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Monday Morning QB - 9/28/09

Greg Paulus is doing just a fine job, thanks.

Editor’s Note: The following article is a new weekly feature from Orange::44 correspondent John Brennan (twitter @jbren) that will run every Monday morning called Monday Morning Quarterback, assessing the quarterback situation of the Syracuse football team on a week by week basis.

Welcome to the fifth edition of Monday Morning Quarterback here at Orange::44. This last Saturday’s game against UMaine was nothing short of boring, with flashes of OhMyGodAreWeLosingToMaine? As such, this MMQB will be short, to the point, and probably not worth a read. But if you stick with it—like those who stuck with the game Saturday night (all nearly 4 hours of it)—then God Bless You.

Despite the team’s overall lack of anything worth noting, especially during the first half of the game, Greg Paulus put together a nice little game for himself in his fourth ever start as a quarterback. On the day, he connected on 21 of 28 attempts for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. Much of those yards, especially the longer completions, came in the second half. Despite Delone Carter’s monster game (TD-wise, not yards-wise) Syracuse was not running the ball well. Especially in the first half. Sadly it took until halftime for Syracuse to make the proper adjustments on offense, but that’s probably a coaching problem rather than a QB problem.

Here’s a couple of great stats: Greg Paulus was not sacked and not intercepted this entire game. Here’s a horrible stat: Syracuse was 1 for 8 on third downs.

Way too many times in this game, Paulus would lead the team down the field, stringing together some completions and some nice runs, and then get just outside the red zone (or maybe not even that close) and sputter. The team walked away with 3-points a couple times, which was nice. Looking at the stats, Syracuse only punted 3 times, which I find appalling, but I guess it is what it is. Maybe because the game was so long, it just seemed like we saw Rob Long punt more.

In Stallion news, we saw the offense run it a few times with Ryan Nassib. Interestingly enough, we also saw Greg Paulus in during the Stallion. Personally I think this is the last piece of the puzzle in terms of being able to use the Stallion to its maximum. Opposing defenses won’t know exactly what to expect, no matter who comes out with a hand towel hanging from his waist. This could come in extremely useful for the upcoming Big East slate.

Looking ahead to this week’s matchup against the South Florida Bulls, Greg Paulus gets to see his first Big East action. He’ll really have to step up his game, not necessarily stat-wise (though 400 yards and 5 TDs would be nice), but from a team leader point of view. If he can keep his poise and confidence on the field, I hope it’ll rub off on his teammates and Syracuse can stay competitive in this one. With Syracuse being a perennial doormat lately, and USF increasingly getting better (and with USF coming off a huge win at Florida State last week), it’s quite possible that this is USF’s trap game. Syracuse can be competitive if it believes it can win.

The Weekly QB Watch
Going into the upcoming game against the South Florida Bulls, the probability of starting is as follows:
Greg Paulus – 100%
Ryan Nassib – 0%
Cam Dantley – 0%
Charley Loeb – 0%
Other – 0%
Greg Paulus will need to give me a reason otherwise.

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