2 Comments Published on 11.09.2011 by Brian Harrison
This picture could have been from 2002. But it was last weekend.
It's always UConn. Like Louisville in basketball, Syracuse just can't seem to beat UConn. Especially at Rentschler Field. Syracuse was in a good position to win this game, and they sucked. Pathetic.
Syracuse by the numbers did what they were supposed to do in terms of converting third downs (7-14). But in reality it didn't matter because they had a lot of empty possessions. Ryan Nassib (24/39, 275yds, 2 TD, 2 INT)played well most of the time, but had several overthrows, and obviously throwing on the move to a curling receiver is just asking for a defender to jump the route. Antwon Bailey (16car, 50yds, 3.1 avg, 0 TD)never really got going, which put more pressure on Nassib as well. Alec Lemon was the only consistent player, earning 9 receptions, 157 yards, and a touchdown. Nick Provo also got a score and was good as usual. But that was not good enough.
The defense was never really set up for success a few times by special teams, and then they allowed massive runs on several occasions. They played better in the second half, and also caused five turnovers, but overall they were hot and cold. The fact that UConn was 3/8 on third down conversions was good, but they earned 18 first downs, which means they did it through penalties of Syracuse and big runs on first or second down.
The opening kickoff that UConn ran was a joke. That joke continued all day as the average kick return for UConn was 41 yards. And when kicks only reached the 20 you do the math. Additionally, Ross Krautman missed a field goal which would have given Syracuse the lead at the half. Just a poor day for special teams. Phillip Thomas gets the gold star for two INTs however.
Really conservative Doug Marrone appeared in the offensive play calling. Scott Shaffer additionally failed to adjust defensive schemes to account for UConn's running game. Just an uninspired performance. Perhaps a little no huddle would have been the spark needed for Syracuse to move the ball?
UConn didn't win this game. Rather they did enough not to lose it. Syracuse lost it. Which is always the best way to do things on the football field. Syracuse had a higher 3rd down conversion rate, more yards, and a higher time of possession. Did not matter. Turnovers didn't help, and failing to capitalize on the opposing team's turnovers make it even worse. When the other team is just giving you points you have to take them. Or you deserve to lose.
A+ to the weather. A sunny 50 degree day in November to watch football outdoors was welcome.
D+ to the food service workers in the stadium. They were not good. Sorry UConn fans. Come to the Dome and you'll know what you're missing.
A+ to the awesome accident we witnessed in the parking lot at the Rent. Not only was a dumb girl backing up into a car was the cause, not only was her drunk boyfriend awesomely angry, but five Connecticut State Police vehicles responded. That was good for over 25 minutes of entertainment after the game. Brilliant.
Syracuse takes on USF on Homecoming this Friday night at 8:00pm on ESPN 2. The last time Syracuse played an 8pm game on national television the results were good. And USF has not won a Big East game this season. I'm excited for this. You should be too.