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Rhode Island - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR It's A Win

9/11/01 - Never Forget
Syracuse was expected to roll in this game. Uhhhhh... not so much. But they did avoid a 1-AA upset and won the game, which was their only job. But we here love to provide constructive feed back, thus we head to the report card shortly. But at least Syracuse beats Rhode Island 21 to 14.
There is no denying that Ryan Nassib (29/37, 318yds, 3 TD, 1 INT) had a great day. A career day as a matter of fact. But he, along with the wide receivers, were the bright spot. No bad drops in this game, and Van Chew (8rec, 134yds, 16.8avg, 1 TD) has mad ups. But Antwon Bailey (13car, 43yds, 3.3avg, 0 TD) had a bad day against a 1-AA defense and that made it harder on the passing game. Syracuse had an equal number of first downs (20) as URI did, and Syracuse was only 3-12 on third down conversions. Yes, Syracuse was 2-3 on 4th downs, but overall those offensive numbers are dreadful. 36 total rush yards is a joke as well. Ryan Nassib was basically the offense. Special congratulations to WR Michael Acchione, a walk on receiver who got his first touchdown in this game. The hometown hero was living the dream Saturday.
While Syracuse was not beat on any huge plays like Wake Forest was able to execute, they failed to prevent QB Steve Probst from running all over the field to pick up first downs. 20 again for the record. They were even more efficient on third downs, converting 5-14. The good news is that the Syracuse defense is causing turnovers, picking off two more passes this week. That is something Syracuse failed to do a lot of last season. But once again the secondary was an easy mark for the opposing quarterback. And considering that the Syracuse secondary was taller than various URI receivers, this is not a good effort. Phillip Thomas with 2 picks redeemed himself from last week a bit however.
Special Teams
Shane Raupers had almost a perfect punting game. He punted 5 times for a total of 177 yards and two were inside the 20, masterfully downed by the coverage. Ross Krautman didn't attempt a field goal but was a perfect 3/3 on extra points. Coverage was adequate and a solid day. Not much to report here.
After a quarterback continues to beat you by running, why would you not spy him a little bit. Also, this was the most basic and vanilla play calling on offense I've ever seen. Except for going for it on 4th. I figured they were saving most of the good stuff for USC so they wouldn't have it on film but that was at the cost of pulling away early and not looking back on URI. Yes you needed to be conservative in this game, but not THAT much.
C+ (2.43)
Again Syracuse won, but this didn't need to be this close and it shouldn't have been this close. Syracuse really did not play up to the level they should have. I'm guessing it was a combination of looking past URI, along with just not playing to their full potential. Missing Chandler Jones and a few other players did not help either, but still Syracuse played below the level they should have needed and it was too close for comfort. They really have to play above board next weekend as they head out west.
A+ to the patriotic tributes to 9/11 by the university this weekend, both in the Carrier Dome and around campus.
F to the guy asking for bus fair to Ithaca. It's been Ithaca for about 3 years now. Frankly it would be refreshing if someone just asked for a dollar straight up.
Syracuse takes on Southern California out in Los Angeles next Saturday night (afternoon local time). It should be a fun one. At least we hope. Syracuse will need to play better. Sean Keeley has you covered if you are making the trip out west. Check out Nunes/Magician all week if you are. We'll have game coverage as usual.


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