Syracuse’s jumbo package works in red zone, continues to progress

first_imgWINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The jumbo package self-destructed against Florida State. Against Wake Forest on Saturday, it gave Syracuse its only offensive touchdown and a lead it never relinquished in an eventual 30-7 win over the Demon Deacons. In the short-yardage formation that SU ran twice on Saturday, the quarterback goes under center with defensive linemen Ron Thompson and Micah Robinson lead blocking for a running back and defensive end Robert Welsh lining up at tight end. The package that adds defense to offense is improving for Syracuse (3-4, 1-2, Atlantic Coast) — but it’s also evolving.“We still got to get better at it, but it was good to get it out there and hopefully just kind of get the kinks out of it,” SU offensive coordinator Tim Lester said.In the jumbo with just over eight minutes left in the first, Prince-Tyson Gulley took a handoff to the inside left and ran behind Robinson and Thompson for 1 yard as Wake Forest collapsed the line of scrimmage.On the next play, on the Wake Forest 4-yard line, freshman quarterback AJ Long faked the same play before rolling right. Welsh then pushed would-be tackler Steve Donatell wide of the SU quarterback as Long ran into the near-right corner of the end zone.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange tried to debut the formation in the second quarter of its 38-20 loss to then-No. 1 Florida State, but Thompson jumped offside, killing off the set Lester had introduced when he took over as offensive coordinator.“There was a big smile on my face,” Robinson said of when Lester approached him about playing on offense. “I couldn’t hold it back. I was like, ‘Wow, really?’”After Saturday’s game, Robinson said he’s only in the formation to block and that there aren’t any plays designed for him to get the ball.But as little works for Syracuse in the red zone, the jumbo package is at least starting to.“It’s just fun having the defense out there,” Long said. “We’re a close-knit group and once you get those guys out there, they’re a wild pack of dogs as Welsh likes to say.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 20, 2014 at 12:05 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_last_img

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