First, there is no rivalry with Connecticut.
Second, see point one.
With that said, onto the dissection of this week's Game Notes.
Stop Televising These Games
Syracuse will square off against Connecticut at 8:00 PM on ESPN2. This will mark Syracuse's third nationally televised football game this season. The numbers in these games have not been pretty:
Syracuse has averaged only 177.5 offensive yards per contest.
Syracuse has averaged only 49 rushing yards per contest.
Opponents have averaged 377.5 of offense per contest.
Opponents have averaged 221.5 rushing yards per contest.
Everything's coming up Orange!
This is nothing to brag about considering that Rhodes is having, by far, the worst campaign in his Syracuse career.
Senior tailback Damien Rhodes (Manlius,N.Y.) has been the Orange’s top offensive threat on the ground and catching balls through the air.
Additionally, it's interesting to note that Rhodes needs only 24 yards Friday night to get him past the 2,000 yard mark for his career. Given the perceived talent in Rhodes' legs when he came to the hill in 2002, Damien should have been pushing for 2,000 yards a season, not over his four years under the bubble.
Friday's game will be the fourth time this season that Syracuse will have played before a crowd of less than 50,000 people.
This probably doesn't mean anything, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Amazingly, Syracuse is perfect in the redzone this season going 7 for 7.
While this is nice, the fact that Syracuse has only managed seven trips the redzone this season is pathetic. Syracuse's seven trips ranks lower than offensive powerhouse Cincinnati's nine and only one better than Utah State's six.
Houston, we have a problem.
Syracuse is 10-10 all-time in games taking place on October 7th with the Orange winning the last 3 (Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, and Temple).
What does this mean?
What is more interesting is Syracuse's record against teams coached by former Orangemen. Syracuse is 10-4 with losses only to Bud Wilkinson's awesome Oklahoma teams back in the late-50's and early 60's, Tom Coughlin in 1993, and George O'Leary in a classic "Pasqualoni Is A Bonehead" game in 2001.
Despite the woeful performance turned in by the Orange offense against a game Florida State defense last week, Syracuse still remains tenth in the country with a +1.5 rating.
Not too shabby for a defense that is on the field more than the sod crew.
Anthony Smith has turned in a pretty nice season so far averaging 1.5 passes defended per game and .5 interceptions per contest.
I think this further emphasizes the fact that Smith is becoming an honest-to-goodness ball hawk this season (8 tackles versus Florida State Saturday). His nose always seems to be around the pigskin, and you can't teach that kind of natural instinct.
What is odd, though, is that Anthony Smith notched the first sack of his career Saturday against Florida State. Is that really possible?
To paraphrase the glowing review Carney received in this week's game notes would be an absolute injustice. Hence, it's blockquote time:
Following the game against Connecticut, there is a very good possibility that Carney will move into fifth on Syracuse's all-time record for most punts in a career (only needs 7 more). Given the way Patterson has moved the ball recently, I'd say that number is within reach.
The Orange is currently leading the conference in punting (43.5 yards per punt) … SU has punted 31 times for 1,348 yards … Senior Brendan Carney (Valley Forge, Pa.) ranks third in the league in punting average (43.5) and is tied for 19th in the nation in the same statistic … Carney is second on SU’s career punting average ledger (43.0) and he ranks seventh in SU history with 148 career boots … Carney’s 6,370 career yards is the fourth-highest total in team history … He has booted 32 punts inside the 20-yard line for his career including three this season (1 vs. Buffalo and 1 vs. Virginia, 1 vs. Florida State) … Against the Seminoles he drilled a careerbest 71-yard punt, which was tied for the third longest in school history … He punted a total of nine times versus FSU, three shy of tying the school record.
Junior punter Brendan Carney (Valley Forge, Pa.) moved into seventh place all-time on the SU career punts list with nine punts against Florida State, giving him 148 for his career … The nine punts tied for the third most in a game by an SU punter … His 412 punting yards against FSU moved him to fourth on SU’s alltime record list (6,370 total yards) … His career-long 71-yard punt against Florida State beat his previous best of 65 yards against FSU last season and was the third longest punt in school history and was the first boot of more than 70 yards since 1996 when Sean Reali had a 70-yard punt against Virginia Tech … Carney’s 43.5 punting average
ranks 19th nationally and third in the BIG EAST
Carney For Heisman!
Patterson Leading the Offense
Into the ground, apparently.
Somehow, Perry Patterson is sixth in the conference in total offense at 138.0 yards per game. What is interesting, however, is the fact that Patterson is throwing enough completions to roll up 146.2 yards a contest through the air.
If you're confused here, you should be. Perry has managed to actually hurt the offense with not only his poor passing, but his inability to avoid the sack.
For the record, Patterson costs the offense just over 8 yards a game, and considering that every 12 yards an offense gains is worth 1 point, Perry costs the team 2/3 of a point/game.
Williams has apparently played in every game this season.
I can smell the stench of that burning redshirt.
In other receiving news, Tim Lane is given special recognition for "continuing to produce big plays." Apparently, hauling in 39 receiving yards against Florida State with a long of 25 is "big."
What a joke.
For more hilarity, make sure to check out the "Moss becoming a key target" blurb. Key target, obviously, means one catch for 10 yards against FSU.
Kurt Falke is still missing from the two-deep against Connecticut.