My Take | Syracusefan.com

My Take

sutomcat

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Nice crowd again at the pre and post game tailgates. I would guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 55, about the same as for WF. The chicken and brisket were solid. Good talking with everyone and the cake Dan baked was delicious, even if it did have a suspicious looking label on it. Only guy I know who makes labels for homemake cakes.

It was hot in the Dome but not as hot or humid as the WF game. Crowd was loud for its size but the size was not good. IMHO, there were less than 25K there. It is tough to draw crowds for skank opponents like URI, Maine and other peer schools like Colgate. Temple and Rutgers (witness what happened at UNC today, more on that later). But we as SU fans have to show no matter how unattractive the opponent is.

The NA was sung by some country guy who wore a black cowboy hat. I am not a country guy but he had a fine voice and also sang a patriotic song about the Boys of (19)44 at halftime. It was Military Appreciation Night, or something to that effect, there were some troops from Fort Drum in attendance, the video boards showed many short videos from Fort Drum units stationed overseas in Afghanistan wishing the Orangemen well in the 2011 season. The SUMB also got in the act, playing patriotic songs like America during halftime. Thought the whole thing (done only 1 day short of the 10th anniversity of the 9/11.01 terrorists attacks) was well done and well received.

URI brought a couple of hundred fans, similar to what UConn and RU normally bring to the Dome. Their male fans had two eyebrows and the women did not have facial hair, so they differed in that respect.

Regarding the game, it was another in a long line of ugly home games that were difficult to watch. I thought URI came into the game determined to take the run away from Syracuse and to force SU to beat them via the air. I am sure the OL is going to get ripped tonight and to be sure, they did not play well, but as we have discussed in the past, it is tough to run the ball well when facing 8 or 9 men in the box almost all game.

URL saw the success WF had pressuring Nassib and was able to, with disturbing consistency, get pressure on Nassib. They got a bumber of hard hits on Ryan where no sack was recorded, and a few real sacks too. I am not that disturbed when a defense goes all out to stop the run and we struggle to run. The part that really worries me is when they are able to pressure the QB consistently cheating against the run. Not good.

Not thrilled either with our ability to get to the QB for URI. Props to Probst, who I thought played a fine game, threw it well, ran it well and made a lot of savvy decisions. But as in the WF game, we really struggled to get any decent rush on the QB unless we blitzed. And unfortunately, when we blitzed, it looked to me like we often got burned when URI threw a pass into an area vacated by the blitzer.

It has rarely happened in the DM era that I thought we were badly outcoached on both sides of the ball. I think it happened tonight. I give the URI staff a lot of credit, but with all respect to them, they can't be embarrassing our OC and DC like they did.

Really liked their offensive game plan. Good mix of passing plays and running plays, they had a lot of motion, showed us a lot of looks and really did a nice job burning our fast. young, way too aggressive defense with cutbacks and changes of direction.

We have a real issue with discipline on defense right now. Phil Thomas should be a savvy veteran by now but he continues to make awful decisions on a regular basis. Had an awful night tackling and made nice progress on his quest to get the most personal fouls in the history of college football (I believe he had 2 more today and could have been rung up for three). Worse, he dropped an easy interception thrown directly to him and late in the game decided to catch an interception on a 4th down play when he should not catch it but knock it down instead. I know aggressive players sometimes make foolish plays but Thomas is not a young players anymore and is showing me little in the way of learning from his mistakes.

He wasn't alone though. The thing that really frustrated me was the constant over pursuit, the constant over running and getting burned by a simple cutback. Almost everyone on the defensive unit appeared to be more interested in trying to knock out URI players that just to tackle them. SU has rarely had a worse game tackling. Still, all told, even with all the yards and first down they yielded, the defense only gave up 14 points, so it wasn't that awful.

All told, the failure of the offense was more disturbing. Thought Nassib, Chew and Lemon had nice games and played key roles getting the win (Lemon would be my MVP). I guess the TEs were okay. The OL? Not so much. Pass protection was barely adequate at best. Run blocking was bad all game long. Very disappointing to see.

Some random observations...

Regarding special teams, Raupers did not have a single well kicked ball. He hits a disturbing number of low line drives right down the middle. Perfect design to make it easy to get a big return. On the positive side, the short snapping was excellent. Morris apparently lost his job to Rodgers and based on what I saw today, it might stay that way for a long time.

Thought the coverage units did a good job. The return teams did do much, Kobena might have made a bad decision once or twice regarding his cuts.

Speaking of bad decisions while cutting, l thought Bailey really struggled on that front. A great back makes the right decision almost all the time. I hope Ant is really nervous, and that this is going to go away over time.

Thought Lynch had a nice game, fundamentally sound player who can really run, is one of our best blizers and best tacklers too.

Thought Googins was probably our best interior DL. The guy is inconsistent but makes a lot of plays while he is out there.

Nice job by Ross on the KOs. Definitely has more leg strength and is doing a good job getting the ball deep in a corner, which makes covering a KO much easier.

