2020 Cali Awards Pandemic Edition Hardware Thread

Trueblue25

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*Deep breath*

*Tiny violin*

*beer*

Somebody feel free to correct me if you know the exact number, but I count between 20-25 scholarship, contributing players who missed at least one game due to injury or opt out this year. Of that.. our first three running backs, our starting QB, a large portion of our starting OL, our two starting safeties, and an nfl calibre nickle/cb. You do not see many armies/belligerents achieve victory in a war with a casualty rate like ours. This in the first year of a new OC and DC, without any spring practices amidst other limitations imposed by COVID. Maybe it took the duration of the season for reality to set in for me, but honestly I’m not sure we ever really stood much of a chance. Props to the Athletic Department and Football Program for being a standard in following protocol and doing their best to keep the student athletes safe.

Now to the hardest category to come to terms with, our Regular Season performance, through 5 games.

Regular Season Through 5

Let me just say, I admire our group of hardcore fans here. Despite everything last year taught us, we still managed to convince ourselves that wins were here for the taking. Not at the end of 2019, not in the spring, but all the way up in September 2020. Stay positive syracusefan.

Average wins predicted through 5 games: 3
Reality: 1

Ouch. I’d imagine we all thought Duke, Liberty and GT were wins. Well, one was. And it can’t be said that Syracuse didn’t get it done in the home opener at the new Dome.

Instead of obvious glaring negatives from this 5 game span, I’ll pick out arguably the greatest positive. The emergence of Sean Tucker. The freshman running back, of Maryland stock, bowled onto the seen after Howard/Adams opted out, and Jordan sustained an injury. Babers must have known he had some sort of commodity in Tucker as he took carries from Pierre fairly early on. Despite going 1-4 to start the year, Tucker racked up two 100 yard performances. That’s something to be optimistic and happy about.


And onto the award. Shockingly no one predicted the 1-4 record through 5. However a few predicted 2. Of those are Consigliere , OrangeFair44 and Upstate . Once again, the Cali Awards reward sensibility, realism and a healthy glass half empty attitude. You guys stared what our current team and situation is in the eyes and said “no bueno”. The winner of this bunch will be decided on Jan 1st via the 24/7 recruiting class rankings (2021) bonus category. Hopefully optimism wins here.

Onto the next category!

Regular Season Record Through 11

Average Prediction: 6
Actual: 1

Stockholm syndrome? Are we naturally unrealistic, being of a fan forum? Homerism glowed in these predictions fiercely and, yet again, Cuse burned us. 1-10 is 1-10, there’s nothing to applaud. Asterisk or no asterisk, I worry we have faith in Dino because we feel we have no other choice, not because he’s earned it.

No post predicted 1, none for 2, or 3. “We can’t be that bad, can we?”. As our casual fan friends look back at us like we’re insane. Maybe we are.

The Award for this category goes to a board favorite, and past Cali Award winner, MSOrange . He predicted 4 wins. As he wisely offered us all a glass of water, we shook him off and opted for more Cuse Juice. Well, we’ve woken up after 11 games and the hangover is formidable. Maybe MSOrange can offer us a coffee and some words of encouragement, as he’s not hurting as bad.

To be continued...
 

Trueblue25

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*cracks another*

GOODNESS. I thought last category hurt.

Passing

Highest Board prediction for total yards passing after 11: DeVito 3,500.

Lowest: DeVito 2,533

*Watches train go off the rails*



We had the perfect storm for a disappointing passing season. This is an area we need to be realistic with. We had multiple returning OL injuries going into week 1, including a denied waiver for Bleich to contribute in 2020. Though he was not ready to play anyways, this was an early indicator the gods that be were working against us. As seen in 2019, we cannot expect our quarterback to succeed with a tattered line. Add in a new OC, two rb opt outs, and a questionable at best recruiting performance at WR by the staff and here we are. Our offense through the first two games was a disaster. Tommy would go on to get hurt, as is becoming standard for our QB’s, and Rex/Jacobian would step in and do their best.

