Statuses of Lemon, Stevens uncertain for season opener; Orange prepares for sweltering conditions in Carrier Dome
Syracuse wide receiver Alec Lemon’s status for Saturday’s season opener against Northwestern is uncertain, head coach Doug Marrone said during a press conference Thursday.
Lemon has been dealing with a lower-body injury since training camp. While he’s been suiting up for practices, he’s been limited in drills.
Not having Lemon for the game would be a big loss for the Orange to have to absorb. He caught for 834 yards on 68 receptions in 2011, and also scored six touchdowns.
Marrone also said back-up tight end David Stevens could be out of Saturday’s game due to injury. He also officially ruled out left tackle Justin Pugh.
Other notes from Marrone’s press conference:
- Syracuse is expecting sweltering conditions in the Carrier Dome Saturday, and practiced in the Dome Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in order to prepare for game day. Marrone said hydration was a problem on Tuesday, but the team found a way to keep that from being an issue as the week progressed. Marrone certainly has plenty of experience playing in the Carrier Dome on hot days and knows how much it can be an issue for players.
“I really believe as a former player having played in the Carrier Dome quite a bit early in the season, it’s very difficult to simulate that type of environment because of the dead air that sometimes makes it very difficult to breathe,” Marrone said. “That’s really one of the concerns going into this game on Saturday.
The Orange is going to have a lot of players see time on the field Saturday since substitutions will be abundant to make sure everyone gets the rest they need.
- Marrone said while many teams around college football use a spread offense, what makes Northwestern unique is that it’s used the system for so long.
“So they know it inside and out,” Marrone said. “They’re a spread offense and they have obviously very good players on that offense.”
He said Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter is dangerous, and everyone on the SU defense needs to know where he is at all times. Marrone gave some high praise to Colter, saying he reminds him of former Boston College quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie.
- When Marrone addressed his team at the start of the week, he said he reminded them how challenging the schedule is. It’ll be critical for the Orange to get off to a good start or else it could find itself in a hole early on in the season that could be difficult to recover from.
“I told them we have a challenging schedule,” Marrone said. “We’re excited about the opportunity. It starts this Saturday.”
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