Scouting Colgate with Syracuse running back Antwon Bailey

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ On Saturday, Antwon Bailey won’t be the one throwing the touchdown passes or pounding the opposing defense time and time again. He likely won’t be the one catching multiple touchdowns. But he’ll be there, wearing No. 29, doing everything in his power to help Syracuse claim victory over Colgate. Bailey is the glue of the offense. The guy whose numbers won’t stand out in a box score, but a guy who has as big of an influence on the success of the offense as just about anyone. Just ask Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone. ‘The one player that goes around and just does his job and is a player we’re really looking for good things out of this year is Antwon Bailey,’ Marrone said during preseason camp. ‘He’s really been very consistent now, for two years, in his play. He can run the ball well, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield.’ Three games in, Bailey, a 5-foot-8, 192-pound running back, is second on the team in rushing yards behind starter Delone Carter. But Bailey also gives the Orange a pass catcher out of the backfield, making him one of the offense’s best dual-threat players. He’s tied for fourth on the team with six receptions on the season. That versatility has been a key component to the success of the Syracuse offense through the first three games this season. Bailey is a shifty, change-of-pace runner with the ball in his hands, yet gives quarterback Ryan Nassib a nice check-down option when in pressure situations.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text This week, Bailey will help the offense in its attempt to exploit a defense that has allowed an average of 37 points per game this season. Here’s a look at how he is viewing the task: The Daily Orange: Coming in against such a long-standing rival this week at the Carrier Dome, what are your expectations of the game this Saturday? Bailey: It’s going to be a great college football atmosphere. They’re a team from just up the road that has a long history with Syracuse. So it’ll be exciting. What are some of the things you have seen on film that impresses you about Colgate? One thing I saw was they’re a very well-coached team; they’re a disciplined team. That’s something you have to account for. They’re not going to have too many missed assignments, too many penalties or guys out of place. That’s what we’re expecting come Saturday. With all the penalties and mistakes you guys committed last week against Maine, how important is it to clean that up before you face a very disciplined, well-coached team this weekend? No matter who we are playing, we’ve got to clean those mistakes up. So that’s one thing. Before even getting to the opponent, we needed to clean those things up. Most of those (mistakes) were unforced errors, things that weren’t forced by the other team. So that’s something we feel we had to get under control, and we’re hoping that’s behind us. … This week’s practice has gone smoothly, and I haven’t seen many of those errors show up this week, so that’s definitely a good sign. What is different about this defense from the others you’ve faced this season? The defensive scheme they run isn’t much different from what we’ve faced this season, and they aren’t the biggest defense we’ve faced. But they know the system. They know where they need to be and how to attack. That’s one thing we’ll have to really be prepared for. What have you seen from this Colgate defense that could potentially give you guys some trouble? Like I said, this team is very disciplined. And as an offense, we cannot put ourselves into situations where we’re making unforced errors. We feel good about where we are as an offense, but we just can’t make the mistakes we made in the first half last week, and I think we’ll be good. How much does last week’s game against Maine help you this weekend against Colgate? Maine came out strong and really played well early. Every other game we’ve jumped out to an early lead, so we just need to regain that (mentality) this week. Maine showed they can play, and from what we’ve seen on tape, Colgate is right there, too. aljohn@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Published on September 23, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img