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Why did I take this job? Everyone knows I suck!
Finally, the ugly stepchild of the Athletic Department is sleeping for another year. The season is over and the crying children are retired for another year. Where were you on December 29th, 2001? I was in Phoenix, Arizona, watching first hand during my freshmen year, on my 19th Birthday, Syracuse earn their last bowl victory. I thought that no matter what happened the next three years, it would not be as cool as this. Sadly I was all too correct. After a ten win season, we have failed to even get close the last six seasons. That brings us to Saturday Night, when Syracuse took on #24 Cincinnati in the Carrier Dome for their final exercise in football futility of the 2007 season. Sadly, it turned out to be the most entertaining game of the year. Why is that sad, because chances are Greg Robinson will be retained because of it, and frankly, games that we have a chance in always hurt worse when we lose. To the final report card of the season.

Offense
B-
The run game was, again, a non-factor. Doug Hogue carried only eight times for a total of 30 yards. Paul Chiara also carried nine times for a total of 28 yards and a touchdown. It was apparent from the get go during this game that the offensive plan was taking it to the air however. Andrew Robinson (29/47, 419 yds, 3TD, 0INT) had a pretty good game, but really Robinson has been unimpressive in the last three games. He had badly underthrown balls, thrown them too far behind the receivers, and generally held on to the ball too long and made bad decisions. Currently I have no faith in anyone named Robinson associated with the football program. The Mike Williams touchdown streak continued and the crowd in the Dome appreciated the effort by Williams. A video of that is below (Hat Tip to John Brennan for filming the video for Orange::44). Taj Smith also had an amazing touchdown catch lofted perfectly by Robinson for 78 yards and a touchdown. JJ Nesheiwat also had a touchdown during his last game in the Carrier Dome. Overall, the numbers and some of the great plays on Saturday gives this offense a pretty good grade, as they kept Syracuse hanging in this game for the most of it. It is just sad that they decided to wait until the last game of the season to hang with some of the more productive teams in the Big East.


Defense
D-
The defense was just atrocious against Cincinnati. Another quarterback had a career day against Syracuse as Ben Mauk passed for 431 yards on 29 completions with four touchdowns. Syracuse allowed Cincinnati to gain 544 total yards. I think it was a fitting game to end on, as it was pretty well known that any team can do a lot against the Syracuse defense, if they are the least big competent. This team could not stop a high school quarterback with the space they gave the receivers. Defensive Guru Greg Robinson has some major explaining to do.

Special Teams
B
Max Suter became the NCAA leader in kickoff return yards. This kid is exciting to watch. On his seven returns in this game he amassed 172 return yards. Patrick “Fat Ass” Shadle will have plenty of time to consume burritos of varying styles and sizes during the off season, but before then he hit a field goal from 43 yards out and hit all four extra point attempts. Rob “Heisman” Long also punted well punting seven times for a total of 256 yards, two of which were behind the 20 yard line. The limited most returns as well, only letting Cincinnati good field position on a couple of kicks. A solid day for the Special Teams unit.

Coaching
C-
They made some pretty good calls on offense. Brian White and his staff saw the defense Cincinnati was playing with, made some good play calls, and we ended up hanging in the game. The same cannot be said for Defensive Coordinator Steve Russ. I do not know how, in playing man coverage, the cornerbacks and safeties are not playing closer to the receivers. That is the point. Not to give them a cushion of seven yards so they can make a big play. We again managed to burn a couple of time outs early, which has pretty much happened every game. Really, this game was terrible because, pretty much before every play happened, my friends and I in our Section 213 “Luxury Box” could tell what was going to happen before every play. One of us would say “this will be a sack” and sure enough it would be. If we as average fans can do this, and pick apart the schemes being implemented by the Syracuse staff, it must be a cake walk for the opposing coaches and teams. That simply cannot happen. Bad coaches do not magically get better, despite what kind of talent they have on their team. Eventually bad coaching will show itself. I think it has shown all season, despite having great games, and great moments.

GPA
C- (1.86)
This team played a great game. Well, half the team at least. The offense stepped up and tried to compete against a team they were clearly overmatched by. The defense did not allow this to happen, as every time we scored, so did Cincinnati. Thus, while it was probably the most entertaining home game all season, it still managed to disappoint in ways other games wished they could. I would gladly take a blow out, over giving me false hope for a win any day. Disappointment is the enemy of ticket purchasers. Greg Robinson and DOCTOR Gross are the enemies of Orange Nation. The season is over, but chances are, the heartbreak will continue. Good effort by the kids Saturday though, and congratulations and good luck to all the outgoing seniors that have tried their best over the last four years.

With the disaster of the football season behind us, we can mainly focus on basketball for the next few months. However, with Greg Robinson still being an employee of the university, it will be hard for some fans to ignore the fact that this man has only won seven games in the last three seasons. I have my thoughts on the matter, and they will be coming out shortly. As for this season, I would like to forget it, as my prediction of seven wins has greatly disappointed me. A team with so much potential and supposed improvement did nothing but disappoint in the worst way.

Thanks again to John for the game film. Also a special thanks to everyone that has shared in the misery and heartbreak with the postgame reactions all season. While you may not always enjoy the outcomes I hope these articles have better informed you of the football situation at Syracuse. I really started writing for this blog to help deal with the bad feelings I got from SU Athletics in the past few seasons and sometimes it has helped, but other times the disappointment is so great that all you can do is shake your head and say why did I bother watching that? For all of you die hard Syracuse fans out there, thanks for sticking with me and the team all season. Join me in saying “thank god that’s over”.

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1 Responses to “Cincinnati - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Heartbreak, Thy Name Is Bearcat”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Sir--

    Thank you for sharing my pain. My soon-to-be wife has no concpet of why the last 12 Saturday's have ruined my weekend! I think the great John Rambo summed up my pain perfectly regarding this season and the seemingly never ending saga of Robinson's coaching career here at SU:

    Rambo: Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off! It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you! And I did what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldn't let us win!

    Thank you Mr. Rambo. Greg Robinson, are you that somebody?!?  

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