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Syracuse Stud Of The Week: Shamarko Thomas

#Shamarko!!!

Though the Syracuse defense allowed 42 points again this week as No. 2 USC defeated the Orange 42-29, it held the Trojans scoreless through the opening 15 minutes and kept the team in the game well into the fourth quarter.

After the Syracuse offense cut the USC lead to 21-10, Orange safety Shamarko Thomas intercepted a Matt Barkley pass intended for Robert Woods, getting the ball back in the hands of Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib. Syracuse later scored on a Prince-Tyson Gulley run, narrowing the margin to 21-16. The interception was a pivotal, “would-be” game changer for the Orange, giving them the momentum they needed after a 70-minute lightning delay at halftime.

Thomas recorded seven tackles, including six solo tackles and one for a loss, playing an instrumental role in Syracuse’s defensive effort against Matt Barkley and his star receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. According to Post-Standard blogger Brent Axe, his 184 career tackles ties for 13th on the all-time SU record for most tackles by a defensive back.

For an awe-inspiring story of success and resilience in the face of heartbreak and hardship, check out Sports Illustrated blogger Eric Duick’s story on the long road Shamarko Thomas has taken to get to where he is now at the helm of the Syracuse defense.