Syracuse football’s 5 keys against No. 17 Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Syracuse (3-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) looks to end a four-game losing streak on Saturday at No. 17 Florida State (6-1, 4-1) in Tallahassee, Florida. The Orange lost to the Seminoles 38-20 last season and 59-3 the previous year. FSU is coming off its first regular-season loss in nearly three years. For all of The Daily Orange’s coverage, keep up with dailyorange.com and follow @DOSports on Twitter.Here are five keys to the game.1. Handling a tough environmentIn practice this week, Syracuse cranked up the heat in the Ensley Athletic Center and blasted Florida State’s “War Chant” to help prep the team for what it’ll be facing in Tallahassee. The Orange’s only other road games were at South Florida and Virginia, two far less challenging places to play.For freshmen who will be seeing significant minutes — i.e.: quarterback Eric Dungey and running back Jordan Fredericks — it will be the toughest collegiate environment they’ve ever played in.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text2. Stopping Dalvin Cook’s backupFlorida State’s star running back, and widely considered the second best in the country, was ruled out for Saturday’s game due to an ankle injury. Backup Jonathan Vickers has just 47 rushing yards on the year. The injury to Cook gives Syracuse an opportunity to set the tempo with a strong running game of its own if SU can get off the field on defense, a point of emphasis for the Orange coaching staff of late.3. Eric Dungey’s progressionDungey has been efficient early on in his freshman season but two interceptions against Pittsburgh slowed his progress. With All-American cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safety Lamarcus Brutus, who has two picks this year, in the secondary, passing against FSU is a tall task as Dungey faces his toughest test yet.4. Steve Ishmael continuing strong playIn the past four games, Ishmael has hauled in 20 catches for 228 yards. After catching just five balls in the first three games, he’s now playing like the player he was expected to be at the start of the season. His recent success though has partially been a result of favorable matchups. Against a team that’s loaded in the secondary — and basically everywhere else — Ishmael’s performance could show where he stacks up against some of the best on Syracuse’s schedule.5. Don’t fall apartIn each of the past four games, all losses, the Orange was within a touchdown in the fourth quarter at the bare minimum. In the past two weeks, Virginia and Pittsburgh drove 85-plus yards on the final possession of the fourth quarter to either send it to overtime or win it. While SU is nearly a three-touchdown underdog, if the Orange was to have a lead or be tied late in the game, not blowing it has proven to be a challenge. And if that was to happen again, Syracuse would face the task of having to win three of its last four to become bowl eligible. Commentslast_img read more

Yasiel Puig dazzles as Dodgers take series from the Arizona Diamondbacks

first_img“I was just hoping Yasiel got it up high enough.”Juan Uribe, a Dodgers team leader, said Puig played with the right mindset in that situation.“I don’t know what he was thinking, but if someone does that to me, I like it,” Uribe said. “Puig did good. He did good for the team.”Puig is often synonymous with spectacular moments — both positive and negative. At times, Puig demonstrates his five tools are among the most splendid in the game. Other times, his immaturity and flair serve as a reminder that he is a youthful 23-year-old who has had the weight of the world on his shoulders since his daring escape from Cuba two years ago that recently came to light.The home run Sunday was not the only dazzling Puig play of the game.In the second inning, Puig cut down Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero on what looked to be a certain double down the right-field line in the second inning. Puig raced to the corner, scooped up the ball, whirled and fired a laser to shortstop Hanley Ramirez just ahead of Montero, which seemed to settle down starter Josh Beckett.He certainly Puiged it.“Obviously he did the right thing in trying to get the extra base. Anyone who hits it that far down right field probably expects they can make that play,” Puig said. “As it turned out, I got him there.”So which play did Puig get more excited about?“The two plays are great. I don’t want to say that I get all the credit for winning today’s game, but obviously if I did not hit that home run, that was a big difference,” Puig said. “But both were crucial.”Beckett praised Puig and the throw.“He’s unbelievable,” Beckett said. “Just the aggressive nature of that play. There’s a million things that would happen if I was playing right field in that situation. He just goes over, picks the ball up and confidently throws a strike to second.”Though Beckett did not factor into the decision, he delivered his second straight start in which he pitched five scoreless innings despite needing IV fluids like Andre Ethier to combat a severe head cold that is hitting the team.Beckett allowed just one hit and had seven strikeouts and no walks, but came out after five innings and 83 pitches.“He just ran out of gas,” Mattingly said. “But that’s two good outings in a row with him. We’re going to keep building with him.”Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter matched zeroes for Beckett through the first five innings.The Dodgers finally got to Collmenter (0-2) in the sixth inning, thanks to the speed of Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford atop the order, and the raw power of Puig.Gordon laced a one-out single to right field and then was a distraction on the basepaths.With Gordon running on the pitch, Crawford drilled a triple to the right-field corner, easily scoring Gordon with the first run of the game.Then came Puig’s big sequence.“That was a big by Carl and a big hit by Yasiel,” Mattingly said.Jamey Wright (1-0) earned the victory, allowing one run, one hit and one walk in one-plus innings of relief. Chris Perez delivered the Dodgers from Wright’s mini-jam in the seventh and pitched 1 1/3 effective innings, though he allowed Martin Prado’s RBI double to score Paul Goldschmidt for a run that was charged to Wright.J.P. Howell retired two of the three batters he faced in the eighth to hand the ball off to Kenley Jansen in the ninth.Jansen in turn recorded his seventh save in nine chances, striking out the side in an overwhelming and confidence-boosting 1-2-3 inning.“That was good for Kenley,” Mattingly said. “We’ve had to use him a lot, but he seems to get stronger as the season goes on.” Yasiel Puig said he understood the strategy, even describing it as “a good call” after the game.Deep down, one could tell the dazzling Dodgers outfielder took extra satisfaction in foiling the Arizona Diamondbacks’ strategy of intentionally walking Adrian Gonzalez to pitch to him in the sixth inning.Puig crushed an 0-1 fastball from Arizona pitcher Josh Collmenter over the left-center wall for a three-run homer in the Dodgers’ 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks on Easter Sunday, helping L.A. take the weekend series and beat Arizona for the seventh time in eight meetings this season.Puig did his customary bat flip as soon as he hit the ball, much to the joy of the announced crowd of 37,447. The lesson? Perhaps it is best not to give more motivation to Puig.“It felt great hitting the ball so hard,” Puig said through Dodgers translator Yvonne Carrasco. “It felt good to see that strength in my swing that my coaches and trainers have been helping me with.“(Arizona) did what they had to do. Adrian is a left-handed hitter and the pitcher was a right-hander. The manager made a good call on that one.”Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson’s decision to intentionally walk Gonzalez — who had already extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double down the right-field line in the second inning — was the right call.“I think you have to with the way Adrian is swinging and the way Adrian hit them last week,” Mattingly said. “Gibby would probably do it every time. The problem is you give extra motivation to the next guy, but it is a decision you have to make.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more