(SU ATHLETICS) - The Syracuse football team wraps up its nonconference portion of its schedule this weekend when it travels to Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU). Head coach Doug Marrone
addressed the media this morning in his weekly press conference and discussed the upcoming game and challenges that SU might face when it faces the Tigers. Watch the complete press conference here
"Our focus is on our execution and we have to do to win a game and not what's going on around us," Marrone said. "It's not on what a lot questions like if you win or if you don't win or anything like that. Our goal and our focus for our football team is to eliminate mistakes, get better, ball security, tackle and go out there and challenge a team and try to get a win."
The Oranges holds a 2-0 record in the series against Missouri. This will be the first time since the two teams are meeting since 1987. SU has prepared itself to travel to Faurot Field to play in a difficult atmosphere.
"It becomes a level of focus," Marrone said. "If you let the crowd get to you, yes it could become a major factor in what goes on. If you are focused in on what you have to do and I'm talking about an extreme, high level of focus, then you don't have to worry about the crowd."
Missouri is 5-5 overall and holds a 2-5 record in the SEC. Most recently, the Tigers defeated Tennessee, 51-48 in four overtimes. Missouri, just like Syracuse, is in search for its sixth win of the season to become bowl eligible.
"We're going to have to do a good job of containing the quarterback," Marrone said. "We're going to have to do a good job of tackling when they do complete passes or run the football and not have a lot of missed tackles or yards after the catch. I think that's key for us."
An area of strength of the Orange this year is its third-down conversions. SU has converted on 79-of-163 third downs this season which is 48.5%. This ranks the orange at 16th in the nation in third down conversions.
"The best third down teams are very good on first and second down," Marrone said. "To stay in manageable down and distances can create a least an environment for you to be successful in. when you get into situations that are unmanageable, then they can take away some things or force you to check the ball down, make a tackle and make a punt. For us, we've done a good job of being in manageable situations."
Syracuse closes out its season on Friday, Nov. 23rd when it travels to Temple at 11 a.m. (ESPN2).