Syracuse is preparing for life without Brandon Mullins.His ability to play atop the defense, as well in close around the crease is rare enough. Few do it as well as he does, and his raw athleticism is largely unmatched. Syracuse has other capable defenders, but none that can match Mullins’ skill set at such a high level.“I mean, it’s going to affect everything,” fellow defender David Hamlin said. “As long as he’s out of the lineup, it’s going to affect every team to replace a guy like Mullins with just anybody.”Mullins appeared to injure his right knee trying to change directions after missing a check on Chris LaPierre with about 6:45 left in the fourth quarter in Friday night’s 9-8 overtime victory against then-No. 6 Virginia. He underwent an MRI on Monday night, but head coach John Desko has yet to hear from doctors.Mullins was not available to the media Tuesday, as he was receiving treatment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatt Harris stepped into defense from long-stick midfield and helped shut out UVA the rest of the game. But Harris is just one of the options Desko is considering to fill the potential void. No. 10 Syracuse (2-1) already rotated Kyle Carey and short-stick defender Matt Pratt in with near-constants Brian Megill and Hamlin. Long-stick midfielders Joe Fazio and Peter Macartney may also be moved back, Desko said. Megill has moved up top in the past.The Orange is going through practice as if Mullins won’t return this week. Whether a midfielder is converted or a less-experienced player steps to the fore, he must adjust in at least footwork and communication to replace the seemingly irreplaceable.“Obviously, he’s probably a much better athlete than I am,” Harris said. “He’s a stud football player from Texas.”Desko and Harris agreed Harris is most likely to match Mullins’ blend of up-close physicality and attack-chasing speed. When Harris shifted back from midfield Friday, he had little time to think. Instead, he reverted to basic instincts and his experience as a close defender from last season.The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Harris looked forward to getting back in the trenches. He focused on tying up the hands of attacks, a natural role. But footwork became an extra point of emphasis. He worried about tripping over the cage and giving up a late game-breaking goal.“The adjustments are just probably guarding different guys,” Harris said. “The attackmen are usually a little quicker, a little shiftier than the midfielders, so if anybody was going to play down low, probably be working on their footwork a little more this weekend.”On Monday, the Orange ran through a vast group of defenders, Harris said, but he expects the field of likely starters to narrow as the week progresses and the team learns more about Mullins’ health. For now, though, largely untested Sean Young remains in contention.“The defense, especially at this level, is a lot about communication, and they do that very well,” Hamlin said. “Sean’s a box guy, he’s a Canadian guy, and he just plays really good team defense on top of his good 1-on-1 defense.”Whichever player or combination of defenders is selected, Syracuse can lean on Megill and Hamlin. Megill can help on dodging attacks. Plus, he and Hamlin are into their second season of regularly playing together.The Orange expects that chemistry and communication to carry it through, regardless of Mullins’ health.Having already rotated frequently this season, SU and its defense are still difficult to scout, Desko said, forcing teams to spend extra hours pouring over scouting reports and preparing for the Orange’s varying personnel groups in practice.Desko has yet to decide his defensive matchups for Saturday’s game with St. John’s, but he and the Orange will head to Chester, Pa., with several combinations of defensive sets and players in mind.“You don’t have a choice,” Desko said. “If he’s unable to participate then, you know – we don’t ever go into a game with just plan A. There’s B and C in case something doesn’t work, so we’ve got to be prepared, and you don’t want players to adjust on the fly.” Comments Published on March 6, 2013 at 1:25 am Contact Jacob: email@example.com | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+
ATLANTA — So it’s midterms week. You have a massive (insert major here) test that will factor heavily into your final grade.You’ve been studying here and there for 5-10 minutes a day since school started in August. Now that the test is finally around the corner, you’re spending a few hours a day preparing yourself for what you know will be a doozy of an exam. Despite the difficulty and importance of the test, you genuinely feel prepared. Once you get there, though, everything you thought you knew goes out the window. The test absolutely sh*ts on you. Fifty-six. F. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat’s what happened to Syracuse on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in front of 45,704 fans. The Orange got, as head coach Scott Shafer put it, its rumps kicked. Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast) dropped a 56-spot on Syracuse (3-4, 1-2), and the Orange came away with nothing at all. “I think they just outplayed us top to bottom, first quarter to fourth quarter,” Syracuse center Macky MacPherson said.Yes, Macky. Yes they did. The Orange wasn’t even close to prepared for the Yellow Jackets. Though it was a catastrophic game for Syracuse that resulted in the eighth largest margin of victory in ACC history, it’s not the end of the world. There’s still time for the Orange to salvage the season and put that nightmarish test behind it. SU will never see anything quite like GT’s offensive scheme again. Syracuse prepared for Georgia Tech’s vaunted triple option since August, but all it had to show for it was a humiliating 56-0 loss. Shafer tried to switch the defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4. The purpose of doing so, he said after the game, was to change “who the read and the speed the read would be.”Needless to say, the tactical adjustment backfired. Georgia Tech’s triple option looked like a septuple option. It was just a matter of what Vad Lee would do. Honestly, it didn’t really matter what Syracuse did. The Orange simply wasn’t ready for Georgia Tech’s style of play. The egregious mistakes were more mental than they were physical. It was a lack of preparation on behalf of the coaching staff.Shafer is the first to admit that. After the game, he said he was out-coached by Paul Johnson and did a poor job all around.“I’m disappointed in myself,” the first-year head coach said. “Really am.”The Orange didn’t study hard enough. The test questions all turned to gibberish and the answers were nonexistent. One of the most fascinating things about Georgia Tech’s thumping was that it came at a very consistent, methodical pace. Sure, it was consistently a massacre, but the pace at which the offense surgically operated on the Orange never wavered.It was a simple 7 yards here, 10 yards there, back to 8. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown.Georgia Tech only had two running plays of more than 20 yards, yet racked up 394 on the ground.The most amazing thing wasn’t that Syracuse was dumbfounded by the triple option at first. Naturally, it’s going to be difficult to master at first glance. No. The most incredible part was that the scoring barrage just never ceased. I kept wondering when it would stop. When would Georgia Tech’s run game finally be nullified? When would Syracuse score? But none of those things ever happened.The wrecking ball that is the Georgia Tech triple option smashed Syracuse all afternoon. But it was just one game. Wake Forest is up next after a bye week, and Syracuse still has time to turn things around. Plus, SU doesn’t need to worry about facing Georgia Tech again anytime soon. The teams play in different divisions, so the Orange has until 2020 to study for that test. Comments Published on October 21, 2013 at 12:22 am Facebook Twitter Google+
MORE: ‘Change starts with us,’ Eagles owner says Prescott commented on the situation with an Instagram post Wednesday that started: “As a black multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled!”Prescott backed those protesting but does not believe looting or violence is the answer. “I have viewed these protests and riots in our streets as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as black people have rights that aren’t being perceived equally as our counterparts,” he said. View this post on Instagram “How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don’t abide by it? You need to hold your own accountable!”Prescott said he is taking action with the donation and “will act alongside of all of you!”He added: “We will clean our streets and our communities not only of the looting and violence, but most importantly the racism, racial profiling and hate!” A post shared by Dak Prescott (@_4dak) on Jun 3, 2020 at 8:34am PDTPrescott also had something to say to the “men and women that police our streets.””I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving your communities. When you chose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to PROTECT life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations,” he said. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is pledging $1 million to improve police training and address systemic racism through education and advocacy in the United States following the death of George Floyd. Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, prompting demonstrations and riots across the United States and beyond.