Syracuse Orange senior wide receiver Alec Lemon will remaining listed as questionable heading into Saturday's non-conference game against the No. 2-ranked USC Trojans at MetLife Stadium. SU head coach Doug Marrone reiterated Wednesday Lemon's playing status which has stayed the same ever since preseason camp ended.
"I am not trying to hide it," said Marrone Wednesday. "I just really don't know yet."
The Orange, again, will enter a big game with a wait-and-see approach regarding Lemon's lower-body injury that he suffered in preseason camp. Last season, Lemon set a program record with 68 receptions and entered this season as quarterback Ryan Nassib's presumed No. 1 target.
In Lemon's absence last Saturday, in a heartbreaking 42-41 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, senior wide receiver Marcus Sales caught a team-high 12 passes for 129 receiving yards, while Nassib set a school record with 482 passing yards.
Making his 2012-13 debut Saturday will be redshirt senior tight end David Stevens, who missed the season-opener with a minor leg injury. Earlier in the week, Marrone admitted that Stevens could have played Saturday but was held out for precautionary reasons.
Meanwhile, left tackle Justin Pugh, a 2011 All-Big East Conference First Team selection, wide receiver Adrian Flemming and transfer defensive end John Raymon will not play, according to Marrone. Pugh is recovering from shoulder surgery, Flemming is rehabbing from a high-ankle sprain and Raymon is still waiting for eligibility clearance regarding his academic transcripts.
"We are still working together with the NCAA, so we haven't had any final decision on that yet," said Marrone. "I don't know when that will end or when we will get that final decision."
As for the Trojans, they are dealing with a few minor injuries to redshirt junior cornerback Torian Harris, sophomore linebacker Lamar Dawson, redshirt sophomore Dion Bailey and place kicker Andre Heidari. For Saturday, all four are expected to play.
On the Trojans' depth chart, Harris is listed as the backup to starter sophomore Anthony Brown, Dawson is USC's starting middle linebacker, Bailey is the starting strong-side linebacker while Heidari is the starting place kicker.
During last week's 49-10 victory over the Hawaii Warriors, Bailey was seen supporting his right foot on crutches. Updates, however, said Bailey's crutches were just precautionary.
One Trojan with starting experience that will not see the field Saturday will be sophomore running back D.J. Morgan, who's out 3-4 weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery earlier in the week.
For complete coverage of New York's College Classic featuring Syracuse vs. USC, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For in-depth coverage of the Orange visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while Conquest Chronicles is all about the Trojans.