Published on August 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Deon Goggins exerted his frustration on Jerome Smith. In back-to-back plays on the second series of the Ernie Davis Scrimmage on Aug. 20, Smith, the Syracuse running back, followed his blockers to the line of scrimmage. And each time he was met by a charging Goggins.In stuffing the running back on those two plays, the senior nose tackle may have put the past — a lost season in 2010 — behind him for good.One week later, Goggins received the gratification of being named a starter for Syracuse’s season opener against Wake Forest.‘I was my own worst enemy,’ Goggins said. ‘I just learned how to let everything go and just went after it. I feel like I’m back to playing like I was at (junior college), just a hundred times better.’Goggins entered preseason camp as a backup defensive tackle, but a strong camp punctuated by a standout performance in the scrimmage pushed the senior ahead of Cory Boatman on the depth chart. Goggins and Jay Bromley were chosen as the starting defensive tackles on the two-deep depth chart released by SU head coach Doug Marrone on Saturday. But they are only going to be part of a deep defensive tackle rotation for the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs many as six interior defensive linemen could get on the field for Syracuse this season. Marrone named four nose tackles and two defensive tackles on the depth chart.‘Anyone that is on that two-deep, we are telling everyone in this room that if that player went into a football game, we feel comfortable with him,’ Marrone said.Defensive tackle was one of the more competitive position battles in preseason camp. Last season, the Orange went with a primary rotation of three guys — Andrew Lewis, Anthony Perkins and Bud Tribbey — all of whom graduated.Bromley and Boatman left the spring as the starters, but Goggins was right behind them.The senior came in with high expectations following his transfer to SU from Cerritos (Calif.) Community College. But he never got on the field and was labeled somewhat of a disappointment.He has redeemed himself this August, though, looking strong and pushing for playing time. He had to move to nose tackle to secure a starting job, but he said he played some nose tackle at Cerritos and the only difference comes with technique.Lining up next to Goggins will be the sophomore Bromley, who played in 12 games last year and saw a little time at defensive tackle. The players behind them — Boatman, true freshman Eric Crume, Ollie Haney and Robert Welsh — will be called into action, too.‘A defensive tackle gets hit on every single play,’ defensive tackles coach Jimmy Brumbaugh said. ‘So if he’s out there for 70 plays, he’s getting hit 70 plays. You take a (defensive back) out there and he may hit somebody 10 plays. So it takes a lot of beating on your body.’Crume is the most intriguing of the other defensive tackles that will see playing time. Not only is he the lone true freshman among the six interior guys on the two-deep, he’s also the biggest player on the Syracuse defense.At 6 feet and 332 pounds, Crume is a mammoth, even among the defensive tackles. But he also has deceptive speed for his size.‘He’s a big boy, but he’s moving,’ Bromley said. ‘That’s the greatest thing about it. He’s a moving big boy, he ain’t no slow dude.’If Wake Forest’s offense is anything like it was last year, the season opener will be a good test for a young defensive line. The Demon Deacons had a decent rushing game last season, pounding out 158.5 yards per game on the ground.Brumbaugh said he doesn’t want his guys to hold the defense back because of their inexperience.‘We have to be the solution, not the problem,’ he said. ‘Because we are a young bunch.’ Graham secures third receiver role with strong campThis summer was different for Dorian Graham. The senior wide receiver needed to change his approach to the offseason to make plays during the season for Syracuse.He needed to work on catching the ball.‘I focused less on the weight room and all the hard training and stuff like that,’ Graham said. ‘I focused more on the field work, the skills, the route running, the catching. Pretty much most of my work was done on the field.’Graham beat out sophomore Jarrod West for the No. 3 receiver spot for the Orange entering Thursday’s season opener, a decision that displays the confidence SU has in Graham’s offseason growth.The senior didn’t catch a pass last season, despite seeing some time with the offense.His biggest problem was his hands. Graham has blazing speed — many believe he’s the fastest receiver SU has — but until this year, that was it. He struggled with dropped passes.In camp, Graham has been Syracuse’s best route-runner. After talking to his defensive backs, Syracuse defensive coordinator Scott Shafer said Graham and Syracuse’s No. 1 receiver, Van Chew, are the two they point out as the toughest to cover.Graham has always been a weight room freak with sprinter’s speed. But, pending the in-game proof that his ball-catching has really improved, he can be more than that.He can be the third receiver Syracuse needs.‘I think Dorian Graham really started last year, he worked extremely hard to get into a position to play,’ Marrone said. ‘I think he is really practicing well.’[email protected]
Patience, desire, energy and not lose your mind. A 1-0 or 1-1 does not change so much, we will have to play a great game against Barcelona. But now you have to think about the match against Torino. In the Camp Nou we will have to play 15-20 meters later.Can you make history in Barcelona?Let me think. That people think that our story is over is not going badly for us. We will play until the end.Insigne and Mertens imposed themselves on Messi?We play all very concentrated. Someone will tell us that we could press later, but we force them to play for the bands. We do not let them in. Do you think that Barça has been less fierce?Barça encountered difficulties because we have been very attentive. We have avoided its depth. We have failed little, only in the play of the goal. We knew about that play. If he did not do today three days ago, it is for our work.How are Insigne and Mertens?We will see it tomorrow. Mertens has a swollen ankle. I’m not a doctor yet.How do you leave?A little sad. We could do better. We were punished a lot for a mistake, but happy for the team’s work. What did you like about your team? What needs to be improved?We have to do things later and get more vertical. We could have done better. Maybe we were too afraid of losing the ball.