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Players to Watch: Syracuse vs Rutgers

Breaking down three players on each team that could play a big role in the outcome.

As the clock ticks down to the Orange’s first home game with fans in over 650 days, fans are gearing up in both spirit wear and insight. With their 1-10 record last year and one win under Syracuse’s belt this season, it’s already heating up to be an interesting game this weekend. For those looking to places bets on game predictions, here are players to watch for Syracuse vs. Rutgers.

SYRACUSE

Duce Chestnut #20 Defensive Back

Securing a game-sealing, one-handed interception last week, Duce Chestnut is a freshman standout. It will be a great match-up and test for him as he’ll face experienced WR’s like Bo Melton.

Sean Tucker #34 Running Back

Setting a career record of 181 rushing yards and a touchdown in the season opener Saturday, Sean Tucker was the “bell-cow” for Syracuse. He averaged over 7 yards per carry and wore out the Ohio defense all game long. The big key for a Rutgers win will be to stop him and make the Cuse offense beat them through the air.

Mikel Jones #3 Linebacker

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With 10 tackles last week, sophomore Mikel Jones is an All-ACC linebacker from last year. Jones makes life difficult for opposing offenses with his quick play recognition.

RUTGERS

Isaih Pachecho #1 Running Back

While Rutgers does divide its totes among two or three backs, Pachecho is the primary ball carrier. He had 15 carries against Temple last week, rushing for 48 yards and a touchdown. If Rutgers is going to have success on the ground against Syracuse, he will be a big part of it. 

Bo Melton #18 Wide Receiver

Team Captain Bo Melton is a fifth year senior. With 59 yards against Temple and one touchdown, he’s Rutger’s leading wide receiver. Last season was Melton’s best with 638 yards, so Syracuse’s secondary needs to lock him down or he will cause problems for the team.

Olakunle Fatukasi #3 Linebacker

One word can be used to describe Fatukasi: electric. He had three sacks against Temple last week in one game, compared to last year when he had three the whole season. Fatukasi has led the team in tackles so far this season, and had 4 tackles for loss when he wreaked havoc on Temple’s offensive line all game long. If Syracuse wants to have a competitive score, they’ll have to contain him or he could potentially ruin their game plan, especially as a linebacker with speed.