day, but will play if he is needed.
  • Joe Fields is "fine" after getting kicked in the thigh, forcing him out of the game on Saturday.

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