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Carter Pleads Guilty to Harassment

Today in Syracuse City Court, Delone Carter was offered and accept a plea to the reduced charge of Harassment in the Second Degree, in satisfaction of the originally-charged Assault in the Third Degree. I hate to brag, but when news of his charging came back in April, I predicted a plea to Harassment. Told you so.
As is normally the sentencing for a conviction on Harassment 2nd, Carter received a one-year conditional discharge. Essentially what this means is, instead of receiving jail time (the maximum on Harassment 2nd is 15 days), he is being discharged from the Court under certain conditions. Though I have not seen any official release on what his conditions might be, I can almost certainly surmise that he must obey all laws, and pay a court-mandated surcharge of $120. He may also have received a fine of up to $250, and may have been ordered to pay restitution for any medical bills incurred by the complaining witness (whom I suppose we can officially call a victim now). Carter's failure to comply with any of the terms of his conditional discharge can result in him being violated on his conditional discharge, which would then allow the judge to resentence him to any permissible sentence for Harassment 2nd. In other words, 15 days in jail.
And so ends the long drawn out legal journey for Delone Carter. In pleading guilty, he had to give up his right to remain silent and describe to the judge what actions he took during the night in question that amounts to the legal definition of Harassment 2nd. Legally, Harassment 2nd is a violation level offense (not a crime, on the same level as a traffic ticket), and is defined as "acting with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm by engaging in physical contact with another." This is a rather catch-all definition that does not look at the extent of the injury. Degrees of injury are relevant in the different degrees of assault charges. Harassment just looks at the physical contact, and the intent of the actor. Carter, in court, admitted to punching the victim without provocation, having no right to do so. In a case like this, the actor's intent can be inferred by his conduct. Having no legitimate purpose to punch someone and walk away, it can be inferred that his intent was to harass, annoy, or alarm the victim.
In the few hours since this story broke this afternoon, much has been made about Onondaga District Attorney William Fitzpatrick's press release about Carter's guilty plea and his defense of the victim in this case. Orange Fizz has some pictures of Fitzpatrick's statement, so be sure to check that out. The release seems as much an informational release as it does campaign fodder. While I understand he feels the need to defend the victim (and you have to feel sorry for a kid who comes into your office asking how to fix his reputation), I think Fitzpatrick was unfairly scathing to media outlets, blogs, etc., who have provided a forum for people to speak out on this case. The victim has gotten a bad rap, and most comments I've seen or heard from people on comments sections or in conversations have been critical of the victim; but let's not forget, this victim thrust himself into the limelight here. He could have chosen to not release those pictures to the newspaper. He could have chosen to not post pictures and messages on facebook. The fact of the matter is, he chose to do so. By choosing to put himself out there, he essentially makes himself a public figure and -- rightly or wrongly -- subjects himself to the whims of the internet message boards where people can hide behind the anonymity of a screen name and say whatever they want.
I guess it's fair to say there are lessons to be learned all around. Carter shouldn't have punched the guy. The guy shouldn't have tried to get sympathy by publicizing his plight. People who sit on message boards all day should get a job, or get fired from the job that allows them to sit on message boards all day. Everyone is at fault.
But in the end, this is a fair (and expected) resolution to the case. In fact, Fitzpatrick stated in his release that this plea offer had the blessing of the victim. The victim could, of course, pursue monetary damages against Carter in a civil court; but I think he'd be best advised to put this all behind him, if he's truly interested in salvaging a reputation. Suing Carter just reopens wounds and makes Joe Public think "Won't he just go away?"
As for me, I'll continue to stay away from the Kimmel area on late, dark, snowy nights.

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BlogPoll 2010 - Week 5

*Sad day for the Big East. Both Pitt and West Virginia drop out. Along with BYU, who somehow made it on my Week 4 ballot. Oops.
*Auburn, Michigan State, and Oklahoma State are new to my poll this week.
*The top 7 stay the same. Not that surprising.
*Texas takes the biggest topple after letting UCLA run all over them.
Questions or comments? You know what to do.

