This was not a bad game for the offense by any means. But the numbers are a little thin in terms of third down conversions. The Orange earned 336 total yards, 224 passing and 112 rushing. While not particularly balanced, those are nice numbers. And Ryan Nassib (17/35, 202yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) played well, especially at the end of the first drive when he decided to run for the first down, broke a tackle, and ended up in the end zone. He just needs to be a bit more selective in his passes and not take as long in the pocket. Delone Carter (18car, 91yds, 5.1avg, 0 TD) had a fairly lackluster game despite averaging over five yards a carry. He was almost a non-factor in this game. The receivers played pretty well as Van Chew and Alec Lemon prove they are the big time receivers, along with Aaron Weaver. Overall not a bad effort, but more conversions are needed to compete with the big boys of the Big East.
Jake Locker was stopped initially, but then he carved up the secondary with precision. And by secondary I mean Da’Mon Merkerson who had an absolutely terrible game. Every single receiver that made a big play Merkerson was covering, or more accurately not covering, them. Jermaine Kearse was the big Washington receiver that Syracuse had to watch coming in, and they left him open or gave him five yards to work. That’s why he earned 179 yards and three touchdowns on only nine receptions. The boys up front did their job, but the secondary, despite facing Jake Locker, played worse than they should have. Just a bad day all around.
When you earn kick and punt returns and allow your offense to start your drive on the 50 yard line you are definitely doing your job well. Syracuse’s kick and punt returners did that. Specifically Prince-Tyson Gulley and Mike Holmes did very well for Syracuse on the day. Ross Krautman again missed a field goal, going 2/3 with a long of 37 yards. He also made both his extra point tries. Rob Long played well as well. He punted six times for a total of 258 yards and pinned 2 behind the 20. Overall a much better day than in week 1.
The game plan was aggressive and pretty good. However the team failed to execute. That’s not the coaching staff’s fault. What is dumb was some of the play calling. Overall though, it was generally a good game. But when you’re down, you at least need to go for a 4th down conversion or two. Don’t wave the white flag.
I was not one of the people that thought that this game was going be a big Syracuse victory. I picked Washington to win. Though I did think this would have been a closer game. Either way, against a pretty good team like Washington, due to the travel factor all the way to the west coast, I guess this was as best we could have hoped for. But this game sadly does show that, at least at this very moment, Syracuse is not ready to compete with the big time programs or some of the other programs in our league. They will need to improve fast to get to my predicted record of 6-6. At least they should be 3-1 at the end of September.
And now we tune again to some of the intangibles on the day and grade them accordingly.
D to the sorority girls from Washington in the front row on TV. Washington is not Florida State, Arizona State, or any other hot weather school with tons of hot chicks. None of you were that fantastic and you shouldn’t have gotten that much TV time. If anything, applications to Washington dropped after that game. Also, flashing the “W” with your hands constantly gets real old real fast. Bad fandom all around.
D to both of the official’s reviews they did in the game. Clear as day I saw that ball first hit off of an ineligible lineman and into his arms. That’s what we call a penalty. Similarly with the other review. Bad calls from the assumed Pac-10 crew that was in effect. No matter the conference the rules need to be applied evenly. Bad job on the day for those officials.
C- to the University of Washington Marching Band, who apparently don’t believe in uniforms. Purple polo shirts and khaki pants are not a band uniform. That is a bunch of folks with instruments hanging out. Look bad and you “sound” bad to the general public. And as someone that was in a band I thought it was awful.
A to the Syracuse crowd that either made the trip out to Seattle, or those that are already out there that attended the game. Sean has talked about this, but it looked good on TV, you could hear the crowd, and it was nice to see. Made me proud to be an alumnus of Syracuse.
Syracuse will take on Maine at home this next coming week. Despite some special teams trickery last season Syracuse had a handy victory. That should be even more the case this year for the home opener. Nothing like an easy victory to ease into your home schedule. As always stay tuned here for some specialized Maine coverage to spice up your otherwise dull life.