August 11, 2007
During last season the Syracuse Orange had trouble stopping the run and that led opposing teams to control games with its ground attack. It is that run stopping ability that has new defensive line coach Derrick Jackson looking to improve this weakness as well as a couple others they have.
"I think it starts with that we were not physical enough up front. I think third down conversion defense was an area where we did not get ourselves off of the field and I go back to if you limit what people get in the run game they are not in third and short situations that are tough to stop." Jackson detailed, "So we need to be better on first and second down to create third down situations that are more advantageous to us as a defense."
While the defensive line had problems stopping the run they did show that opposing quarterbacks need to look out. The pass rush is led by Jameel McClain who was last seasons Big East leader for sacks. Now a year later McClain is ready to get after it and his new position coach knows good things will happen when his unit can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback.
"Last year the defense showed that they had the ability to get after the quarterback I think we were tied for 18th or 19th in the nation for sacks and again I think if we can do a great job at stopping the run we can put ourselves in position to get after the quarterback more but that all starts with stopping the run and being more physical."
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