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UConn Players Don't Even Like Each Other

When you look like this, don't fight a linebacker.
Another entry in the compendium of Connvicts. As you know, a secondary mission of this notebook is to chronicle the legal dealings of fellow Big East schools. And no school has proved a bigger embarrassment of riches than the University Of Connecticut Huskies. We have long chronicled the list of legal entanglements of the UConnvicts, and this is their latest entry.
According to ESPN.com, junior kicker Dave Teggart and sophomore linebacker Jerome Williams were involved in a physical altercation in the Hilltop Apartments on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, CT. They were both cited for Breach Of Peace, a class B misdemeanor in Connecticut. A person is guilty of breach of peace when "with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a rick thereof, such person engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place". They are both scheduled to appear in Rockville Superior Court on October 12.
It's pretty bad when teammates start fighting each other, especially when it is a linebacker and a kicker. Not only is that a huge mismatch, but why would these two really talk to each other and get so upset as to get in a physical fight anyway? This could be nothing and two kids just getting fired up over something, or this could be a sign of a huge problem of chemistry for Connecticut. I have a feeling it is indication of nothing truly. However, there is a big problem I think in how Randy Edsall is treating this incident. "I hope they take that aggression on the field to the other people rather than themselves," Edsall said. "Nowadays, as well all know, when there's a little spat, they don't just tell you to go home or anything like that. Now you get arrested, written up for breach of peace." The players are not receiving a suspension for their actions. Keep in mind Syracuse suspended Delone Carter from school completely after receiving a misdemeanor last spring. Connecticut appears to be letting Edsall handle this internally and he isn't doing anything about it. A typical UConn response to an encounter with the law for UConn players.
Connecticut takes on Vanderbilt this weekend and these players should be in the lineup. However, they probably should be suspended for at least a game. Then again, Connecticut probably needs all the help as they had a lot of preseason hype, and are now sitting on a 2-2 record with their wins over Buffalo and Texas Southern, but losses to Michigan and Temple. Stay tuned to Orange::44 for any further developments.

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3-1 for the first time since '03. We'll all take it.
Yes it was Colgate. Yes it was Syracuse's second 1-AA opponent in as many weeks. Yes Syracuse had another slow start. However, Syracuse poured it on in the second half in the final tune up before the bye week and the Big East slate. Syracuse pulverizes Colgate in the Carrier Dome 42 to seven.
Offense
B+
You don't have too many complaints about a day with six touchdowns for your team and 437 offensive yards. But there are some things to nitpick. Delone Carter was the star of the show with four touchdowns and 174 yards on only 14 carries. He finally had the breakout game we have been waiting for him to have this season. Ryan Nassib wasn't asked to throw a lot, but made good decisions when he was. He was 8/15 and earned 169 yards and a touchdown. He ran really well and had the cutbacks and speed we have been waiting for. An adjustment of slowing his running before he hits the line has really helped the line make holes before Carter has to run through them. The receivers, when passed to, really did well and caught the ball, especially TE Nick Provo who had a ridiculously amazing one handed grab early in the game. Syracuse's no huddle offense really moved well, but Syracuse has to get better in the Red Zone. That is really the biggest and only complaint with the offense in this game.
Defense
B-
I have to give Colgate RB Nate Eachus credit. He definitely came to play and played really well and was rewarded with the only Colgate score on the day. Syracuse played pretty well, especially considering that they were out on the field for 44:26. Chandler Jones, Derrell Smith, and Doug Hogue all had good games. Da'Mon Merkerson again had spotty coverage on receivers, but made up for some terrible coverage by picking an interception. Mike Holmes also picked off a pass and ran it back 42 yards. The defense did allow Colgate to get 376 yards however. The good news is that Syracuse held strong, only allowing 5-18 third down conversions and 4-7 on fourth downs. Overall a good job, but seeing as the offense rolled and were not on the field that much because they were efficient, the defense did a good job overall.
Special Teams
A-
A nice day from Special Teams. Syracuse typically had good starting field position for the offense to work. Prince-Tyson Gulley had two kick returns for 35 yards total, and Mike Holmes had two punt returns for 44 yards. K Ross Krautman wasn't asked to kick a field goal, but he was 6/6 on extra point tries. Rob "Heisman" Long only punted twice for 93 yards, one was behind the 20 perfectly placed at the 2 yard line. It was a brilliant play by the unit. A nice day overall.
Coaching
B+
There were no gutsy calls in this game that needed to be made, but the coaching adjustments were very evident from the first half to the second half. Syracuse needed to try out their hurry up offense and that did very well. Again, the only thing needed from Syracuse was better execution in the Red Zone. But overall, a good day for the staff.
GPA
B+ (3.25)
Syracuse may have started slow again, but they did exactly what they were supposed to do, and so did Delone Carter. They earned the tough yards on the ground, and the defense was stout when they needed to be. Limiting Colgate to just one touchdown on the day, and picking up six themselves is a solid day no matter who you play. Syracuse dominated enough, I just wish they would have dominated earlier. We'll have to see what kind of adjustments and improvements this team takes into the bye week.
Intangibles
Another A to Mike Veley, who had another good game proving the first wasn't just a fluke. There were no dumb sayings or gimmicks. Well done.
A- to ESPN 3 for using the TWCS high definition cameras to broadcast the Colgate game. During my rewatch I was treated to stunning clarity the way sports should be seen. Thanks. Now if you could do something about the commentators that would be great.
C- to the crowd in the Carrier Dome. I know it was Parents Weekend, but you can still be loud during the game. No student section certainly didn't help however.
Syracuse now has a week off before they travel down to Tampa and take on the USF Bulls. Improvements need to be made as a final preparation for a tougher opponent. But for now, Syracuse is riding high atop the league at 3-1 and suddenly impossible league games are looking like possibilities for the Orange. It will be an interesting October. Hopefully Syracuse can capitalize.

