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Now now, you guys know you still need to tackle right?
And I cant fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
It's time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever.
~Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon

These games are the worst. Hope is a powerful thing. This team continues to make me believe they can turn the season around, only to make me believe even more that this team has earned its only victory of the season. While the team performed admirably for almost three full quarters, which is not the entirety of a game. A college football contest goes four quarters. Some day the coaching staff of Syracuse will understand this, but before then Syracuse lost to Pittsburgh 34 to 24. Now onto the grades.

The offense did an excellent job of moving the ball and sustaining drives for the majority of the game. Cantley statistically had a nice game (9/17, 137yds, 2 TD, 0 INT), but not a great game. 137 yards is still not a spectacular game. Really, it was the rushing game that opened up some passing for Syracuse. Curtis Brinkley had 119 yards on 16 carries. Although he did not see the end zone, he definitely sustained several drives for the Orange. The offense once again did a fine job the majority of the game. Although the stats would show otherwise (3-9 on 3rd downs, 12 first downs, 263 total yards), I was actually impressed with the offense and the play calling this game. For me, this game is the clearest illustration of the offense doing their job for the majority of the game.

When it comes to the defense, what can anyone say? Clearly this team’s defense quit after the third quarter. That is still unacceptable, and as I stated from the beginning of the season, it is glaringly apparent that the conditioning of this team is not up to snuff. Clearly this game is evidence that they cannot sustain the intensity of the defense the entire game, which is a huge problem. The team still cannot stop the pass well. They did limit LeSean McCoy to no touchdowns and seemed to stop him at opportune times. However, it was not enough late in the game to prevent them from tying the game and then taking the lead. It was a good effort, but failed to last.

Special Teams
How about a kick return touchdown. That right there earns you an A. Once again the special teams showed up and performed, this time beyond expectations. Mike Holmes returned seven kicks for a total of 207 yards, the longest of which was a 90 yard kick return for a touchdown. Max Suter returned one for 20 yards. Patrick “Sex Offender Mustache” Shadle hit one field goal 25 yards out, and hit his three extra point attempts. Rob Long punted four times for a total of 165 yards, two of which were within the 20 yard line. All and all a solid game.

I think it is completely unacceptable to allow your team to lose the intensity that it showed all game in the fourth quarter. 100% unacceptable. If Syracuse continued to make plays and sustain drives, as well as stopping Pittsburgh on key third downs, then Syracuse would have been victorious. Robinson just cannot find a way to win. Either way, it was completely ineffective coaching to allow this team to stop working so hard. That is on the coaches.

C+ (2.56)
While Syracuse played outstandingly the majority of the game, it was not enough for a win. Thus, the worst kind of Syracuse defeat happens. They had the game locked up, and the let the other team march right back into it. For shame.

Syracuse (I suppose luckily) is heading into a Bye Week, therefore the football team will not be in action until the 11th, so we get a reprieve from the misery for a little while. What we will not have a reprieve from is the guessing games that will not stop regarding the coaching change that may or may not happen before the end of the season. After all the hoopla I guess I started on Friday it should be an interesting off week for the ‘Cuse. Stay tuned to Orange::44 for all the MSM/Blogger drama you can stand. After all, we here at Orange::44 specialize in starting shit storms.

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