0 Comments Published on 9.28.2012 by Brian Harrison
Yeah, I looked like this in front of my TV too.
Syracuse looked to pick up a win against one of the weaker non-conference games in the slate of five that together was ruled the hardest in the nation. Syracuse entered Minnesota hoping for a competitive game and a nice win to put the team at .500. Alas, Syracuse came and played their worst game of the season. Which is odd because it's the fourth game. Minnesota wins 17 to 10.
Ryan Nassib (21/31, 228yds, 1 TD, 2 INT) had his worst game of the season, including throwing a pick in the end zone. While, overall, he did not play his worst game of his career, he did manage to really hurt Syracuse's chances in closing the scoring gap between Syracuse and Minnestoa. I could go on about the good work the running backs did (other than fumbles), or how Marcus Sales is still fantastic. But what matters is that for three consecutive drives the ball was coughed up to Minnestoa. It happened for various reasons, but no major D-1 program can cough up the ball in three consecutive drives and be called anything close to good.
Syracuse's defense was average to good. They stopped them nine out of 15 times on third down. They also tackled better in this game, even though the secondary seemed to regress (although maybe it just looks like they did as they were playing a much better passing team than Stony Brook). Either way, a passable but not great or elite effort.
Ross Krautman went back to making all of his one attempts and his extra point. Punting, punt returning, and kick and kick coverage was much better this game. Nothing really bad to report.
Marcus Sales is a certified stud receiver. Maybe the game plan should be to run some plays designed to get the ball Marcus Sales' direction before late in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the red zone play calling is still not up to snuff, which is probably the most troubling of all. Additionally, Syracuse fans that are students of history should know better than anyone that the "Run, Run, Pass, Punt" offense doesn't work. Yet, Syracuse continued to utilize that series in various drives, only to put the ball to Minnesota. We talked about Doug Marrone in the Nunes/Magician podcast here (which you should listen to) and most of the mistakes on the field are not Doug's fault, or his staff's. But we're getting to the point where the coaching is clearly not putting Syracuse in a position to win the game. That is a disturbing trend when this is not Doug's first go around anymore.
Syracuse played stinko in this game. Bottom line, Syracuse looked the worst it's been all season. There are no excuses for how Syracuse played and sadly they lost a winable game. Which are the worst kinds of games to lose. Hell, this team beat the spread on then #2 USC only a couple weeks before. Brutal.
Syracuse now has a much needed bye week before taking on Pittsburgh in a Friday Night Big East affair in the Carrier Dome. Hopefully they come out firing. And no one really knows which Pittsburgh team shows up either. Fun stuff. Or soul crushing. Yes... soul crushing.