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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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Cue The Smiling Child...

No Hoodoo this time my friends.

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Colgate Quick Predictions

Sorry Colgate, this isn't 1950.

Although not a sexy game by any means, there is a little bit of Upstate New York pride involved in this week’s game. A mere half hour away, Colgate looks to cause a huge upset in the cozy confines of the Carrier Dome. Meanwhile, they are probably also thinking “football indoors?” Either way, this should be an easy one for the home team.

Syracuse messed around for basically the entire first half against Maine so I’m inclined to believe that against an even easier FCS team Syracuse will put the pedal to the floor early in this one. And they should be able to. After a record 5 TD performance last weekend Ryan Nassib is riding high on confidence. Aaron Weaver who? The hidden star was TE, but really WR Nick Provo, who got open and caught the ball five times for 85 yards and a TD. And Syracuse’s defense did a nice job in holding Maine to only 14 points. But Colgate’s offense is even worse. They are most assuredly a running team, with their running back averaging 29 carries after two games, and two touchdowns on the year. Their quarterback ran the same amount in their last game, 14 times, as passes attempted. He was 6/14 last week against Furman, and he only racked up 51 yards with no touchdowns and one interceptions. Only one Colgate receiver, Doug Rosnick, has a touchdown on the year. He earned 103 reception yards in Colgate’s first game, but only had 25 last week against Furman. I guarantee Syracuse’s defense is better than Furman. Especially the fact that Syracuse has a far better rush defense than their passing, and Colgate is a rush first team with far better athletes, this should be an even bigger bloodbath than the Maine game ended up to be, and it should happen a lot sooner. Look for Syracuse to roll over Colgate 45 to seven.

Syracuse will be kicking off at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon and you can watch this game on ESPN 3, or on Time Warner Cable Sports in the NY area. I’ll do my best to provide updates via Twitter, but last week the cell reception / Carrier Dome wifi was spotty at best. Either way, hopefully you can see this one, because it will be the easiest game Syracuse will face this season, and it should be a laser show for Nassib again. To learn more about this rivalry game renewed, check out the origins of the Hoodoo here.

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BlogPoll 2010 - Week 4

* Not too much movement this week. Basically all the teams in the Top 25 won, however the movement comes from how the teams performed this week. Teams that fell only one by slim margins. For instance, Michigan drops out from 23 because they won over UMass 42 to 37. Allowing an FCS team to score 37 points in your stadium gets you out of the poll.
* Similarly, Wisconsin drops by only beating Arizona State by one point at home.
Otherwise, it's pretty close to last week. As always, leave a comment if you think it's a bad poll. We'll reexamine.

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Cheer up Doug! You just won a hope opener.

