Game Thoughts | Syracusefan.com

Game Thoughts

CIL

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I decided to wait a few days to in order to post my thoughts on Saturday's game to let the board calm down a bit, as well as go back and watch a few plays as my one year old was going nuts during the original broadcast.

My largest disappointment with the game is not the offensive scheme, or defensive performance. The single biggest reason we lost that game was evident from the second snap of the game. We did not match the energy level of our opponent. Louisville came to play Saturday, and we were not ready at all. We did not fire off the ball on both sides of the line, we allowed them to play at their pace, and I'm not sure this team has a leader on either side of the ball. Last year Derrell and Doug filled that role nicely. This staff needs to find a way to get these guys ready to play every game emotionally, not just on paper. They shouldn't have to rely on 45,000 Syracuse fans to pick up their emotion level ala WVU.

As for the offensive performance, it was another stinker. It will be more of the same when we play aggressive man blitz schemes because it highlights our biggest offensive maladies:

  • Nassib's accuracy issues
  • WR playmaking ability
  • Staff inability to commit to plays or packages
Disclaimer, those with man love for Nassib, this next paragraph may be a bit rough for you. First off, Ryan does some nice things out there -- he doesn't throw into coverage often, he understands our offense very well, and is tough as hell. However, his accuracy issues at this point cannot be overlooked. Accuracy is not a statistic -- his completion percentage is fine. But his ability to deliver the ball where it needs to be delivered is not. He does a poor job of leading receivers to allow them extra YAC's on his short to intermediate throws.
His struggles with the deep balls are well documented. He missed Chew on a sure touchdown by overthrowing him. He missed Chew again by lobbing a ball on a stop and go route allowing the single high safety to make a play (reminiscent of the lob to Graham against Tulane that was completed but should have been a TD). He missed Stevens on a seam route for 7. He missed a sure TD by missing an open Provo and then missing a wide open West (I think) by firing a bullet in the stands. These are points on the board that we cannot be leaving out there with the talent level that we have right now. We probably left at a minimum 14 points on the board, possibly 21.
This game also highlighted one other issue with Ryan I thought had been remedied -- his happy feet in the pocket. Ville was able to get to Ryan early with some excellent (hats off to them btw) blitz packages. I really haven't seen a lot of delayed A gap blitzes at this level, but they did it with some success early on. When Ryan gets hit, he tends to revert to a bit of panic mode so to speak. While line had some early issues figuring out the double A delay blitz, they did a decent job of containing it in the second half -- but by this time Ryan was a bit gun shy in stepping UP in the pocket and making a throw, subjecting himself to backside pressure that can easily be alleviated by stepping up in the pocket. The staff had really been working with him this year in doing that. I had seen improvement up until this game, where he regressed.
As to the WR's, what more can be said. If we combined Chew, Lemon, and Graham into one kid we'd have a great threat. We don't. I'd like to see more of West out there -- great set of hands and appears to be a bigger, slightly faster version of Lemon (our most consistent WR by far). However, I don't see him every week during practice, so there could be more to the story. They struggle getting open a lot. Not every down, but more than enough. Chew is a bit to skinny despite his measurables in the weight room, Lemon is probably a true 4.7 kid, and Graham is raw (but getting much better might I add).
The last point I will make on offense is relatively a newer gripe -- it's not a systematic gripe of going to the spread, etc. It's the fact that if a certain play does not work, or if we misfire on it we usually do not see that play again. Point in case the screen pass to Bailey. That play was well set up, but Chibane Missed a block and it went for maybe 5 when it could have and should have been a huge gainer -- it's an easy throw to get Ryan in a grove and it makes Ville back off a bit sending heat 75% of plays. We saw the success that had against us with it for christsakes. Why not go back to it? Why not continue to execute slant and gos, or more stop and gos? Just because we missed a pass vertically doesn't mean we should stop threatening the deep part of the field.
As for the defense, we weren't terrible. Ville's yardage came on two plays -- the second pass of the game and the long run off an option play by Anderson. Both those plays we allowed by Phillip Thomas. PT left his deep field responsibility when their QB rolled right and attempted to somehow try and make a play on a qb 20 yards away from him allowing the WR to be left all alone. Stupid play.
While Shamarko missed the tackle on Anderson in the backfield (not really his fault as he had pitch man on that play, actually almost an unreal play) PT's piss poor angle to the runner allowed him to run for 6. I have no idea what he was thinking on that play as well, and his angle actually took our own corner out of the play as well.
I like PT and think he's a good player. I don't think he is a great player or as good as he can be due to the amount of mental mistakes he makes out there. It's frustrating because he has the physical attributes to be great at this level.
 

MikeSU02

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Did Shamarko really have the pitch man on that play? I thought he just tried to do too much and handle both instead of doing his assignment. Guess I was wrong.

