Syracuse football looks to improve its goal-line offense at Central Michigan

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse offensive line coach Joe Adam calls it the “point of attack.” The split second when the ball is hiked and the offensive line has a chance to create holes and free up running space. In an opening-night win against Villanova, the goal-line “point of attack” belonged to the Wildcats. The result was five straight failed attempts at the end zone and the Orange’s first hurdle of the season. “Every game there are going to be one or two plays and it was unfortunate that those one or two plays happened down on the goal-line situation,” SU offensive coordinator George McDonald said. “We had good looks, we had good plays. We didn’t execute to the ability that we were supposed to.”Adonis Ameen-Moore failed to reach the end zone five times from within the 3-yard line against the Wildcats and blames himself for the Orange’s (1-0) short-yardage woes, but there is more to the picture. Adam said he was “a little pissed off” with SU’s results in that area and that improving upon them has been his major focus in the two weeks since Syracuse narrowly escaped a Villanova upset.The Orange heads to Mount Pleasant, Michigan, to face Central Michigan (2-0) at noon on Saturday after the Chippewas held Purdue to 3.6 yards per carry in a CMU win last week. Central Michigan is a more-than-worthy Mid-American Conference opponent and SU’s goal-line troubles have shifted from prevalent to pressing.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think a lot of it is just on me,” Adonis Ameen-Moore said. “I just need to make those plays and I think a lot of the adjustments have to be on me.”Adam said that there were multiple breakdowns within Villanova’s 10-yard line and that there isn’t just one player or position to zero in on. Getting to the second level, staying on blocks, winning “the point of attack” and pulling to the outside were all phrases that Adam threw out to explain what the line can do better. Take away Prince-Tyson Gulley’s 65-yard touchdown run against Villanova and Syracuse ran up the middle 19 times for 46 yards — just 2.4 yards per carry. The early-season goal-line problems are a bit of deja vu for the Orange. With Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett calling the offensive shots in 2012, Syracuse couldn’t punch it in during a 1-3 start. That’s when Marrone and Hackett introduced the Tank package, which put Ameen-Moore at running back and linebacker Lewellyn Coker at fullback. Ameen-Moore ran for five touchdowns on 30 carries in the rest of that season, scoring on 16.7 percent of his touches and helping the Orange jump from a middling Big East team to Pinstripe Bowl champions at year’s end. The running back said Tuesday evening that he’s sure that there will be “some” schematic changes ahead of the Central Michigan game, but didn’t know specifics since goal-line work is done on Wednesdays before games. He added, though, that the situation is different this time around. “That was the 32 package and against Villanova we were in an 11 package,” Ameen-Moore said, referring to SU packages that vary by personnel. “But at the same time there were a lot of growing pains with the (Tank package) as well. The first game I got in in 2012, we caught them off guard but then the next game they started to stop us.“It’s a growing pains thing.”Ameen-Moore said that holes were closing fast and that he was allowing his knee to get bumped by the Wildcats’ front. Adam added he was “disappointed” with how his offensive line performed.The first-year coach wasn’t sure if the breadth of the problem makes it easier or harder to mend, but did acknowledge that an answer — Tank package or not — does exist. “There’s really no wondering why we weren’t successful,” Adam said. “Trust me, we’re definitely working on it.” Comments Published on September 11, 2014 at 12:10 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesselast_img

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