Syracuse was tricked by Maine to allow a lowly 1-AA team to have a halftime lead for Maine in the Carrier Dome last season. This season, after a very lackluster opening quarter and allowing Maine to both run and pass the ball a significant amount, it was almost the case. But Syracuse earned a big touchdown after recovering a forced fumble. Syracuse then rolled from there. The Orange put away Maine 38 to 14.

Offense

B

Ryan Nassib threw for five touchdowns and 260 yards. While he struggled early, he ended up having a really nice day, picking apart the Maine secondary. Similarly, Alec Lemon started dreadfully, dropping two balls in the first series, but he stepped up his game and scored two touchdowns on five receptions for the day. Delone Carter had a stinker with only 65 yards on 15 carries and no touchdowns. Really, had it not been for Carter, the offense would probably have gotten an A. However, it was a nice day overall as the Orange earned 338 total yards and 17 first downs. The only true issue is they were 4-11 on third downs. That is abysmal against a team that Syracuse should have destroyed by late in the 2nd quarter.

Defense

B-

Syracuse held Maine to only 14 points, neither of which came in the 2nd half. They held Maine to 125 yards and only 66 rushing yards. Maine was also held to only 4-14 on third down conversions and 3-5 on fourth down conversions. The defensive line was excellent in this game, earning a couple sacks and really played hard on every play, despite playing well over ten minutes over the first two Maine series. The secondary is still not as solid as they should be however. It was Phillip Thomas that was the big offender in this game for leaving his man too much room and allowing Maine to pass freely. However, overall they managed to force two turnovers in Maine territory, and that certainly helped give Syracuse the lead and then allowed them to get the final nail in the coffin in the fourth quarter. Thanks to my boy Chandler Jones, who had a great day on the line.

Special Teams

B+

Syracuse got some great field position thanks to Mike Holmes who ran a country mile to put Syracuse into great field position in the second quarter after receiving a punt. For his hard work he earned some Big East love this week. Max Suter and Prince-Tyson Gulley were good in their kick return duties, especially considering their protection was compromised a bit to protect against onside kicks. Ross Krautman was asked to hit one field goal and he did from 32 yards out. He also made 5/5 extra points. Rob Long continues his Heisman campaign by punting five times for a total of 222 yards with a long of 56 yards and two inside the 20. A nice day overall.

Coaching

B

Not too many difficult decisions for Doug Marrone and his staff. However, this season, as compared to last year, Marrone seems to be far more conservative with their offensive calls. Nothing to be concerned about just yet, but something interesting to note. Solid B effort on the day.

GPA

B (3.0)

Syracuse did what they were supposed to do. After a suspicious start, and really a bad first quarter overall, Syracuse put the pedal to the metal right before the end of the first half to take the lead, and never looked back. Syracuse defense was solid in the second half, and Nassib proceeded to find every single open Syracuse receiver. A solid day, and the final result is exactly what was supposed to happen against a FCS team. Hopefully it will be an even bigger win margin against Syracuse’s next opponent on Saturday. For now, Syracuse wins their first hope opener since 2004.

Intangibles

A+ to Mike Veley who either headed my letter, or was smart enough to take it upon himself to step up his announcing game. He was excellent in calling the Maine contest, relaying information in a clear manner, used great inflection when something exciting happened on the field, and didn’t use any of those gimmicky phrases he has the past few years. Excellent job Mike.

A- to the Carrier Dome crowd. It was a loud and active crowd early in the game and it generally continued. Special shout out to the students in the student section who had that section packed at the start of the game. That’s how it should be all game every game.

A+ to Floyd Little, one of the all time greats of the game. He was back to be honored by his alma mater for being inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame this past summer. A class act and a true and loyal supporter of the Orange.

F to Verizon, and probably every other cell phone carrier, who cannot get a solid and consistent signal in the Carrier Dome no matter how many people are in there. I don’t need to be able to use my phone during a game, but you can be sure I’d like to.

D to my liver on the weekend. Normally you’re better than that.

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Cue That Happy Child...

Even though it's Maine, it was a win. Suck it UConn.