Passing Yards Through 5:

Actual: DeVito 593
Closest Guess: DeVito 1,100

*throws up*

This hurts, but not as much as the 11 game predictions. We really all need to take a look in the mirror.

This award goes to our friend and avid Brian Kelly enthusiast FloridaFan . We will make this award extra shiny and pretty, so everybody can hopefully stare at it and forget just how much of a dumpster fire our passing predictions were. Congratulations sir.




Through 11 Games:

I think we can all agree, unfortunately nobody wins and award here. As Tommy went down to injury, Rex and Jacobian did the best they could to fill in and keep this team afloat. Jacobian ended up hurt as well, and Rex likely closed the door (tbd) on his Orange career with an admirable performance in 2020 with moments of excitement including deep ball scores to Taj and Johnson. I hope Rex comes back, he’s a good teammate and by all accounts an irreplaceable personality that keeps morale high.

Actual: Culpepper 1,028.


TD LEADER PASSING:

*grabs a shovel*

I’m just going to bury both these awards. Again, no one even got the player right. It cannot be said board predictions, or optimism about TD in 2020 were wrong. The kid fought and got hurt doing his best under sub-optimal circumstances. We are fortunate that he’s returning healthy and re-energized to lead us again.

Actual: Rex 9

To be continued..
 
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Trueblue25

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Rushing:

Through 5 Games Yards Actual: Tucker 299
Through 11 Games Yards Actual: Tucker 626

Through 5 Games TD Actual: Tucker 2
Through 11 Games TD Actual: Tucker 4

There are no trophies to be handed out for rushing. The Cali awards wont be given to entirely wrong predictions.

Though our rushing game was inconsistent and mediocre at best, I maintain this is an area to remain positive about. Tucker by all accounts was our 5th string RB. He looks like an all ACC potential calibre back heading into 2021. Especially with TD and A healthy more experienced line hopefully. Not bad Mr. Tucker. Even more impressive, Cooper Lutz our 6th stringer looks good too. Maybe take the cameras off swag Daddy for a moment and applaud our RB recruiters?


Receiving

Receiving Yards

Actual through 5: Harris 434
Closest: Harris 450 sdhall01

Actual through 11: Harris 733
Closest: Harris 690 orangenauburn

Two Cali Award regulars continuing their hall of fame careers. Harris, despite his antics, has an impressive season all things considered. Through multiple QB’s, a new OC, and lack of size should have limited Harris.. he still put together multiple 100 yard performances. Congratu

Receptions

Actual through 5: Harris 26
Closest:
28 Harris Upstate , cusefan88
24 Harris karhre2003

Actual through 11: Harris 58
Closest: Upstate Harris 57

The January 1st tie breaker is all that separates Upstate from a clean sweep in this category. Potentially a Cali Award first? I’ll have to search the archives. Clearly he’s a genius amongst us and should be looked to as the board authority on football knowledge. That much is clear.

TDs Receiving

Actual through 5: Harris 4
Closest: Harris 5 Upstate

Actual through 11: Harris 5
Closest: Harris 7 orangenauburn

Upstate and Orangenauburn again asserting their dominance amongst us sheep. We must shield our eyes from the glow of their knowledge. It is bright and impressive. Hopefully Taj sures up his hands, he easily could’ve had at least two more touchdowns had drops not occurred.
 
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Trueblue25

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Defensive Categories to be posted tonight or tomorrow..

Go Cuse beat BC
 

Trueblue25

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Apologies for that, works been only slightly less fun than BC had guarding Guerriern and Griffin this week.

Sacks:

Through 5: Black and Jonathan each with 2
Actual 11 Games : Cantin Arku 4

Annnd just like we left off Saturday, yikes. Our defense sustained an impressive list of owwies this season, have hardly seen anything like it. Black and Kingsley had a tough time creating a consistent QB pressure on opposing QB’s and Linton/Richards didn’t have the 2020 impact many anticipated. The future is bright here though, as we return Black, GCA and a bevy of young fast talent on the edge.

