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Cincinnati - Postgame Reactions or Halloween Is Spooky

I guess free isn't cheap enough.
Well I get up and I’m all set to write my postgame reactions for Cincinnati, and then the bomb drops. Mike Williams has quit. Now, this is a postgame article, and I’m not going to get into that topic here, but you must realize that this is the mental space I am not in as I am about to hand out grades. Not the best place to be, but needless to say we are pressing on after Cincinnati remains unbeaten, handling Syracuse 28 to seven.

Credit must be given here. The offense went 7-14 on third down conversions. They also converted a fourth down attempt against a pretty good defense. But that is where the praise ends for the day. Greg Paulus (12/17, 85yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) was pedestrian at best on the day and has regressed from his first few games. He also seemed to not be able to convert a third down. Ryan Nassib (7/10, 97yds, 0 TD, 0 INT) played well and did most of the dirty work on third downs later in this game. Delone Carter was a non-factor again, so this really rested on the quarterbacks and wide receivers, as well as the pass play calling. And then Syracuse turned over the ball in the red zone twice. This ended any real chance of an upset. Therefore a middle grade is to be had.

Same business here, as there was equal good and bad. Syracuse did well to limit Cincinnati to converting only 6-11 on third down. Cincinnati averages around 40 points a game, and they only scored 28. Although they allowed 127 total rush yards, their main running back only rushed for 77 yards and there were no rushing touchdowns on the day. The rush defense remains solid for Syracuse and that is good to see. However, it is simply stunning how untalented or inept our secondary is at pass defense and wide receiver coverage. At this point it cannot be coaching can it? It just seems that these players are either not physically gifted enough to defends a pass, or they are just not smart enough to be coached. It has to be something though. I am stunned how wide open every single Cincinnati player is. And we know the secondary is not great, but this was by far the worst game they have played all year. You allowed an 81 yard pass. Terrible.

Special Teams
Yet another special teams situation in which the opposing team scored. There was a botched field goal hold in which Nick Collaros rolled out and connected on a wide open player to get a touchdown off of what should have been a turnover on downs (not to mention there should have been a penalty thrown but there wasn’t). If guys break for the end zone, someone should know they have to cover. Additionally they gave good field position to Cincinnati on more than one return. Ryan LICHTENSTEIN hit one extra point and had no field goal attempts. Rob Long was dependable in this game and punted six times, one of which was behind the 20. He was pinned against the goal line or in the end zone a few times and did well in punting in short space. Overall nothing grand, but nothing too outrageous.

I still think Doug Marrone is too conservative for his own good. You are playing #5 Cincinnati. You have nothing to lose by going all out and opening the play book and firing up some trickery, just like what Maine did against Syracuse earlier in the year. That being said, the conservative call of not going for it on 4th and 1 worked out as Syracuse’s defense was able to stop Cincinnati in the first half and they had to punt near their goal line. The next time however, Syracuse could not. You’re down to the #5 team in the country. Try something extraordinary sometimes.

C+ (2.25)
This game is tough to swallow because it was Syracuse missing opportunities again and again but the game stayed fairly close. Syracuse was only down 14-7 at the half. Much like several fans, it is easier to stomach a blowout than a close game. This is one of those. Two red zone turnovers against a far better team will doom you every time. Missed opportunities doomed this team, but so did poor play.

We will see what the team can do next week as the team finally leaves the cozy regulation of the Carrier Dome for only the second time this season. While Greg Paulus appears to still be the starter, the team is reeling from the loss of Mike Williams, and so are the fans. We will have continuing coverage of this situation as the week progresses. For now, we look to other grades.

F to the Carrier Dome for continuing to pump terrible canned music into the game during stoppages. Just awful. If I were in the band these days I’d wonder why I even had to show up.

A to the Carrier Dome and Athletic Department however, for giving free student tickets and $10 tickets to fans. Most BCS schools either have very cheap or free football tickets for students and SU should probably move that direction as well. However, for now this is a good first step to try to drum up attendance for ‘Cuse playing a top five team.

F to the students for not showing up however. You had no excuses. I went out on Friday night until 3:00am and woke up at 8:30am. Then I went out Saturday night and stayed out until 4:00am. I’m 26 years old. Suck it current students. Absolutely ridiculous. Yet you’ll show up for basketball. Step right up for your fair-weather tattoos.

B+ to the fans that dressed up in costume. There were some pretty creative costumes and it was fun to see. I myself had an enjoyable day with Orange::44 Correspondent John Brennan dressed as referees. For future reference: make sure to never wear a referee outfit on a day that involves missed calls. Also, cops really like referees for some reason. I even made it on the video board as John texted his 15 seconds of fame away. Good fun.

C- to the Big East referee crew on the day. They missed several calls like holds, and also the several ineligible linemen down the field on the botched field goal touchdown. The Big East does have the best referees and usually do a fantastic job. Especially with all the MLB, NBA, and SEC referees having issues lately, the Big East is usually on the money. Just not this week.

F to the few fans in the Dome that were booing Syracuse. I’ve said this before, but booing a coach or a coaching decision is one thing, but booing an actual college player is over the line. Simply disgraceful. As a loyal season ticket holder and alumnus of the school it really bothered and upset me. What a shame.

Stay tuned again for continuing coverage of the Mike Williams boondoggle and other tidbits as per usual.

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1 Responses to “Cincinnati - Postgame Reactions or Halloween Is Spooky”

  1. # Anonymous MrPlow99

    That was you in the ref uniform? Nice, saw you on the big screen during one of the stoppages.

    I agree completely w/ the F for the fans booing Paulus. Honestly, I think Nassib should be out there more. But that's not Paulus' fault, and there's no way in hell he deserves to be booed like that.  

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