PT was supposed to get the RB on that? Just seems that is a lot of ground to cover to get to the guy receiving the pitch.
 

orangenirvana

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Thanks.

Nassib isn't the most accurate thrower on the planet, but I think the bigger issue is his inconsistency. Just last week he was throwing darts to his receivers. Those weren't easy throws, he was throwing into some tight windows for third-down converstion after third-down conversion. He's extremely streaky, and that can be great for us one week but disappointing the next.

I also remember early in the WVU game he showed his happy feet. It may have actually been the first play. There was no one even near him, and he dances and rolls out of the pocket when it wasn't needed. It's an issue that he has that is simply not going away.

Marrone had said that they noticed during the bye week that the offensive playcalling was not going back to what worked nearly enough. Maybe your observation is a result of that and them wanting to use what is working rather than going back to what wasn't. Not that anything was working on Saturday...
 

Upstate

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I was really disappointed in the mentality of this game, and I think Doug knows this. they didn't come out ready to hit at all, seemingly hungover on the WVU win, or thinking about their Halloween parties. Both lines weren't getting a push and it showed. they looked a step slower, and a step faster vs. WVU. I'd like to see a big performance vs. UConn, where they just come out and hit them.

The lack of quality line play caused for little to no running game, which doesn't allow anything to open up.
 

CIL

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Did Shamarko really have the pitch man on that play? I thought he just tried to do too much and handle both instead of doing his assignment. Guess I was wrong.

PT was supposed to get the RB on that? Just seems that is a lot of ground to cover to get to the guy receiving the pitch.

Sharmka had pitch per the lineup of that, Corner then FS have back. They made a nice call to run option to the weak side there.
 

Scooch

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I'm always hesitant to comment on "energy" since it's such an intangible concept, and one that fans really have very little insight into. But I have to agree, CIL, with your comment on that. There has been an extremely noticeable difference in energy game-to-game with this team. They were flying high against USC and WVU. They looked dazed and unprepared against Louisville, evidenced by both the big plays they gave up and the inexcusable parade of personal foul penalties.

Not all losses are created equal. This team was playing so hard against USC that it was easier for me to get past that L. Not only did we play like crap vs. Louisville, but we looked like we didn't even want to be there at times. Much harder to get past L's like that.
 

CIL

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I'm always hesitant to comment on "energy" since it's such an intangible concept, and one that fans really have very little insight into. But I have to agree, CIL, with your comment on that. There has been an extremely noticeable difference in energy game-to-game with this team. They were flying high against USC and WVU. They looked dazed and unprepared against Louisville, evidenced by both the big plays they gave up and the inexcusable parade of personal foul penalties.

Not all losses are created equal. This team was playing so hard against USC that it was easier for me to get past that L. Not only did we play like crap vs. Louisville, but we looked like we didn't even want to be there at times. Much harder to get past L's like that.

True -- although you can measure it in somewhat subjective ways on game tape. One way you can do so on defense it a thing called "hats on the ball carrier" or I think what Shafer calls his "camera club". The thought here is that when the staff goes to the game tape, you want to see a minimum of four defenders attacking the ball carrier or swarming the offensive players. I just didn't see that this game, to many one on one tackles being made early.
 
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kingottoiii

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I am not so sure that play was on Phil Thomas. Anderson was playing zone and released the WR. Thomas was moving up field on the snap. He acted like he didn't have deep responsibility. One of them screwed up the coverage at the snap. Hard to tell which one. This also happened the second drive when Lyn was beat, but the play was called back for a hold. We had Shamarko and the other CB playing man so I believe that Lyn playing zone was his fault.

Whose fault on both of those really doesn't matter as much as we blow coverage way too often.

As to the bad angle stuff Phil has done that his whole career. I believe on the WR screen that went for 20 on 3rd and 15 he did the same.
 

Avatusstone28

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I'm always hesitant to comment on "energy" since it's such an intangible concept, and one that fans really have very little insight into. But I have to agree, CIL, with your comment on that. There has been an extremely noticeable difference in energy game-to-game with this team. They were flying high against USC and WVU. They looked dazed and unprepared against Louisville, evidenced by both the big plays they gave up and the inexcusable parade of personal foul penalties.

Not all losses are created equal. This team was playing so hard against USC that it was easier for me to get past that L. Not only did we play like crap vs. Louisville, but we looked like we didn't even want to be there at times. Much harder to get past L's like that.
I don't know what Marrone's demeanor is like during practices, or in the locker room, but on the sideline he shows no emotion at all. None.

Should he be more vocal, or animated on the sidelines to get more from his players?
 

orangenirvana

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I'm always hesitant to comment on "energy" since it's such an intangible concept, and one that fans really have very little insight into. But I have to agree, CIL, with your comment on that. There has been an extremely noticeable difference in energy game-to-game with this team. They were flying high against USC and WVU. They looked dazed and unprepared against Louisville, evidenced by both the big plays they gave up and the inexcusable parade of personal foul penalties.

