Preview - South Florida vs. Syracuse

Syracuse hosts the University of South Florida football team this Saturday at 1:30 PM in the Carrier Dome. The Orange is still looking to win its first Big East match-up of the season. Syracuse has managed only one win all year, an out-of-conference game against Buffalo. The Orange currently ranks last in the Big East with a 1-7 record and a 0-5 record in conference.

SU comes off a bye week, having lost to Cincinnati 22-16 two weeks ago. The game showcased a quarterback partnership that almost won Syracuse the game as Joe Fields and Perry Patterson threw for 285 yards combined, but Patterson's final drive with 3:16 remaining in the game fell short. The junior began on his own 1 yard line and moved his team down the field completing 4 of 9 passes for 65 yards, eventually turning the ball over on downs to ensure a Bearcat victory.

"I thought that a game like this comes down to this play or that play and I give them credit," Robinson said. "They did a good job. A lot of good things came out of that game, but the problem is that we didn't win."

Robinson and his team have additional pressure to win this weekend as well. The university is retiring jersey # 44 at halftime. The jersey was donned by such SU greats as Ernie Davis and Jim Brown.

The University of South Florida comes into the game off a win last weekend. The Bulls (4-3, 2-1) beat Rutgers last Saturday 45-31, the same team the Orange lost to a month ago, 31-9. The Bulls' most high profile win came on September 24, though, when they triumphed over the Big East's preseason favorite Louisville. USF has a few weapons it will implement against SU tomorrow afternoon.

Senior running back Andre Hall, an All-America candidate for the Bulls, finished last season ranked ninth in the nation for rushing and eighth in all purpose offense. He also set a University of South Florida school record last year with 1,357 rushing yards and should be the Bulls' main option on Saturday.

Defensively for USF, defensive end Terrence Royal will head the Bulls' efforts. The senior scored a touchdown for South Florida last weekend when he returned the football 11 yards off a Scarlet Knight turnover. Throughout the game, the Bulls' defense forced a total of six turnovers, recovered two fumbles, and had four interceptions.

Syracuse's two quarterbacks, Perry Patterson and Joe Fields, and running back Damien Rhodes will handle much of SU's offense against the Bulls. Rhodes scored two touchdowns two weeks ago against Cincinnatti, rushing for 51 total yards and receiving for 104.

Syracuse defensive ends James Wyche and Ryan LaCasse along with safeties Anthony Smith and Dowayne Davis will lead Syracuse's defensive efforts. Smith is second in the nation in interceptions and third in passes defended. In addition, the Orange's complete defense is ranked 22nd in the country versus the run.

Despite its current record, Syracuse's players said they are still motivated to play this game.

"Our team isn't going to give up," Rhodes said. "A lot of teams would have given up by now, but we are going to keep fighting and try to get things right in these last three games. We are going to fight for all three."


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