No one picked GCA to lead for the season, so a trophy will not be awarded there. However multiple posters picked Jonathan to lead through five (closest being 3 sacks guessed by cusefan88 LeMoyneCuse OrangeFair44 ) and Black (3 guessed by yours truly, and MSOrange ). As this leaves 5 tied, each board contributor will have a choice of his or her weapon and we will meet in the Dewitt Wegmans parking lot Saturday at noon to settle the score. Nah we’ll wait for the tie break on January 1st.


Interceptions:
Through 5: Mikel Jones 3
Season: Mikel Jones 4

Boards stumped again! Hats off to Mr. Jones. Remember when the freshmen jumped him in the offseason depth chart? This kid was not frustrated or deterred. He focused, added muscle and worked. He is a leader and someone the team and younger players can look towards as someone who does what it takes to win. Imo he’s only going to get better. it seems like Mr. Jones has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. A short google search away will show you he’s receiving draft interest as well. Its a beautiful thing when you show the Florida highschool players they can come up north, earn pt early and find success.

Also would like to take a moment and say that I’m truly sorry that the pandemic likely contributed to Trill Williams and Andre Cisco choosing to focus on the pro potential and opt out towards the draft. These kids were electric, I feel robbed that I can’t watch them play in the Dome one more time. Trill game winner vs Wake is something you just can’t replicate, that kid will always be a favorite of mine. Can’t say enough about Andre either, he brought the spotlight to our university and our recruitment’s benefitted. Best of luck to each of them and thank you.

To Be continued...


Tackles:

Through 5: Jones 33
Season: Jones 69 (nice)

Not surprising that A. Our young leader Mikel Jones leads in tackles and B. Tackle numbers are down. I believe tackles goes hand in hand with leading by example, and Jones no doubt does that. Excited in his future. Due to injuries, spread of playing time and growing pains in a new D its not shocking that we have no one with 80-100 tackles. Look to this category to explode in coming years with Jones, Thompson, Cantin Arku, Carter and Coley back.

Tip of the cap to karhre2003 and OrangeFair44 guessing Jones for 35 and 31. Each bold guesses as it was unclear whether Jones would start heading into the year. This category will again come down to the tie breaker. Funny how I’ve never won a Cali, or an Iggy for that matter. The things we dwell on while in lockdown.

for the season prediction the trophy goes to cusefan88. This I believe is the first he’s won outright, while in contention for another two. He just calls it how he sees it. honestly I find the tackle category the most impressive to be this close on considering the pace of our offense and how often our D is on the field. More time on the field means more players being used and likely more players contributing tackles. Round of applause to cusefan88.


TFL

Through 5: Roscoe/Black/Wax 3
Season: Thompson

Thompson and Wax are going to be studs. These kids have real ACC size and came into college looking for blood. Wax has his angle to work on, Thompson needs to condition a little more and add some patience. These two are exciting though and are bright bright spots to a potentially scary Orange defense in 2021 and 2022.
Moment of silience.

Dearest football gods, please have Cody Roscoe be the next to announce he’ll return.

Thank you.

Upstate was the only one to guess Black for tfl’s through 5 and nobody guessed Roscoe or Wax. So to upstate goes the hardware. Looking back I’m actually shocked no one else predicted Black, or thought of Roscoe. Black got the speed, and fits a bit better into the new scheme. Roscoe joins a list of successful grad transfer defenders the staffs hit on. Hopefully more to come.

Until next time folks. Hopefully a new year and less pandemic hopes brings more prediction submissions, orange wins and fans back to the dome.
 
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cusefan88

Co 2020 Cali Winner, Rcpts 1st 5/Tackles 11 Games
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Tackles prediction winner...nice.
 

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