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Monday Morning Quarterback 9/6/10

Ryan Nassib did what I thought he would

Editor’s Note: The following article is a weekly feature from Orange::44 correspondent John Brennan (twitter @jbren) that runs every Monday morning during the football season called Monday Morning Quarterback, assessing the quarterback situation of Syracuse football.

Oh how good it feels to be right! Remember last week when I said Ryan Nassib will throw for 215 yards and two touchdowns against Akron? Actual retail price: 229 yards and two touchdowns. OK, so I underestimated Nassib by 14 yards. Still pretty damn good though.

But enough about me and my wisdom. Let’s take a good at how Ryan Nassib led this 2010 Orange squad to a 29-3 victory over the Akron Zips in the season opener.

As stated above, here’s the line on Ryan Nassib: 229 yards passing, two touchdowns, one interception, and he was sacked just once. To get those 229 yards, he completed 17 passes on 27 attempts, which by my calculations equates to about a 63% completion rate. Not too shabby. No one receiver was a favorite of Nassib (or no one receiver had the stand-above skills), but the ball was spread to seven different receivers. Touchdown passes were to Hofstra transfer Aaron “Immediate Impact” Weaver, and Van “Big League” Chew.

Sorry, Chris Berman stole my keyboard there for a second. I’m back now.

Pretty much the only blemish on the day for Ryan Nassib was an interception in the end zone. Where have we seen this before in an opening game? Oh yeah. Last year. Greg Paulus. Except, this time, the game was not on the line. So in the scheme of things, the Nassib pick was not a big deal. In fact, overall, I have to be pleasantly surprised with the poise, confidence, and decision-making out of Nassib. This was one of my concerns coming in – but he seems to have established himself as quite a leader of this offense. He was quick to get rid of the ball, especially when the offensive line broke down, but he was careful to throw it either where a white jersey could catch it, or nobody could catch it. To see that type of maturity out of a young quarterback who really has little actual game experience I thought was a big relief.

That said, let’s not forget this was the Akron Zips. The Akron Zips who turned out a crowd of 15,969 for their home opener. The Akron Zips who are picked to finish last in the MAC, below such perennial powerhouses as Toledo and Bowling Green. The Akron Zips who, well, you get the point. The point being, good warm up for the Orange, and a great showing from Nassib in his first start.

Had it not been a good showing, that obviously would have set the tone for the rest of the season. A bad tone. Disappointment. Instead, we’re looking at hope, at potential, at winning. Especially when you look around the Big East and see what the other seven did this weekend. This league is wide open, and if the Syracuse offense can pound the ball down the field, put points on the board, and otherwise continue to play like it did against Akron, Orange Nation will be quite happy with the 2010 campaign.

But it’s not all smiling kids and jelly beans. Syracuse faces the Washington Huskies this coming Saturday. While Washington fell this weekend to BYU, they are still a force to be reckoned with, and an offense that can put up a lot of points. This game will have to be a shoot-out if Syracuse wants to have a shot at winning. That means Nassib & Co. need to move the ball and put it in the end zone. Just like against Akron. Can they do it? We’ll find out, right after this.

The Weekly QB Watch

I’m debating between predicting Ryan Nassib throwing for 2 or 3 touchdowns. My heart says 3, but my gut says 2. So I’ll officially go with 2. I also see 280 yards passing.

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