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DOC Gross will congratulate even though it's against the rules to cross that dashed line!
And just like that, Syracuse is going back to a Bowl Game. It took another late come from behind effort, but Syracuse again got it done. Nassib to Lemon happened four times in 1:32 and 81 yards for six points. It gave Syracuse the lead with 20 seconds on the clock. Like that, Missouri fans were shocked and Syracuse fans were rejoicing. The Orange leave SEC country with the win 31 to 27.
Ryan Nassib (26/40, 385yds, 2 TD, 1 INT) struggled a little bit in spots during this game, but made big plays when it counted. When Syracuse needed to move the ball he made passes. Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gully didn't rack up significant yardage (101yds), but they did each have a touchdown. Syracuse finished with 25 first downs, 508 total yards, were 7-15 on third downs and 1-1 on fourth down, which happened on the final scoring drive. The offense was stagnant  particularly in the third quarter. And they could have put more pressure on Missouri by scoring on their second to last drive instead of throwing a pick, but either way you can't argue with Alec Lemon and Ryan Nassib's performance on the final drive, and the absolute ineptitude to cover Lemon on the final scoring play due to a clever bunch formation which confused the defense and allowed Lemon to go ungarded into the end zone.
Syracuse wasn't a brilliant defense, and really they didn't stop Missouri from scoring in critical situations. However they did limit Missouri in the 3rd quarter from scoring at all and managed to only allow a field goal on the final scoring drive of Mizzou. They did just enough yet again. Despite allowing 25 first downs they did limit Missouri to 4-13 on third downs. A good effort, but not a great effort. But that was enough as they put the game within reach for the offense in the final two minutes.
Special Teams
Ross Krautman hit the one field goal he was tasked to from 44 yards out. In general, field position on punt and kick returns were good. Jeremiah Kobena bobbled the ball on a kick return once, but recovered and managed to get to the 19 yard line to start the final scoring drive for Syracuse. In general, an adequate day.
Syracuse had a 4th and ten late in the game and decided to go for it. It was the right call. A field goal attempt to tie the game would have been over 50 yards and into the wind. No way it would have gone through the uprights. Despite the fact that Syracuse still can't stop screen plays (see Mizzou's first touchdown), Syracuse has continued to not have penalties that kill drives, the call to switch Lemon into a bunch formation on the final scoring play was brilliant as he was able to go undetected on the field to score. Gutsy but correct call, then great play calling. It put Syracuse in a position to win. Well done.
B+ (3.25)
While Syracuse shouldn't have had this game so close, Syracuse won the game and earned a bowl birth for the second time in three years. I thought they had the ability to play well enough on the road with the momentum built from last weekend and get to that 6 game plateau. They did, and if you hate Doug Marrone sorry. Win or lose at least this team is exciting to watch. Unlike five years ago.
Syracuse now will finish their year heading down to Temple the day after Thanksgiving. A team that Syracuse is very capable of beating at this point. Syracuse could have another eight win season if all things go according to plan. It starts by finishing up the regular season with one more win.

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1 Responses to “Syracuse - Missouri Postgame Reactions OR Let's Go Bowling! Thanks SEC!”

  1. # Blogger John Brennan

    To expound a bit on the coaching grade... Going for it 4th and 10 at the end of the game wasn't just a good coaching decision. It was the only decision Doug could make. It was a safer option to attempt converting on 4th and 10 than it was to attempt a 52 yard field goal.

    So, props to Doug for making the right -- the ONLY -- decision. Those of you who think it was gutsy or think that he's some guru because he made that call, I'm convinced you don't understand football. So please, stop calling it a gutsy call.

    /end rant  

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