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Pinstripe Bowl Postgame Reactions OR A Return To Normal

It's true Doug, that crew sucked.
Most people that aren't big time Syracuse fans remember the last time Syracuse won a bowl game. I happened to be at that game. It was good to be at another bowl win. If you were at home or at a bar it was good to see another bowl win. And what a game to watch. If you like offense this was your bowl game of the season. A bowl game in which the team traded big offensive plays and touchdowns, this game was cold but the offenses were hot. Kansas State had an absolute stud of a player in Daniel Thomas and conversely Syracuse used both the run and the pass effectively against the Swiss cheese defense of Kansas State. Let’s go to the report for one last time in the 2010 college football season.

Offense

A

This was the best offensive game Syracuse has had in maybe the last 5 years. The first Syracuse scoring play, a 52 yard touchdown flea flicker to Marcus Sales from Ryan Nassib, was one of the sexiest things on a Syracuse football field since the McNabb era. Ryan Nassib (13/21, 239yds, 3TD, 0 INT) had a banner day, playing very well, throwing long balls perfectly, and only had one bad pass hit the turf. But the true player of the day was senior Delone Carter. Carter (27car, 198yds, 7.3avg, 2 TD) had a career day in yardage as he found the perfect way to go out on top as a Syracuse player. Credit as well to the offensive line for playing a great game and giving a lot of time to Nassib and big holes to Carter. Marcus Sales where have you been? He exploded for all three Syracuse touchdowns in the air and caught 172yds on five receptions. The offense clearly benefited from a month off and a terrible Kansas State defense. With a total of 498 total yards, 23 first downs, and 8-14 on third down conversions, statistically it was one of their best performances of the year as well.

Defense

C

Kansas State really had one major threat in RB Daniel Thomas. While he was limited to only 90 yards on the day, he managed three touchdowns, including a 51 yard touchdown run. Additionally they allowed 379 total yards of offense and 3-4 conversions on fourth downs. However they did manage to limit Kansas State to 6-14 on third downs and limit KState to only 3.4yds per rush. But the secondary allowed soft zone coverage and some true home run balls. Not their best day of work, which turned this game into a shoot out.

Special Teams

D

Most of it was due to the fact that Rob Long was not punting or kicking, but kickoffs were terrible. The coverage was fine, but the ball just was never kicked far enough, and its fairly embarrassing when the opening kickoff goes right out of bounds. Additionally Ross Krautman missed an extra point, which as we all know are as close to a gimmie kick as there can be. He did drill the one field goal attempted from 39 yards out. And the punting was fairly prodictive from Ryan Lichtenstein. Overall not a good day, but when there isn’t a true special teams coach or your star punter/kicker it was a pretty good effort overall.

Coaching

B

I’m not sure if it was because the team was so banged up or there was just no time to implement all of these plays before, but the offensive playbook basically had no limit. And it was awesome. The coaching staff had the offense ready to play. I wish that the team had spent some more time on tackling drills or zone coverage on the defensive end, but overall the team played well, was not that conservative, pounded the ball until they were stopped (which was almost never), and made great play calls. Overall a great job.

GPA

B-/C+ (2.5)

Once again this was a fantastic game. No matter what you think of the infamous call Syracuse played better and deserved the win. It was a great game in a great venue and I think any SU fans that attended had a great experience and saw a very nice bowl win. The season has to be determined a success as Syracuse went from four wins to eight, with four coming in conference and all on the road. While the final season’s report card will be out soon, this game was a win during the bowl season, and considering that Syracuse has not had that since 2001 that was pretty great.

The Call

The call was correct, but I agree it was absolute bullshit. As a football referee myself I would have maybe made that call earlier in a game, but NEVER in that situation where the game was clearly in the balance. Now Kansas State very well may not have converted that two point try, nor would it be the case that SU could not have at least scored a field goal in the time remaining, especially how they were moving the ball in the game. But either way the game ended the way it did and we’ll all have to live with that. A win is a win and Syracuse won.

Intangibles

A+ to the Syracuse faithful for showing up in the Bronx. I freely admit I’m spoiled by our roof and I haven’t been out in the cold for a football game in a few years. But the weather could not have been more perfect for the time of year and location of the game and it was well worth it to see so many SU fans, friends, and a nice win.

D to the officiating crew. They were from the Big Ten and made some absolutely terrible calls. Mostly against Syracuse but I’d say when it was said and done it was pretty even. There is a reason most teams don’t get called for defensive holding. Because it doesn't happen.

A+ to all my friends that came out and a special shout out to my friends that I was with for both this bowl game and the Insight.com bowl back in 2001. It has been quite the ride. Let’s hope for another decade of being friends.

The football season is done but we’ll be back with the final report card for the season and our final postgame thoughts sometime in the next week or two. Meanwhile, it’s all basketball. Stay tuned to Orange::44 for it all.

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