With freshman Prince Tyson-Gulley out because of mono (oOoOoOo), Syracuse will be limited to two tailbacks on Saturday afternoon.
Marrone had said earlier in the week that coaches might give another player, a non-starter, some work at tailback just in case something happened to Carter and Bailey. But he said Wednesday that he would take his chances with the two upperclassmen.
That means if something happens to Carter and Bailey, Marrone would probably go with fullback Adam Harris behind Nassib.
Senior starter Delone Carter missed half of the West Virginia game on Oct. 23 because of a hip injury, but he played last week against Cincinnati and has reportedly had no issues in practice this week.
Orange right tackle Michael Hay hasn't practiced this week and is wearing a boot on his left foot. If he can't go then he'll be replaced in the starting lineup by either sophomore Ian Allport or freshman Andrew Phillips.
Wide receiver Van Chew (awesome) missed practice on Tuesday but was back on the field yesterday. Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone said Chew just needed to rest.
The goal for both Syracuse and Louisville heading into the season was to win at least six games and play in a bowl game, something only transfers or redshirts (for U of L) on either roster have achieved. A win for the Orange Saturday would make that goal a reality.
"Everyone knows what our record is," Lewis said. "Everyone knows how many wins we have to have to become bowl-eligible. It's in everyone's mind.
"Yeah," Lewis admitted, "we talk about it."
Doug Marrone referred to the word "bowl" as "the four-letter word" just a week ago. The word is the topic that hovered over the start of summer practice and the beginning of SU's season, as Marrone said the 2010 season was bowl or bust. And a bowl is the primary goal this program has crept closer and closer to with its surprising start to the season.
"(Bowl eligibility) would be huge for the program," Lewis said. "Huge for the community."
Syracuse is good and people are pumped.
A friend from home called me the other day and had one question: "What's up with Syracuse football being good?" I was ecstatic to answer. My 'Cuse friends were ecstatic to answer. SU fans would, most likely, be ecstatic to answer. After all, how often have we had the chance to be ecstatic about Syracuse football? Not often.
For the first time in awhile, kids on campus are talking about attending the game this weekend (12 p.m. against Louisville). They're using phrases like "I can't wait." They're planning tailgates. They're coming to the Quad before the game.
The Orange Speak...on Louisville:
|The Orange Speak...on Louisville|
Syracuse has vastly overachieved so far this season, but their biggest achievements have come on the road.
"Sometimes the people who love you the most will support you the most, but they also distract you the most," Marrone said. "It is just a matter of logistics. You definitely have less logistics on the road. Personally, I definitely have less logistics on the road than I do for a home game."
The Orange want to turn the Carrier Dome back into the loud, intimidating home atmosphere it used to be. They were close to doing that in the Pittsburgh game, but the Panthers took the crowd out of things by grabbing a quick early lead and never letting go.
"Hopefully, we can create an environment that I remember that makes it difficult for these teams to come in and play," Marrone said. "We have that ability. The people who have been coming to the games have been great, they’re vocal and they really appreciate how hard these players have worked to be where we are now. For the people who aren’t, I invite them to come and see what we have to offer in our program."
When Doug Marrone is limited to a small roster, Doug Marrone will fret.