‘Thunder and lightning’ look to restore SU’s stability out of the backfield

The last time anyone rushed for 1,000 yards for Syracuse was 2012, when Jerome Smith gained 1,171 yards on 5.2 yards per carry. Smith netted 914 yards the following year. No one has reached 607 yards since.

While SU made some of the top wideout production in the country in the past two years with Amba Etta-Tawo and Steve Ishmael, the Orange are without an emerging threat through the 2018 preseason. The backfield may need to emerge as a reliable threat, something it has struggled to do since Smith’s production in 2012.

“Guys want to change the culture around here,” junior Moe Neal said. “We’re trying to be great each and every day.”

Last year, the Orange ranked 84th in the nation on the ground (4.0 yards per carry). To take a leap forward to bowl eligibility, a surge in backfield production may help.

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