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Report Card: v. Florida State

I can understand losing to Florida State.

I really can.

The defense is spectacular and the offense is efficient enough to make the opposition work to generate some defensive stops.

However, I cannot tolerate losing to the Seminoles the way Syracuse did this past Saturday. To come out in front of 85,000 people and show no improvement from the Virginia game two weeks prior is a disgrace.

The offense has shown that it cannot function on the football field.

The defense appears to be regressing, partly due, unfortunately, to the offense's desire to make my life a living hell.

Even the special teams has somehow turned into a heaping mound of poo.

How is this possible? The season has officially rounded the 1/4 pole and it doesn't appear as if they are any better today than they were coming out of the Spring game last April.

This is totally unacceptable.

Quaterbacks: D+
The light isn't going on in Perry Patterson's head and, unfortunately, it doesn't appear as if it ever will. Granted, Patterson's offensive line and receivers haven't been making things easy for him, but there comes a point where the offense's catalyst needs to make a play.

And Patterson never makes the play.

Patterson now has almost a full year's worth of snaps under his belt and he still can't deliver a ball accurately with a deft touch. He still is taking too many sacks and holds the ball for what seems like an eternity.

Andrew Robinson can't don an Orange jersey fast enough.

Running backs: C-
I really thought that Damien Rhodes would flourish in Coach Pariani's west coast offense. You need two hands to count the number of backs that have effectively ran the ball under the Bronco's modified WCO. Rhodes was poised for a monster season.

And he flopped.

Big games need big plays from big players. Rhodes was tabbed in the preseason as being the type of game-changing player that would give Syracuse a marked advantage in big contests. Unfortunately, Florida State furthered proved the point that Rhodes is a soft runner that fails to hit the hole with any speed or strength.

What a waste.

Receivers/Tight Ends: Incomplete
It's impossible to put a grade on a unit that fails to show up.

Terrible. Just terrible.

Offensive Line: C-
It seems like every season Syracuse is poised to have an offensive line that will maul its competition and always manages to underachieve. This year appears to be no exception.

Florida State has a tremendous front seven. However, that is no excuse for allowing Patterson to only have about 2.5 seconds to release the football. The loss of Kurt Falke obviously hurt the line's development, but it's crazy to think that the loss of one player would doom the fate of an entire unit.

All in all, Syracuse needs better fat guys.

Defensive Line: C
James Wyche?

Ryan LaCasse?

Kader Drame?

Where are you?

Linebackers: C-
I'm putting out an APB for Kellen Pruitt and Kelvin Smith.

These apparently unstoppable defensive forces have been as potent this season as Brian's battalion of adorable kittens. I've seen guys slip into the background before, but this is just crazy.

This isn't saying that Pruitt and Smith haven't had nice seasons. They have. It's just that they shouldn't just be having nice seasons. They should be having All-Big East type seasons.

Secondary: B-
Steve Gregory is something special, even when he is giving the opposition free touchdowns.

Anthony Smith has a Tedy Bruschi-like nose for the ball.

However, everything else running in the defensive backfield is pretty average. Tanard Jackson was getting nothing but picked on by an average Drew Weatherford. If Syracuse turns the corner, it will depend a lot on whether the non-Gregory corner shows up to play every weekend.

Special Teams
Carney: A
Just check the Carney For Heisman link on the frontpage of this blog. That's all you need to know.

Offensive: D
No imagination.

No purpose.

No win.

For whatever reason, it seemed like Greg Robinson was a little fearful of opening up on the 'Noles on Saturday. A very sedated and Pasqualoni-esque defensive philosophy, if I might say.

Let's get back to the excitement. Blitz like madmen. Let the linebackers make some plays.

Enough of this pussy footing around.

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