Doug isn't exactly thrilled either.
The Orange were coming off a bad loss to Rutgers in the Carrier Dome, and needed to earn a big win against Tulane in New Orleans to complete a solid non-conference campaign. While Syracuse won, yet again they looked underwhelming. They earn the victory on a last second kick from Ross Krautman 37 to 34.
Syracuse moved the ball well in the first half, also thanks to Special Teams help, but they did not do much in the second. Ryan Nassib (19/34, 186yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD) played average, hitting some great plays, but overthrowing on several occasions and failing to really be a deep ball threat. Antwon Bailey (21att, 111yds, 4.6avg, 1 TD) played well, and managed to really move players on Tulane. Dorian Graham, Nick Provo, and Bailey were the big receivers in this game. Which means Lemon and Chew were not used or were ineffective. Not good. But the worst killer for Syracuse were penalties. Really bad in this game.
There were quite a few missed tackles in this game for the Orange. They also gave up a ridiculous amount of big plays in this game, compared to other games they have played this season, and against far better teams. They allowed more yardage than SU gained, including 355 passing yards. Syracuse made Tulane look way more talented than they are. Sounds like a major theme this season.
Two huge runs in the first half, including their first kick return that ended on the Tulane 5 yard line. And Ross Krautman had a far better game this time than he did versus Rutgers. He was 3/3 on field goals, including the game winner, and 4/4 on XP's. Really a great day for the Special Teams, which is a huge bounce back from Rutgers.
Best stat of this game: Tulane averaged 10.7 yards on passing plays, Syracuse averaged 5.5. The downfall of the west coast offense is short passes or rollouts to your tight end. That does not move chains. Conservative play calling can work when you mix in play action or long passes. But all conservative calls do not. As we know from that awesome play SU had at USC. That being said, Syracuse needs to work more on limiting penalties. Syracuse only had 4 in the game for a total of 40 yards, but they absolutely killed two drives. Especially coming out of the half receiving the ball, you need to go down and score and they just couldn't when you need to gain +20 yards in 2 plays.
Overall Syracuse did not play as well as they should have. While they did what was necessary, and they showed flashes of great football, when the highlight of your team is special teams on the day you did not have a good day overall. Syracuse has a lot to work out. The return of Chandler Jones should help, and with Bailey having a great bounce back game, things are looking pretty good. A bye week will help, especially since the next team to come in is the very good West Virginia.
C- to the crowd of fans in the Super Dome. Nice showing by Syracuse fans, but Tulane... where you at?
We'll be back next week with coverage from Midnight Madness at Syracuse, as well as the usual previews for football and such. Have a great weekend and enjoying trying to #BeatTheBye.