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Monday Morning Quarterback 9/20/10

One for the record books
After the first quarter of the game Saturday night against Maine, I was bordering somewhere between miserable and furious. The Syracuse offense was virtually non-existent. They showed some signs of life in the second quarter, but really woke up in the second half, ultimately posting a 38-14 victory.
The big story of the day was that Ryan Nassib threw for a new school record 5 touchdowns. Pretty impressive. Nassib's stat line: 19 completions on 28 attempts (67.9%) for 260 yards, no interceptions, and of course, the previously mentioned 5 TDs. To have put up stats like that really surprised me, since I was really anticipating Syracuse to run the ball all day. I think the continued issues with the offensive line limited the Syracuse run game. Despite that, Ryan Nassib was able to get his job done, and done well. With Aaron Weaver gone for the season, he found his receiver choices diminished, completing passes to five different receivers.
It wasn't all happy, fun times, though. I didn't count, but there were several passes thrown by Nassib in this game that hit the receivers, and the receivers didn't catch. Dropsies. Awful. It's very clear to me that Nassib has a very strong, accurate arm. So why can't these guys catch passes? Luckily, I believe most of these drops happened earlier in the game, so they finally got their act together as the game progressed, and, well, 5 TDs later, we were celebrating a victory.
Back to the Aaron Weaver situation. With him tearing his ACL in practice last week, he leaves a huge hole in this receiving corps. To say he was missed is an understatement. It's a shame for the group, because I think he was developing into their leader, and the guy Nassib could count on to be open (and catch the ball) when called on. The big question now, for the offense, is who will step up and fill those shoes.
Van Chew had the most catches with 7, but Nick Provo and Alec Lemon were right behind him with 5 each. Obviously having the tight end play adds another dimension to the offense and gives Nassib another option out there. Chew and Lemon need to keep up that good work out there. Except for the Lemon drop. Those should only be seen in bars, not on football fields.
So where does this leave us? Well, ultimately, Ryan Nassib can only be as good as his receivers allow. There's no doubt he has the talent, the skills, and the knowledge to be a great quarterback. I see it as a blessing that Colgate is the next game. This will give the offense another chance to showcase itself and hone its skills before heading into what looks to be a daunting October.
Against Colgate, I don't expect Nassib to match or break his new school record for touchdown passes, but 4 isn't out of the question. He should easily reach 300+ yards in this game. But, as is usually my luck, this Colgate game will probably be the game Syracuse decides to rush for 300 yards instead. At the end of the day, of course, I don't care. A W is a W.

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Maine Quick Predictions

It may be FCS, but the home opener is always exciting.

Syracuse beat a Maine team that headed into the Carrier Dome last season 41 to 24. This season the outcome shouldn’t be much different. But we’ll humor Maine with a preview of their team.

Maine enters the season looking about as schizophrenic as UConn basketball last year. They have only played two games, but they are polar opposites in terms of results. They lost to UAlbany 0-3 in week 1, then took care of Monmouth 31-23 last weekend. They have one really good player in RB Jared Turcotte (47att, 234yds, 5.0avg, 3 TD), and everyone else is average. They have an average quarterback, an average receiving core, and an average defense. Really Maine’s success on the day will be due to their offensive line. If they can prevent the seven up front in the Syracuse defense from getting to the quarterback Maine should have a decent day offensively. But that will probably not be the case. Syracuse’s defense is vastly better than the Maine team, and they will have their hands full with every facet of Syracuse’s game. Really, the only way that Maine was successful last season was through trickeration on special teams. Syracuse will be ready for that this year, and will also be better overall at that side of the game anyway. This one should be a bloodbath, as Maine is 5-17 and 4-15 on third down conversions in their two games of the season. This is going to be a huge Syracuse victory. The Orange should cruse to an FCS win, unlike VTech, 34 to ten.

This game is another ESPN 3 / Time Warner Cable Sports game on at 7:00pm. Good luck watching it if you can. Seeing as this is the home opener I’ll be seeing it in the highest definition available; reality. I highly suggest if you are within a reasonable driving distance from Syracuse you go and see it. As always, you can follow me (@BH_Orange44) and Orange::44 Correspondent John Brennan (@JBren) on the Twitter. If you spot us say hello.

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An Open Letter to Mike Veley

Mr. Excitement will be back in action this fall.

Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter to Mike Veley, the public address announcer in the Carrier Dome for football, men’s basketball, and men’s lacrosse. The following open letter is addressed to Mike Veley for his and the general public’s benefit and addresses football, specifically for the upcoming hope opener for the Syracuse Football team. I have sent this letter to Mr. Veley directly.

Dear Mr. Veley,

May I call you Mike? I’m going to take the liberty of doing that but please don’t think less of me. I know we have never truly met. I was introduced to you once during the 2004 football season when I was in the press box during a football game, but I’m sure you don’t remember me. Just to let you know a little about me briefly, I’m a 2005 graduate of Syracuse, a season ticket holder, and a loyal alumnus who generally supports a lot of Syracuse Athletics. I also have a law degree and I run this blog, where I hope you are reading this. I know we here at Orange::44 haven’t been too kind to you in the past, but we’re willing to put that in the past if you are, for the good of everyone that enters the Carrier Dome this football season.

Now, I don’t want to put you off by this next sentence, but it may, so I urge you to keep reading. Not many people like to listen to you in the Carrier Dome. I’m included in that. Everyone I sit with at games (all of whom are season ticket holders) tend to not like listening to you too. And many of my blog readers feel the same way. “Drilled and spilled” is not clever and when you say it four to five times a game it makes it worse. Any other cute sayings you have are also not clever. As a matter of fact they are quite annoying. They distract from what is occurring on the field, and even if the game isn’t going quite well, I’d still rather watch terrible football than listen to someone saying terrible phrases thinking he is entertaining and enlightening the crowd, when in actuality is just enraging it.

But all is not lost. The good news is that you can do better. That is if you want to. Your predecessor in the public address position, Carl Eilenberg, was loved by everyone. The reason was a tried and true method as old as time. He kept it simple. He gave you the information in a clear and concise matter, used an appropriate level of volume and inflection, and was always professional. The secret to success in your position is the same now as it was when Carl was there.

Look, you’re very accomplished and I know you’re not an idiot. You got a master’s degree from Cornell before I was even alive. You’re not a dumb individual. This is why it is so mind boggling that you would continue to think that the shtick that you used would appeal to the masses that attend a Syracuse game regularly. Especially since the phrases never changed anyway. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe they would induce a smile in some of the crowd on the first pass, but after that surely the law of diminished returns would be evidence enough to retire that particular phrase from your lexicon. But again, the moral of this letter is to assure you that people do not want gimmicks. Syracuse fans are tired of all the marketing and public relations nonsense that Syracuse continues to use. I and the rest of the Syracuse fans attending the game are already there. No further convincing is needed. Telling the result of a play, yards gained on the play, by whom, and/or the yardage to gain for a first down is really all the information we need spoken to us. Anything more is unnecessary and probably unwanted.

Please don’t consider this an attack. I truly meant this as constructive criticism to enhance my, and everyone’s, Carrier Dome experience. Because I’ll be honest, sitting through another season of hearing the same phrases is not a comforting thought. I’ll be in the Carrier Dome whether you are there or not. The game is bigger than you, not the reverse. I didn’t pay my ticket to hear you. I bought it to watch my alma mater compete on the grid iron. If you remember that you should be fine.

I do hope you read this and consider what I’ve written here. It comes from a point of honesty and the hope that both you and the university make things better for everyone that attends a game. You seem like a nice individual and I’m sure you will take this under advisement and deep down you’re probably smart enough to know everything I’ve written is true. But do try to have a good season. I know I’ll enjoy being there in the Carrier Dome, a place I’ve spent a significant portion of my life in since 2001 when I stepped on campus as a freshman. I hope you enjoy being there too, knowing that you are doing a far better job as being the voice in the ether at the Carrier Dome.

Sincerely,

Brian Harrison
Editor, Orange::44

PS – If you could do something about hearing the same six songs nine times during the games and letting the Marching Band play more that would be great too.

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Maine Q&A With Chris Sedenka

UMaine is looking for some revenge in the Dome.

The University of Maine returns to the Carrier Dome after getting beat last season at the hands of Syracuse and Coach Marrone in his first season. This blog has a long history of question and answer sessions with people in the know, and no one qualifies more than my friend Chris Sedenka, radio host of the PM Jab in Portland, ME and a contributer to The CMSB. Despite his questionable history as a West Virginia graduate, he knows his sports including the Big East and UMaine football. He was nice enough to stop by and answer some questions on the Maine squad making the trip to the Dome.