Not all losses are created equal. This team was playing so hard against USC that it was easier for me to get past that L. Not only did we play like crap vs. Louisville, but we looked like we didn't even want to be there at times. Much harder to get past L's like that.

I think the players were looking past Louisville after their big win last Friday. I really do. Based on their body language during and after the game.

They're human and worse - college kids. It happens. They just need to bounce back.
 

orangenirvana

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I don't know what Marrone's demeanor is like during practices, or in the locker room, but on the sideline he shows no emotion at all. None.

Should he be more vocal, or animated on the sidelines to get more from his players?

Ask Nick Saban and Bill Belichick...
 

Scooch

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I don't know what Marrone's demeanor is like during practices, or in the locker room, but on the sideline he shows no emotion at all. None.

Should he be more vocal, or animated on the sidelines to get more from his players?

Eh, this doesn't bother me at all. Marrone is who he is. I'll take his demeanor over GumpRob, who's cheerleader antics I found to be downright embarrassing at times.

I think this is on player leadership.
 

Avatusstone28

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Eh, this doesn't bother me at all. Marrone is who he is. I'll take his demeanor over GumpRob, who's cheerleader antics I found to be downright embarrassing at times.

I think this is on player leadership.
I am inclined to agree. As it was mentioned earlier, one (or more) of the players have to take the bull by the horns and take on a leadership role.

I have to believe, that somebody has taken on that role?
 

CIL

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IMO, there are few great coaches that are yellers and screamers. Saban, Grobe, Beamer, Tressel, etc.

I think this team needs a heart and soul type kid to exhibit on field leadership.
 

orangehomer

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I'm always hesitant to comment on "energy" since it's such an intangible concept, and one that fans really have very little insight into. But I have to agree, CIL, with your comment on that. There has been an extremely noticeable difference in energy game-to-game with this team. They were flying high against USC and WVU. They looked dazed and unprepared against Louisville, evidenced by both the big plays they gave up and the inexcusable parade of personal foul penalties.

Not all losses are created equal. This team was playing so hard against USC that it was easier for me to get past that L. Not only did we play like crap vs. Louisville, but we looked like we didn't even want to be there at times. Much harder to get past L's like that.
i agree with you, i think you have to stay away from the word "energy" because there is no reason to think that one team should have more "energy" on a week-to-week basis than it's opponent. i think the work is "focus", because focus is something you can control. when the team is focused, they can be pretty good. in the first quarter against ville, they lacked focus and got behind early, and this offense and team is just not good enough to play from behind, especially on the road.
 

Avatusstone28

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IMO, there are few great coaches that are yellers and screamers. Saban, Grobe, Beamer, Tressel, etc.

I think this team needs a heart and soul type kid to exhibit on field leadership.
IIRC, many of Marrone's recruits were team captains.

Perhaps one of those kids will eventually step forward?
 

LeMoyneCuse

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The energy comment is spot on.

I knew they were going to lose on Thursday when I saw this tweet from Chandler- "That's crazy how we leave for Kentucky tomorrow and it seems like we just #beatWvuyesterday lol ..."

That's all I needed to know.
 

Chip

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Maybe we need a Victor Anderson type to give our pregame speeches.

By the way, I thought I saw better acting in Pootie Tang.
 

CIL

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Maybe we need a Victor Anderson type to give our pregame speeches.

By the way, I thought I saw better acting in Pootie Tang.

The best part of that incoherent speech wasn't Anderson's nonsensical rambling, rather, it was the white walk on (I'm assuming walk on due to lack of muscle on this kid) getting himself all fired up to it. At one point he appeared to be crying.

If anyone has it on dvr check it out.
 

Chip

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The best part of that incoherent speech wasn't Anderson's nonsensical rambling, rather, it was the white walk on (I'm assuming walk on due to lack of muscle on this kid) getting himself all fired up to it. At one point he appeared to be crying.

If anyone has it on dvr check it out.

I also liked how much of the room wasn't paying attention, and how Anderson kept looking back at the camera as if to say "are you still getting this?"
 

BlueCurtain

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It's flawed logic to suggest the defense did well if were not for those 3 big plays. Even if those plays were blown up, who says Louisville wouldn't line up on the next snap and move the chains? Any defense that is prone to giving up big plays has major issues. No sugarcoating it.
 

IthacaBarrel

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The whole seen was uncomfortable... i certainly didn't need to see it more than once
 

Upstate

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The best part of that incoherent speech wasn't Anderson's nonsensical rambling, rather, it was the white walk on (I'm assuming walk on due to lack of muscle on this kid) getting himself all fired up to it. At one point he appeared to be crying.

If anyone has it on dvr check it out.

Watched that about 3 or 4 times. I will say this. He had a mean grip on that clipboard all game.
 

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