Without starting corner Brandon Reddish, the Syracuse pass defense really struggled. Now with arguable their best corner back in the fold, the Orange look towards a difficult road challenge at Rutgers. Reddish spoke to CuseNation.com about preparation for the Scarlet Knights.
"At practice, we work hard at everything we do on our assignments, on our keys," Reddish explained. "We're just focusing in at the meeting room. When we play Rutgers, we're just going to continue to work hard in practice and give it our best shot."
Knowing the opponent, Reddish is preparing for a physical running attack. He is prepared to help out in run defense if needed while focusing on his assignment as a cover-corner.
"It's basically being in the right place at the right time," Reddish said. "Not losing my focus on the receiver and worry about the run game as much. I know we have people that are there for us to be strong against the run game.
"If it comes down to making big plays, coach always puts us in the right position to make plays."
"It was great because it was my first college sack," he recalled. "Everybody, my friends were happy for me. I didn't even really notice that it was a big play. I was just happy about it. "(Losing Shamarko Thomas) gave us a boost. Knowing one of our best players was down we wanted to go out there and shine."
Dealing with some injury issues in previous weeks, and wearing a non-contact jersey in practice this week, many are wondering about the health of Syracuse's sophomore corner. He says he is back and 100%.
With Rutgers rushing attack being a primary focus, it is important not to forget about the big, athletic receivers they possess. Mark Harrison is 6-foot-3, and Brandon Coleman 6-foot-6. Reddish is ready for the challenge of covering them despite the height disadvantage.
"We just got to keep giving it our best shot," he said. "With physical receivers, you've got to be physical. Whatever happens, happens. Whatever is in the game plan is what we have to do. I'm going to follow the game plan and do my job."
Reddish also knows facing Gary Nova will be a challenge. His accurate passing will mean the Syracuse secondary will have to be in position every play.
"He's a great thrower, and an accurate thrower," Reddish outlined. "He always puts it right on his receivers. So we're going to have to make plays when that happens. We have to cover no matter what. No matter for how long, if the d-line doesn't get any pressure. We've got to cover at the end of the day."