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Nunes::44 - 9/10/09

Nunes would have thrown 17 TD's against Minnesota, according to him.
Keeping with the theme of the day, Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician and I are back at it with our weekly question and answer session. Today he waxes poetic about the Minnesota game, how the season will look, Penn State, tweets and more. Thanks Sean.
1. Orange::44: What is the overall thing, good or bad, you took away from the Minnesota game?

Nunes: That just by improving the coaching, the schemes and the way our program conducts itself, we're a better football program. Conversely, I also took away that we still have a long way to go. At times, the offense looked in control and efficient. At other times, it looked stagnant and overmatched. At times the defense looked imposing. At other times, it looked like Swiss cheese.

No one expects a miracle this season but I think we all has reasonable hopes that the team would show improvement. So far, so good. It's a shame we have to play Penn State now cause I fear this game could kill the momentum we have going. And considering Northwestern is no pushover, it's a shame that we may very well end up 0-3. I don't feel like this is a horrible team. I feel like it's a slightly-below-average team learning how to become an average team. Given the last few years, I think that's fine.

2. Orange::44: What is your biggest concern from the game? Is it Paulus’ decision making, the weakness of the offensive line, the talent of the secondary, or something different?

Nunes: Paulus' decision-making will come. In the long-term, that was a great lesson for him (sucks for the rest of us). I guarantee you he never forces the ball like that in a similar situation again. He'll work it out.

The O-line definitely has to be a concern. There's only so much Paulus and the RBs can do if they don't have protection up front. It's going to be a learning process as well.

I have to go with the defense's ability as a whole to stop their opponents all season. The secondary had a rough go this past weekend but we won't be facing an Eric Decker every week. That said, they'll need to get a little more aggressive if they want to stop any further near-200-yard days from a receiver. I just worry that we're going to find ourselves spotting teams 14-20 points all season. We got a little lucky in that Minnesota wasn't clicking early on but that won't always be the case. The pressure is on our offense to score points much more so than it should be. I guess that's been the issue for a while now, just not going away.

3. Orange::44: What do you think Marrone and his staff could have done different to win the game?

Nunes: I don't know if it was a coaching issue as to why we lost. I feel like they made good calls and there was nothing that stood out to me as a horrible decision. If anything, maybe we could have been more aggressive in the 2nd half offensively instead of trying to maintain.

In the end, I think it came down to on-the-field experience for a lot of players. The dropped passes. Paulus' interception. The bad snap to start the game. The penalties. These are all things that are on the players at the end of the day. The more they get worked out, the better Marrone and his staff's schemes and playcalls will work.

4. Orange::44: Looking ahead to Penn State, do you think the upset is possible?

Nunes: I've got this image in my mind of a fluke scenario where Mike Jones runs back the opening kickoff, Penn State fumbles away their kick, Syracuse scores quick, Penn State gives up a pick-six shortly-thereafter and all of a sudden it's 21-0 in the 2nd quarter and no one knows what the hell just happened. Kinda like when we upset Louisville two years ago. After that, it's just about holding off the Penn State onslaught before they catch up. That's probably the only way the upset will happen...if Penn State beats themselves. Otherwise I think SU will put forth great effort and play their asses off, but fall short.

5. Orange::44: Win or lose, what is something you want to see out of the Penn State game that will give you hope things are more than on the right track?

Nunes: I'd just like to see a competitive game. I don't want this to be a laugher. I don't want this to be a game that the TV station cuts away from in the 3rd quarter because it's so boring and out-of-reach. I just want Syracuse to make Penn State play four quarters. If we can do that, at the very least, that's something to take away from the day. As Herm Edwards would say, "We can build on this."

Besides, it can't be any worse than last year, right? RIGHT???

6. Orange::44: After the first week, care to make any revisions to any of your preseason predictions?

Nunes: I said 5-7 and I was banking on the Minnesota win to help that along. Then again, I'm even more confident than before that Syracuse can win 2 or 3 Big East games this season. Louisville struggled early with a horrendous Indiana State team, Rutgers looked abominable, UConn struggled with Ohio and West Virginia didn't exactly wow the crowd against Liberty. Given that SU is going to be a better football team, 5 wins is not out of the question yet. We'll beat Maine and Akron, it's just a matter of what else we can do in the conference.

So I'll stand pat for now at 5-7.

7. Orange::44: Finally, this Twitter thing is really catching on huh?

Nunes: It really is. I know a lot of people are waiting for the shoe to drop or the next big thing to come along and replace it but, right now, Twitter dominates the sports information landscape. Live-blogs, reports, message boards and in-game analysis are basically moot at this point. Between those of us watching the game at home, those at the game itself and those reporting from the press box...no relevant (or irrelevant) piece of information goes unnoticed within seconds. By the time I want to make a comment on something that just happened, five other people have already done the same thing.

Yahoo's Dan Wetzel said that Twitter is the tool that old media is using to take back live-updating from the blogs. I disagree. I think Twitter has allowed fans to surpass blogs and old media to become the source themselves. It's cool to watch and it's cool to have seen Twitter become what it is in the last year. It's going to make the game-watching experience that much more interactive and that much more fun.

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