True story: Jeff Braun has replaced Joey Madsen once before and Josh Jenkins was the left guard there to help him out with things. Of course, the quarterback was Jarrett Brown, the leading rusher was Noel Devine and the leading receiver was Jock Sanders.
It was the second game of the 2009 season and Braun mopped up in the middle at the end of a 35-20 win against ECU. He hasn’t taken a live, in-game snap since then, though he is not without practice.
“I’ve played it here my whole career, kind of silently in practice,” Braun said. “I got a lot of reps all the way to halfway through the season and cut my reps back, but I started getting live reps again last week.”
Snapping the ball is a big part of the position, but it’s not the biggest, and especially not against a defense that likes to blitz as much and as unpredictably as Syracuse’s.
The Orange (7-5) make 7.5 tackles for a loss per game and blitz on about half its downs.
Those blitzes are hardly ever the same.
“A lot of their defense is trying to confuse you,” Braun said.
“They try to disguise things and where the blitz is coming from. They bring a lot of different guys from a lot of different places, so you’ve got to be ready for that. I’m responsible for picking that up and sliding (the line) to protect Geno.”