USC (1-0 overall) vs. Syracuse (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 8, 12:30 p.m. PT
MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
Radio: ESPNLA 710am (pre-game show starts at 8 a.m. PT)
Syracuse, which went 5-7 in 2011, is in its final season of play in the Big East (it moves to the ACC in 2013). SU overcame a 22-point third quarter deficit last weekend at home to Northwestern before falling 42-41 on a last-minute Wildcat touchdown. The Orange, guided by fourth-year head coach Doug Marrone, have five starters back on offense, is led by senior QB Ryan Nassib (44-of-65, 67.7%, 470 yds, 4 TD, 1 int in 2012, plus 12 tcb, 30 yds, 2.5 avg), a 3-year starter who entered SU’s season record book for completions (259), attempts (415), passing yards (2,685) and passing TDs (22) in 2011, and senior WRs Alec Lemon, who set the Orange season mark for receptions (68) last fall and is 10 catches shy of the school’s career mark of 139, and Marcus Sales (11 rec, 117 yds, 10.6 avg, 1 TD in 2012, plus 1 tcb, 12 yds, 12.0 avg.). Nassib is the nation’s total offense leader (500.0) and Sales is third in receptions (11.0) as SU tops the country in passing offense (470.0) and is ninth in total offense (596.0). The defense, with 8 returning starters and 6 of its top 7 tacklers from 2011, features senior SS Shamarko Thomas (2 tac, 1 for loss, 1 sack, 1 FF in 2012), junior LB Marquis Spruill (8 tac, 2 for loss, 1 sack in 2012) and senior DT Deon Goggins (3 tac, 1.5 for loss, 1 sack in 2012). The Orange had 5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss versus Northwestern. Junior PK Ross Krautman (2-of-3 FG, 3-of-3 PAT in 2012) has made 35-of-41 field goals in his career.
- courtesy USC sports information