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The Dome is sad about it too.
It is about the time of the football season when you really have an idea of how your team will do. Some teams are sitting pretty. LSU comes to my mind. Other teams are not. Notre Dame rings a bell. But one other team on our minds is clearly bad enough to register with our souls. Team number 118 out of 119. That team would be Syracuse. Nothing good happened in the Dome on Saturday. The grades are in so let us get to the report card.

Offense
D
We scored a touchdown, so therefore the F is not warranted. However, only rushing for 63 net yards and our Offensive Line being manhandled like a stripper at a bachelor party, this was a performance with much to be desired. The wide receivers performed alright, but they certainly did not perform to the level they appear to be able to on paper. Andrew Robinson had a somewhat productive day (17/26, 208yds, 0 TD, 0 INT) but with no scores on the board, and only one score the season, he remains the QB that has not reached any notion of potential. A typical 118th team effort.

Defense
F
They could not stop a group of third graders from scoring last Saturday. How many times did Illinois run a RB/FB draw and ran for a gain of 15-20 yards. Too many to count without having the game film. Our run defense is a joke, and thus, not only was Illinois in an excellent position to score the ball, clock management was on the side of Mr. Zook. Either way, allowing 378 net rush yards is pretty much the worst position you can put yourself in to try to win a game. Just awful.

Special Teams
B
I was actually impressed with kickoff returns. This could just be a fluke and a result of the new kickoff rule, however I think we have talented return men. Patrick “Fat Ass” Shadle contributed by being accurate on his field goal attempts and extra points. There were a couple quality punts from Rob “Heisman” Long as well. A decent effort on special teams.

Coaching
C-
What is the most widely heard criticism of Greg Robinson and his staff? Not adjusting at half time. Gee coach, maybe after getting run all over in the first half, you might decide to implement some defenses that stuff the box (haha, he said stuff the box). I do not have a Super Bowl ring or anything, but it is just a thought. Offensive play calling I was pretty happy with, which I honestly cannot say I have said in probably four or five seasons. Not calling a run on third and forever, and punting on third down, is a recipe for me being fine with the offensive play calling.

GPA
D (1.45)
While we have improved form the Iowa debacle, it is still an effort that all but screams we will not be winning one game this season, and if we do, it will be a complete fluke and that the other team had the worst game of the decade. I am glad the team is providing enough fodder for me to follow the Orange::44 credo; to chronicle the daily disaster that is Syracuse Athletics.

Some other random thoughts on the game are in order. In the middle of the game Illinois was kicking off to Syracuse and the Illinois kicker actually missed the ball. It rolled about six yards and he fell on it. Thus they received an illegal procedure penalty. I never in my wildest dreams would think I would see a kicker miss the ball on a kickoff. Awesome.

The team still came out with their uninspiring “walk on” “Haka”. I still do not like it and I still think it is ridiculous and goes against everything college football stands for. Sorry no new video this week. I'll see what I can do the next time I'm in town. Mike Veley still sucks!

I think, again, most of Orange Nation has already resigned ourselves to the attitude of “here we go again”, and with good reason. I am on board with that assessment as well. Remember when I predicted seven wins? Ever the eternal optimist, I have now become Debbie Downer. The death of a salesman subtitle is a direct reference to Gross and Robinson trying to keep us optimistic. None of us are buying it anymore. Over the next week I will pen a three part series dealing with the current state of the football squad, address the current and imaginary rumors floating around Orange Nation, and where we go from here, along with my personal recommendations. This will be an exhausting and mentally challenging read for Orange faithful, as I have already been pained in knowing how bad the team has turned out to be. All I can say is stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the e-mail retrospective of DOCTOR gross over at Nunes/Magician found here. More material on the Orange to be released soon.

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3 Responses to “Illinois - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Death Of A Salesman”

  1. # Blogger Cody

    Can't wait to read your three part series next week. Most critical question: who can the Orange get to lead this team?

    I'm sick of everyone (read: DOCTOR Gross) pointing to Schiano at Rutgers as the beacon of hope for a fan base being patient with a new coach trying to build up a team. I have two major gripes with that:

    (1) Rutgers was probably the most pressure-free environment Schiano has *EVER* been a part of! This was a team with zero history and no background of actually being remotely competitive. Therefore, it was pretty easy for Schiano to develop players/ass't coaches/schemes slowly where he wasn't under the eye of a demanding fanbase and a program steeped in tradition (Syracuse is quite the opposite).

    (2) Everyone loves to smoke Schiano's pole about his success in recruiting but his #1 guy (Rice) was a guy that should have been piling up these accolades at the 'Cuse right now! Coach P sucked and couldn't recruit worth shit but Rice is the one that got away (along with Onondoga's own Mike Hart! How the F* do you let a blue chipper like get out of your own backyard??). But Schiano apparently has all of these Florida connections because of his Miami days so he's labeled a master recruiter. I don't buy it, but that's me.

    Obviously someone new needs to come in - but this program needs a stud coach. I don't know who that is, but they have to buck up and pay the money and bring an experienced guy capable of leading the team.  

  2. # Anonymous Sportzbelle

    So where's Grob's secret game plan for this week? (:  

  3. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    You would have to talk to Glaude about that, but I imagine it would look like this:

    1. We lose.
    2. See #1.  

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