Really happy for Acchione, who not only made a nice catch near the sideline for get a good gain but got a TD too, on a broken play no less. Hope this is more of a statement on how good he has become than where the young WRs on the team stand right now.

Thought Anene did a good job at the WILL while he was in. That being said, even though Davis missed a bunch of tackles and is a wild man out there, he is one of our few legit playmakers out there and I really hope he will be back soon. Drumline from the board, an SU student at the tailgate, told me one of the players told him Davis was fine. Hope that is correct. He didn't leave the field like a player who was fine.

Really like Lyn. That kid can play.

There is a new girl on the dance team that has captured the fancy of some of the syracusefan.com tailgaters. Decorum prevents me from discussing this further.

Congratulations to Wake Forest for their excellent play in their win over NC State. I think they are going to get a couple more wins in ACC play that just one.

Bad losses for UL and RU help SU, who might end up in direct competition with them for a bowl bid late in the season. The UC loss to UT is not a bad one but that might help SU too. And might the loss UConn appears headed for against a weak Vanderbilt team, in a game that ended like too many games ended late in the Coach P era at Syracuse.

Putting aside all the problems and weaknesses with this team, it is great, really great to be 2-0 for the first time in 12 years. If we can beat Tulane, Toledo (that is going to be a holy war) and UL and RU (who both appear to be bad teams), a bowl bid is again in hand and I will be thrilled. Not givens but certainly each win makes a bowl bid more likely.

Who knows, we might find a couple more wins out there in conference. Stranger things have happened.
 

Dcuse

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Nice crowd again at the pre and post game tailgates. I would guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 55, about the same as for WF. The chicken and brisket were solid. Good talking with everyone and the cake Dan baked was delicious, even if it did have a suspicious looking label on it. Only guy I know who makes labels for homemake cakes.

It was hot in the Dome but not as hot or humid as the WF game. Crowd was loud for its size but the size was not good. IMHO, there were less than 25K there. It is tough to draw crowds for skank opponents like URI, Maine and other peer schools like Colgate. Temple and Rutgers (witness what happened at UNC today, more on that later). But we as SU fans have to show no matter how unattractive the opponent is.

The NA was sung by some country guy who wore a black cowboy hat. I am not a country guy but he had a fine voice and also sang a patriotic song about the Boys of (19)44 at halftime. It was Military Appreciation Night, or something to that effect, there were some troops from Fort Drum in attendance, the video boards showed many short videos from Fort Drum units stationed overseas in Afghanistan wishing the Orangemen well in the 2011 season. The SUMB also got in the act, playing patriotic songs like America during halftime. Thought the whole thing (done only 1 day short of the 10th anniversity of the 9/11.01 terrorists attacks) was well done and well received.

URI brought a couple of hundred fans, similar to what UConn and RU normally bring to the Dome. Their male fans had two eyebrows and the women did not have facial hair, so they differed in that respect.

Regarding the game, it was another in a long line of ugly home games that were difficult to watch. I thought URI came into the game determined to take the run away from Syracuse and to force SU to beat them via the air. I am sure the OL is going to get ripped tonight and to be sure, they did not play well, but as we have discussed in the past, it is tough to run the ball well when facing 8 or 9 men in the box almost all game.

URL saw the success WF had pressuring Nassib and was able to, with disturbing consistency, get pressure on Nassib. They got a bumber of hard hits on Ryan where no sack was recorded, and a few real sacks too. I am not that disturbed when a defense goes all out to stop the run and we struggle to run. The part that really worries me is when they are able to pressure the QB consistently cheating against the run. Not good.

Not thrilled either with our ability to get to the QB for URI. Props to Probst, who I thought played a fine game, threw it well, ran it well and made a lot of savvy decisions. But as in the WF game, we really struggled to get any decent rush on the QB unless we blitzed. And unfortunately, when we blitzed, it looked to me like we often got burned when URI threw a pass into an area vacated by the blitzer.

It has rarely happened in the DM era that I thought we were badly outcoached on both sides of the ball. I think it happened tonight. I give the URI staff a lot of credit, but with all respect to them, they can't be embarrassing our OC and DC like they did.

Really liked their offensive game plan. Good mix of passing plays and running plays, they had a lot of motion, showed us a lot of looks and really did a nice job burning our fast. young, way too aggressive defense with cutbacks and changes of direction.

We have a real issue with discipline on defense right now. Phil Thomas should be a savvy veteran by now but he continues to make awful decisions on a regular basis. Had an awful night tackling and made nice progress on his quest to get the most personal fouls in the history of college football (I believe he had 2 more today and could have been rung up for three). Worse, he dropped an easy interception thrown directly to him and late in the game decided to catch an interception on a 4th down play when he should not catch it but knock it down instead. I know aggressive players sometimes make foolish plays but Thomas is not a young players anymore and is showing me little in the way of learning from his mistakes.

