Labels: Crying Child
This game is available nationally on ESPN U / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John and I are in the respective home office so we'll be with you to make light of all the calamity that could occur in this game. Have a nice Saturday and Go Orange (but not Clemson orange).
AJ Long (22/32, 171 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 rush TD) had a nice day. He didn't turn the ball over and was able to sustain drives. Syracuse was 9-19 on third downs, earned 17 first downs, and had 370 total yards of offense. Devante McFarlane was the workhorse on the ground with 114 yards on 10 carries. Steve Ishmael continues to be a stellar and crucial part of the Syracuse offense, and with six receptions for 72 yards, he and AJ Long are becoming quite the pair. A great day for the SU offense.
You can't have much of a better day for your defense than with a #PickSix and a #ScoopAndScore. One defensive score is a bonus. Two is almost unheard of. Wake was limited to 12 first downs, 3-15 on third downs, and only 170 total yards. Additionally, the defense knocked out the Wake starting QB with a legal hit for the entire second half. Can't have much of a better day. The secondary is still shit though.
Good coverage, Cole Murphy was perfect on the day with three field goals (long of 41) and three XPs. A solid day for the special teams unit.
While the play calling got much better, they still called too many screen passes for not much gain.
But overall, you have to like how the offense has responded to a new OC and with a new starting QB. And the defensive play calling got to the Wake QB and forced turnovers. A little bit of improvement is possible, but not much.
A lot was on the line for Syracuse and there were tons of questions going into this game. But Wake Forest was a team Syracuse definitely had a chance to beat, and they answered the call handily. Other than maybe not allowing Wake to score the touchdown they had on a 91 yard drive, Syracuse couldn't have played much better. A very good day indeed.
Syracuse had a great day. There won't be many easier opponents on the schedule so to get a nice convincing win like this against a beatable team was good to see. Syracuse will have more difficult games left on the schedule, but this one was nice to savor.
|The Boeheim defamation lawsuit has been resurrected|
Editor's note: The following is a quick post about today's Court of Appeals decision while I'm on an extended lunch break during a jury trial. Yeah. That's how much I care about you people!
Today, New York's highest court -- the Court of Appeals -- issued a decision reversing the lower court's finding affirming the trial court's order of dismissal. In layman's terms: back on.
Procedurally, we know this case never went to trial. Boeheim's lawyers filed a notice of appeal very early in the process -- even before discovery. The trial judge dismissed the suit, ruling that the suit filed on behalf of Bobby Davis and Mike Lang did not allege facts sufficient to meet the legal threshold. That dismissal order was appealed to the mid-level appeals court in New York -- the Appellate Division -- which upheld the dismissal in a close 3-2 decision. The Court of Appeals took the case, and after oral arguments last month, considered arguments of both sides and determined, based on the law, that the lawsuit should be reinstated.
The gist of the Court of Appeals' decision is that Davis & Lang sufficiently alleged that the statements of Boeheim in the hours and days after the Bernie Fine allegations were made public, were of such a nature that they constituted "mixed fact and opinion," which makes it at least sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Boeheim making statements that "they had done this before" in regards of Davis & Lang making these sex abuse allegations, as well as Boeheim's reference to the investigation that found no proof of the abuse, are what did Boeheim in. Those facts were special facts that the public -- the reasonable listener/reader of Boeheim's statements -- had no knowledge of prior to Boeheim stating it. Because Boeheim's statements of opinion are based upon those special facts not previously disclosed, the Court found they were mixed fact & opinion, which are the proper basis of a defamation lawsuit.
But wait, this isn't the end of the road. The Court of Appeals is merely stating that the allegations in the lawsuit are sufficient for the case to move forward. That means, the case can proceed through the discovery process, depositions of witnesses, other legal wranglings, and ultimately a jury trial. A jury could still find that those statements were not defamatory. A jury could find that the statements of fact upon which Boeheim made his opinions were actually true -- and most of us know that the truth is a defense to defamation.
So, Boeheim could still walk away from this unscathed. Or, a jury could rule against him and find that he did defame Davis & Lang. Or, maybe this doesn't even get that far -- maybe all the parties reach a settlement, the terms of which we'd probably never know. Stay tuned, we'll walk you through any future developments.
Labels: Crying Child
This game will be available nationally on ESPN / Watch ESPN at 12:00pm. Syracuse loves the nooner. Both John and I will be in the Dome for Homecoming. Yaaaaay. We'll be inebriated and the Dome WiFi has been spotty this year so we'll see what kind of updates you'll get. Either way, don't be too upset with what you see. FSU is really, really good.
Syracuse doesn't have an easier week playing Florida State. So look for a similar report card next week.
Labels: Crying Child
|Perfect weather at MetLife Stadium for a late September game|
This was the
First let me reiterate what I said above: Notre Dame plays a really tough defense. So that said, the B grade is a bit on a curve. A lot of credit goes to Terrel Hunt, who seemed to throw best when he had designed plays to throw the ball 10+ yards. The opening drives of each half started that way, with deep completions to Orange receivers. He had some errant throws, sure, but overall I think had a good game passing. The running game wasn't so lucky; the Irish defensive line was essentially a brick wall. What Notre Dame could execute on its offensive bubble screens, Syracuse lacked the necessary blocking to get any more than a yard or two each toss. Oh, and the longest offense rush was by -- who else -- punter Riley Dixon on a fake. I should probably downgrade the B because of more red zone woes, but, then I'd have to scroll back up.
I originally had this as a C+ but then I rethought it and there were two factors that made me change the grade: Notre Dame is really good, and this defensive unit created what, five turnovers? A big thing I noticed both live from section 336, and when watching the replay on DVR, is that Syracuse defenders had trouble shaking off blocks during offensive plays. The Irish offensive blockers, particularly the wide-outs, were so engaged that their defenders couldn't swarm toward the ball. This, as much as anything, led to the effectiveness of Notre Dame on the screens and short passes.
Honestly, the only reason this isn't a fail is because of the Riley Dixon fake punt. Otherwise, here's what we're looking at: 1-2 on field goals, 0-1 on extra point attempts. Why Syracuse, which plays at least six games in a DOME every season can't recruit the best kickers in the country, well, that doesn't make any sense to me.
I'm not gonna rag on the coaching staff too awful much about its game plan or its play calling. In fact, I was real happy to see George McDonald let Hunt air the ball out, even in the absence of Ashton Broyld. In the days since the game, McDonald has been quoted as calling some of his plays the "fuck it" offense. I'm all for taking chances and opening things up, as long as they're smart about it. I'm still really weary about the discipline of the team -- way too many boneheaded penalties that had huge effects on drives, momentum, and field position. You can't say Syracuse wins without those penalties, but, you know Syracuse lost with them.
I think this is pretty much the grade an average team should get against a good top 10 team. Look at the Orange stats -- turnover margin, offensive production -- you'd have thought Syracuse won. And if they had, it would have been a well earned win. But that's not how it worked out. But I think it's important to look at this game and realize that Syracuse played decently well in some areas of the game that gave the team a chance to win -- while at the same time realizing that there are areas that need improvement and until those things are fixed, teams will exploit them and that'll be what leads to future Syracuse losses.
It's unfortunate the schedule is what it is -- an NC State or a Wake Forest would be a great opponent right now. This Syracuse team could beat those teams. Instead, the Orange gets a gauntlet of Louisville and Florida State. Louisville is vulnerable, and Syracuse tends to get big time wins on Friday nights in the Dome (*cough* Villanova excluded *cough*). A win over the Cardinals would do great things to the morale of this team, which has played well enough the last two times out to earn a win, without the W to show for it.