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first_img Comments All Brian Megill could do was shrug when he thought about what happened last year trying to defend Denver’s Alex Demopoulos. He had no answer as to what allowed the attack to score four goals against Syracuse while no other Pioneer had more than one.A then-freshman filled with nerves in his first collegiate start, Megill had trouble stopping Demopoulos from the very beginning.‘He smoked me hard the first play,’ Megill said. ‘He’s a very good player. We just have to account for him now.’Stopping Demopoulos is one part of what No. 1 Syracuse is looking to do Sunday when it opens up its season against No. 12 Denver at 1 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. It’ll try to stop a tough team coached by Bill Tierney, who led the Pioneers to a 12-5 record and a NCAA tournament berth in his first season as head coach.Megill wasn’t even supposed to cover Demopoulos in last season’s 15-9 win over Denver but had to take over that assignment when John Lade injured his hamstring in the days leading up to the start of the season. Now Lade gets his chance at trying to keep the quarterback of Denver’s offense from giving the Pioneers a chance at beating the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘We’re going to have John covering him,’ Megill said. ‘He’s going to do a great job as he always does. (Demopoulos) is a very good feeder as well as a shooter.’Demopoulos is in charge of a Denver offense that has all three starting attack returning from last season, as well as several of its best offensive midfielders. It’s an experienced offense that took the Pioneers to an ECAC Championship a year ago.Tierney now has one full season at Denver under his belt and an offensive unit completely used to his system and schemes. Syracuse head coach John Desko said that only gives him more reason to expect the Pioneers to be as good or even better this season.‘It’s Coach Tierney’s and his staff’s second year there, so I think we’re going to see their system kick into place obviously more this year than last year,’ Desko said. ‘I think this Denver team’s going to be a year wiser.’Desko also said the Denver players aren’t going to be as intimidated coming in to play at the Dome after experiencing it last year. Using Army, which beat the Orange in the first round of the tournament last year, as an example, Desko said the Pioneers won’t be as ‘awestruck’ in their return to the Dome.One of the reasons Demopoulos had so much success against the Orange last season could be because SU simply didn’t know him as well, Desko said. On Sunday, there will be more of a definitive game plan in terms of defending him, including getting Lade help covering the attack. And that means keeping Demopoulos from taking unassisted shots and making sure he isn’t able to make easy assists.‘He certainly is probably their best carrier, their leader on attack,’ Desko said. ‘He looks to (Mark) Matthews a lot to finish the ball. We’re going to match up with him, know where he is, get on his hands and be aware he can be a threat.’In last season’s game, Syracuse had a 10-goal lead but let Denver slowly climb its way back. Demopoulos sparked the late comeback attempt with two goals in the fourth quarter.Giving the Pioneers an opportunity to get within striking distance is something the Orange is looking to avoid Sunday. With that in mind, stopping Demopoulos is crucial if Syracuse wants to keep a lead when it gets one.‘We got out on them pretty quick and then let them in with a few goals,’ SU midfielder Jovan Miller said. ‘If we get a big lead, just to stay on top of it.’Despite his team getting the win over Denver last year, Megill said it didn’t come without mistakes. There are certain aspects that need to be improved, whether it’s communicating better on defense or holding onto a lead for the duration of the game.‘They’re a good team, but I think we could’ve done better,’ Megill said. ‘We have a bad taste in our mouth from last year, so I’m hoping we’re going to come out firing.’cjiseman@syr.edu Published on February 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemancenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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first_imgSyracuse released its 2016 football schedule on Tuesday afternoon. The Orange is coming off a 4-8 season and in December hired Dino Babers to be its next head coach. SU’s 12 opponents went a combined 93-64 (.592) in 2015 and nine of the 11 FBS teams that Syracuse will play advanced to bowl games. In three seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Orange is 7-17 against conference opponents.Though game times have not been announced, here is who Syracuse will face, and on which date, this upcoming season.Saturday, Sept. 1/2/3 — vs. ColgateFriday, Sept. 9 — vs. LouisvilleSaturday, Sept. 17 — vs. South FloridaAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSaturday, Sept. 24 — at ConnecticutSaturday, Oct. 1 — vs. Notre Dame (MetLife Stadium)Saturday, Oct. 8 — at Wake ForestSaturday, Oct. 15 — vs. Virginia TechSaturday, Oct. 22 — at Boston CollegeSaturday, Oct. 29 — BYESaturday, Nov. 5 — at ClemsonSaturday, Nov. 12 — vs. North Carolina StateSaturday, Nov. 19 — vs. Florida StateSaturday, Nov. 26 — at PittsburghHome games are in bold Comments Published on January 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Related Stories 5 things Dino Babers said at his introductory press conference5 quick facts about new Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers5 things Mark Coyle said at Dino Babers’ introductory press conferenceTop 5 Syracuse sports storylines to look for in 2016Storify: Social media reacts to Dino Babers being hired as Syracuse’s next football coachcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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