The approach going into UAlbany is just like any other game, Josh Black said. The Orange will not take this team lightly and cannot afford another loss this early in the season. The loss last week to Rutgers has left the Orange with a bad taste.
“There’s a lot of emotions going on in the locker room right now,” Black said. “Lots of regret — guys are like I could have had this play, that play, but we believe in the 24 hour rule.”
The 24 hour rule is implemented to keep players looking ahead. Once 24 hours have past following a game, the focus turns to the next one. Therefore, dwelling on a lost would only tarnish the morale of the team and celebrating a win extensively detracts from the overall message, which is to move forward.
In order to rebound from such a tough loss, the Orange must have a “on to the next one” mentality. Making up for the mishaps in last week's game will be evident against UAlbany. However, the FCS opponent is not a pushover, as they play in the CAA, which is the toughest conference in all of FCS Football.
“Based off their meeting the other day, they don’t care who they’re playing,” Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers said. “They have a standard and they aren’t going to lower their standard for anybody.”
Syracuse is now 1-1 on the season and UAlbany is 0-2, dropping their last game to the University of Rhode Island. Both teams are struggling to score offensively, as UAlbany averages 10 points per game and Syracuse averages 18.
Although the Orange offense is riddled with offensive scoring issues, the defense is looking for ways to make the offense's job easier. The lack of turnovers has led to turnover circuits in practice to place an emphasis on taking the ball from the opposing team.
“Our first instinct is to just tackle the ball carrier,” Black said. “But to help us win games we have to win the turnover battle.”
The defense making possessions tougher for opposing offenses will help the Orange offense in the long run. The Orange are yet to have a passing touchdown in the two games this season. Tommy Devito suffered an injury mid-season last year and has not thrown a touchdown since October 10, 2020, against Duke. The touchdown connection was a roll out pass to tight end Luke Benson that went 53 yards to the endzone.
The Orange look to capitalize on a must win this weekend in the Dome. The matchup will kickoff this Saturday in the Carrier Dome at 12p.m.