Unfortunately, somebody forgot to bring an offensive playbook along.
If you would've told me that Syracuse would allow WVU's offense to score only six points on the day, I probably would have thought that a Syracuse win was very probable. If you would've told me that Syracuse would also force five turnovers, I probably would have thought that a Syracuse victory was a foregone conclusion.
If you also would've told me that Perry Patterson would give WVU nine points and refuse to move the ball on offense, I would've told you that Syracuse would lose 15-7.
Thank God Oklahoma lost yesterday, because if they hadn't, Syracuse may have turned in the most pitiful performance of the weekend.
Report Card: v. West Virginia
Perry Patterson was predictably terrible. Better yet, he actually exceeded the expectations of his ineptitude. Granted, the play calling he had to deal with was less than stellar, but giving the opposition nine points in a game that Syracuse would ultimately lose by eight is totally unacceptable.
The rule is simple: if you average 2.6 yards per completion, you will receive an F. That's the rule; it's chiseled in stone somewhere.
Running backs: D-
Damien Rhodes underwhelmed carrying the ball for a craptastic 2.8 yards per carry.
Kareem Jones was a non-factor with his three touches.
All in all, I'd rather drink gin.
Receivers and Tight Ends: D-
Here's a tip to Rice Moss and Tim Lane: if you don't try and get open, Perry Patterson can't throw an incompletion in your general direction.
As predicted, Joe Kowalewski was a non-factor with only one reception on the day.
Offensive Line: D-
The offensive line may have accounted for almost as many penalty yards as Syracuse accumulated in total offense.
I was really hoping for some "sieve" chants from the downtrodden Orange faithful.
Defensive Line: B-
James Wyche and Kader Drame were playing like men amongst boys today.
Despite some overpursuit issues, the defensive line was able to control a lot of the play allowing the linebackers and secondary to step up and go for the strip.
West Virginia had a field day running the option draw today, and that was partly due to Syracuse's linebackers not shedding their blocks and stepping up to make the play. Kellen Pruitt and Kelvin Smith had some nice tackles today, but outside of these sporadic feats of strength, the linebacker corps was fairly pedestrian.
Anthony Smith was worth 3 pass breakups and 2 fumble recoveries today.
Steve Gregory chimed in with 8 tackles to lead the Orange defensive effort.
Throw in very few deep completions and the Orange secondary more than held their own. A real surprise and hopefully a sign of things to come.
This very well may have been Carney's signature game, despite some shoddy downfield coverage which ultimately hurt Brendan's average.
A long of 59. On the fly.
An average of just about 44 yards.
Which way to the Yale Club?
Here was Syracuse's playbook for the day:
- Screen pass to Rhodes;
- Rhodes on the counter; and
Pitiful. Granted, the execution today was pathetic, but you can only drive the car you've been given. Coach Pariani really needs to hit the books this week to figure out a gameplan, because throwing darts at a pile of papers to figure out what play to send to Patterson isn't really working.
The defensive unit may have outperformed its coaching staff today. It seemed like the coaching staff refused to make adjustments to counter the WVU option run attack. What saved Coach Robinson today were all the turnovers his defense was creating, not the scheme they were forced to play within.