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Ryan Nassib did just enough to earn the big win.
Syracuse opened Big East play coming off a much needed bye week. Their last outing was a disaster so facing an up and down Pitt team with an extra week of preparation worked out perfectly for the struggling Orange. It worked out, despite a lackluster performance from the Syracuse offense. Syracuse pulls out the one point win in the Dome 14-13.
Ryan Nassib (19/30, 185yds, 0 TD, 1 INT) had a lackluster day. Marcus Sales managed six receptions but only earned 63 yards and no touchdowns. The real stars of the offense were the rushes of Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley. They were able to ice the game when they needed to, and Syracuse did just enough on offense to put the ball in decent field position. Syracuse was only 5-14 on third down conversions and had only 305 total offensive yards, less than Pittsburgh. Additionally, Syracuse got killed in time of possession by about ten minutes. Then there was that unfortunate pick in the end zone, something Syracuse allegedly worked on all bye week to prevent.
Syracuse was able to pressure Tino Sunseri at various points. They also virtually disabled RB Ray Graham. Not only that, but they forced a turnover and earned a fumble recovery for a touchdown. That was half of Syracuse's points in this game. They also pushed them out of field goal range late in this game. Despite not covering Devin Street for most of the game, allowing him a career day, Syracuse managed to do just enough to stop Pitt from scoring anything more than a field goal in the second half, putting them one point short.
Special Teams
While the initial kickoff coverage against Pittsburgh was terrible, Syracuse then proceeded to pin punt after punt deep in Pittsburgh territory. The Pitt kicker missed one of his three field goal attempts, and Ross Krautman was perfect on his two extra points with no field goals attempted. All in all a pretty solid day for the Special Teams. For once.
Marcus Sales should get more targets a game. Period. Also, I guess all that Red Zone preparation over a bye week was for nothing, considering Nassib threw another end zone pick. Great work out there.
C+ (2.58)
Yeah, it was a win. Syracuse did just enough to literally win by one point. But the offense stalled most of the game. The defense really had to bail out Syracuse by not only scoring the final touchdown for the Orange, but also had to knock Pittsburgh out of field goal range to preserve the lead late in the game. The Orange held on and played really well when the really needed to, but this game was closer than it could have been had the success of the first drive been consistently repeated.
Syracuse travels to Rutgers on Saturday to play the nooner in New Jersey. Looks like this will be the last time Syracuse has to travel to New Jersey for a while. Sounds good to me. Syracuse will be trying to pull the upset over ranked Rutgers. Yeah, I don't have them ranked in my Blogpoll either.

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1 Responses to “Pittsburgh - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Syracuse Loves Fridays”

  1. # Blogger John Brennan

    Last time Syracuse has to travel to New Jersey for a while? The Orange plays at MetLife Stadium pretty much every year from now on. Don't buy into the hype that that's in New York!  

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