Syracuse's Top Two Corners Lead Country in Impressive Stat

Michael McAllister

Pro Football Focus is known for its analytical review of college and professional football players based on metrics beyond traditional statistics. One of those metrics used to evaluated cornerbacks is targets without giving up a touchdown. Syracuse's two starting cornerbacks happen to be the top two players in the nation in that metric. 

Redshirt freshman Garrett Williams had a breakout performance against Clemson, leading the team with eight tackles, two pass breakups and a pick six. He leads the nation with 38 targets without giving up a touchdown. His fellow starting cornerback, Ifeatu Melifonwu, has not had that same breakout type performance. Rather, he has been quietly steady all season long. Melifonwu is second in the nation, trailing only Williams, with 33 targets without giving up a touchdown. 

This incredible accomplishment more than halfway through the season is not due to playing cupcakes either. Syracuse started the season with two straight road games against ranked teams, followed that up with back to back ACC opponents, a Liberty team that is on the cusp of cracking the top 25, and the top ranked team in the land. 

So Williams and Melifonwu have seen their share of talented wide receivers. Yet none have been able to score on them. 

Williams came to Syracuse out of Hickory Ridge High School in North Carolina. He picked the Orange over offers from Maryland and West Virginia, among many others. Melifonwu signed with Syracuse out of Grafton Memorial in Massachusetts. He chose the Orange over offers from Michigan and others.