1. Orange::44: Maine was embarrassed in Week 1 and seemed to do really well in Week 2. Which one is the true Maine football team?

Chris: Offensively, game two is what I expect more. The offense was actually able to score! It was a balanced attack. For Maine to succeed this year the offensive line needs to step up. This team led the CAA in rushing in 2008. In 2009, they led in passing…while not running the ball at all. Game one was a complete wash of either, so it was nice to see the Black Bears rush and pass consistently.

I would say the defense is somewhere in between games one and two. They completely dominated a terrible Albany offense in the first game…then struggled a bit in game two against Monmouth. There is a lot of experience in the unit, but have struggled getting to the quarterback.

They have an outside shot of a playoff spot this season, but in truth, Maine is possibly a year away from being a very good football team.

2. Orange::44: Which offensive player does Syracuse have to worry about the most?

Chris: Jarred Turcotte will be the best player on the field for Maine. He is also someone that Syracuse didn’t see last year due to injury. If Turcotte was from a different state there is a good chance he would be playing at the FBS level. It’s hard to get noticed in Maine. He’s 6’2”, 230, and has already rushed for over 230 yards this season. Last week, he tore up Monmouth for 144 yards and three touchdowns. He’s a bruising back, with deceptive speed.

3. Orange::44: Special teams is what Syracuse had the most trouble with from Maine last year. Will this year be more of the same?

Chris: Don’t be surprised if Maine roles out some tricks. However, I’m assuming Syracuse will be ready for it. Maine is certainly outmanned in this match up, so it would be no surprise to see some trickeration. My guess is they try some of that on offense more than special teams.

4. Orange::44: What will be the most interesting match up of the day?

Chris: For Maine to have a chance Jarred Turcotte is going to have to run the ball successfully. So the matchup to watch is Maine’s inconsistent offensive line vs. Syracuse’s inconsistent defensive line. The Bears need to get a constant push. If this doesn’t happen, forget about it.

On a side note…As a Big East fan, I am looking forward to watching Ryan Nassib go against a pretty athletic linebacking unit and secondary. Nassib has a chance to really grow against some respectable talent. I expect Maine to blitz early to try to force mistakes. If Nassib is patient, he should be fine.

5. Orange::44: This should be a big Syracuse win, but how do you see the game playing out?

Chris: I agree. Syracuse is a much better team than last year. They also should be much more prepared on special teams. Maine has also improved, but won’t be able to hang with the Orange. The Black Bears’ defense is respectable, but will struggle with the balanced Orange attack. I wouldn’t be surprised if Turcotte has a good day, but can’t see a lot of scoring.

Prediction: 38-10 Syracuse

Big thanks to Chris and all the folks in Portland. My answers to his questions are posted here, so give that a read as well. Check out The CMSB for info on UMaine, the Big East, and all those New England sports if you enjoy that sort of thing. Also be sure to check out Chris' interview with #99 Chandler Jones right here. It's great stuff.

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Yeah Doug, I thought it would be closer too.


Syracuse flew clear across the country to take on Washington. In a game that would have been a huge statement win for the program, Syracuse got off to a 10 point lead early in the first quarter, then didn’t score again until the 4th. While they looked somewhat respectable against a tough Washington team, they ended up losing by a pretty big margin 41 to 20. To the card.

Offense

B-

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.

Defense

C+

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.

Special Teams

B

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.

Coaching

B-

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.

GPA

B- (2.68)

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.

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BlogPoll 2010 - Week 3

*Virginia Tech lost to James Madison, a 1-AA team. Sadly that doesn't help Boise's case, but it was pretty entertaining. They drop out until they decide to beat somebody. G'Tech lost in a close game to Kansas, but it's Kansas so they are out.
* With two teams out, welcome the real USC and RichRod's Michigan Wolverines.
* It's not that sexy, but teams 1-11 stay the same.
* USC looked unimpressive in their game so they drop two spots.
* Florida State lost to a very good Oklahoma team, but they didn't look good. They drop. Along with West Virginia, who needed a ridiculous comeback and only really won because the Marshall kicker missed a FG. They drop.
Anything ridiculous? Let me know.

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