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Monday Morning Quarterback 1/3/11

I salute you, Ryan Nassib!

I made it out of New York City alive. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Syracuse beat Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl this past Thursday 36-34. That obviously gave me a huge reason to celebrate. So, I did.

In a season where defense has helped Syracuse win and the offense often times puttered around, the bowl game was a role-reversal. Syracuse put up 498 total yards. As in, two short of 500. Amazing! 198 of them belonged to Delone Carter on the ground. So with the Wildcats having trouble on the run and looking for it all the time, Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib was able to go to the air. And did he! To the tune of 239 yards on 13 completions from 21 attempts, good for 62%. Nassib also threw three touchdowns to Marcus Sales, including connecting on a flea flicker for 52 yards into the end zone, a 36-yard pass, and a nice 44-yard pass.

Let’s talk about that flea flicker. The play before it, Delone Carter rushed for 24 yards and brought the offense up to the 48 yard line. I felt that it would be the right time to try a deep pass. Evidently, Doug Marrone thought so too! It was just perfect execution all around: from Antwon Bailey selling the run and shoveling the ball back to Nassib, to Nassib putting the perfect amount of air under the ball so it arrived at the end zone at the right time, to Marcus Sales not only avoiding the defender but also the official, and of course Sales actually catching it. Oh… it gives me tingles just thinking about it again!

In all, Nassib got the ball to six receivers during the game. He looked much sharper than he had back in November. Though, he wasn’t perfect. We still saw a few typical Ryan Nassib tosses to the ground or off the mark. That’s just sometimes that’s going to happen a few times per game. And that’s fine, as long as it doesn’t kill drives.

So where does this leave us? Well, September is 9 months away. Spring ball is in April. I think if Nassib continues to work hard in the offseason, we’ll see him back at quarterback in the fall. What will be key is really getting the receiving corps to pick it up. With the number of big plays we saw at Yankee Stadium, you know they have the ability to perform at a high level. They just need to do it consistently.

Well, this is the final edition of Monday Morning Quarterback for the season. It’s certainly nice to be writing it after a bowl game. And a bowl win no less! Thank you all for reading, and of course keep coming back to Orange::44 for the latest on whatever Syracuse sports stuff is happening!

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