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Monday Morning Quarterback 9/27/10

This certainly isn't a 3-man race. Maybe I should crop the picture.

Here's the Cliff's Notes version: Syracuse won. Ryan Nassib is pretty good. The receivers are... meh. Nick Provo is a magician. And does any of this give us an indication of how Syracuse will do in the Big East conference games?

Ryan Nassib's performance was pretty much an afterthought of Syracuse's 42-7 victory over the Colgate Raiders on Saturday. While he took the spotlight last week against Maine, this game was Delone Carter's to shine. And while I'd love to write about how good Carter is, how he can see down the field and make adjustments to his running route to maximize his yards, well, that's just not what this column is about. This is a quarterbacks article. Nassib's line on the day: eight completions on 15 attempts (53%) for 169 yards and a touchdown.

On a day where the passing game was not being emphasized, I guess it's easier to scrutinize it. Most pass completions were netting several yards for the Orange offense, averaging in at 11.3 yards per reception for Nassib. That's certainly good. However, there were a lot of pass attempts that just didn't make it. There was something a little off about Nassib's accuracy in this game. Could be because he was hurried; could be because he was just having a bad day. I don't know. But I don't think we're gonna be seeing any more games where Nassib completes 53% of his passes and Syracuse ends victorious.

As for the receivers, Van Chew once again led the pack with a whopping three receptions for 68 yards. Antwon Bailey had the same output with only two receptions, but he was lucky enough to find the end zone. The one completion to tight end Nick Provo was only on account of what can only be called pure athleticism (or luck) on Nick's part, as that pass seemed to fall just short of his fingertips, yet somehow he was able to extend his arm and make the grab. In my opinion the best catch of the day.

One stat that everyone was talking about was the time of possession. Colgate won that battle 44:26 to 15:34. That's right, the Syracuse offense only had the ball for 15 and a half minutes. Yet it scored 42 points. The reason? The hurry-up no-huddle offense. To his credit, Ryan Nassib ran this quick paced team down the field very well. I think but for a false start call on the opening drive and one or two late in the game, they were able to stay together on the play calling. It takes a high level of skill to be able to consistently run a hurry-up offense (i.e. Peyton Manning), so big props to Nassib. For the record, I am in no way comparing him to Indy's golden boy. Plus, I would assume that Nassib's hurry-up performance might not look so fluid in a hostile environment where it's harder to get the play calls into him and out to the players on the field.

And Nassib's Orangemen should be seeing that hostile environment in Tampa in two weeks. Until then, we're staring the dreaded Bye Week in the face. If I know anything about Doug Marrone, it's that he's gonna work these men to death over the next two weeks to come out fully prepared for the Bulls on October 9. With the Big East wide open and anyone's for the taking, the question we'll all be asking ourselves is "Why not Syracuse?"

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