He wasn't alone though. The thing that really frustrated me was the constant over pursuit, the constant over running and getting burned by a simple cutback. Almost everyone on the defensive unit appeared to be more interested in trying to knock out URI players that just to tackle them. SU has rarely had a worse game tackling. Still, all told, even with all the yards and first down they yielded, the defense only gave up 14 points, so it wasn't that awful.

All told, the failure of the offense was more disturbing. Thought Nassib, Chew and Lemon had nice games and played key roles getting the win (Lemon would be my MVP). I guess the TEs were okay. The OL? Not so much. Pass protection was barely adequate at best. Run blocking was bad all game long. Very disappointing to see.

Some random observations...

Regarding special teams, Raupers did not have a single well kicked ball. He hits a disturbing number of low line drives right down the middle. Perfect design to make it easy to get a big return. On the positive side, the short snapping was excellent. Morris apparently lost his job to Rodgers and based on what I saw today, it might stay that way for a long time.

Thought the coverage units did a good job. The return teams did do much, Kobena might have made a bad decision once or twice regarding his cuts.

Speaking of bad decisions while cutting, l thought Bailey really struggled on that front. A great back makes the right decision almost all the time. I hope Ant is really nervous, and that this is going to go away over time.

Thought Lynch had a nice game, fundamentally sound player who can really run, is one of our best blizers and best tacklers too.

Thought Googins was probably our best interior DL. The guy is inconsistent but makes a lot of plays while he is out there.

Nice job by Ross on the KOs. Definitely has more leg strength and is doing a good job getting the ball deep in a corner, which makes covering a KO much easier.

Really happy for Acchione, who not only made a nice catch near the sideline for get a good gain but got a TD too, on a broken play no less. Hope this is more of a statement on how good he has become than where the young WRs on the team stand right now.

Thought Anene did a good job at the WILL while he was in. That being said, even though Davis missed a bunch of tackles and is a wild man out there, he is one of our few legit playmakers out there and I really hope he will be back soon. Drumline from the board, an SU student at the tailgate, told me one of the players told him Davis was fine. Hope that is correct. He didn't leave the field like a player who was fine.

Really like Lyn. That kid can play.

There is a new girl on the dance team that has captured the fancy of some of the syracusefan.com tailgaters. Decorum prevents me from discussing this further.

Congratulations to Wake Forest for their excellent play in their win over NC State. I think they are going to get a couple more wins in ACC play that just one.

Bad losses for UL and RU help SU, who might end up in direct competition with them for a bowl bid late in the season. The UC loss to UT is not a bad one but that might help SU too. And might the loss UConn appears headed for against a weak Vanderbilt team, in a game that ended like too many games ended late in the Coach P era at Syracuse.

Putting aside all the problems and weaknesses with this team, it is great, really great to be 2-0 for the first time in 12 years. If we can beat Tulane, Toledo (that is going to be a holy war) and UL and RU (who both appear to be bad teams), a bowl bid is again in hand and I will be thrilled. Not givens but certainly each win makes a bowl bid more likely.

Who knows, we might find a couple more wins out there in conference. Stranger things have happened.


Tommy,
really agree with you on the Antwon front. Our ground game has been blamed entirely on the OL but myself and Southern Tier saw 2 to three times that Baily cut the wrong way missing gaping holes. I would like to see more of the other guys out there.
 

jekelish

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There is a new girl on the dance team that has captured the fancy of some of the syracusefan.com tailgaters. Decorum prevents me from discussing this further.
Anyone still have that photo of the dance team that was posted a few days ago so the rest of us can try to guess which one is the new Marci?
 

OttoinGrotto

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Thomas really worries me. He should be one of our stars. So far, he looks like an idiot out there.

Macky still terrifies me.

We just need four more wins.
 

Faegan

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Completely agree about the over pursuit. My wife asked me what I meant by that, but tuned out when I started to explain it. That she actually asked the question means it came up way too often. I'm not an Xs and Os guy, but I played enough high school football to know that my coaches called that a pop warner mistake.
 

bevosu

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Speaking of bad decisions while cutting, l thought Bailey really struggled on that front. A great back makes the right decision almost all the time.


I agree. Bailey made one or two bad cuts last week also. Beginning to worry about his running instincts.
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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I just thought the game plan was awful tonight. We gashed them early, but made odd decisions in critical moments, let them stay in the game, and before you know it you are in a dogfight.

Two games is a small sample size... but that said, the way Nassib has played, the way the WR have made big plays, the way the DTs have stepped up, and the way the LB corp has flown about the field, we should be winning in more impressive fashion.

I don't think Bailey is a workhorse, I know that is a touchy subject around here, but the 2nd & 10s are stalling the offense, putting more pressure on a young punter, and keeping a young (and size-challenged) defense on the field too long. Not saying he shouldn't be the feature back, but we need more Gulley, Smith, and for God sake's AAM.

When it comes to Phil Thomas, I am sure that I will be called a moron for this (and it may be true), but I think his physical style, athleticism, and aggressiveness have always had "corner" written all over him. I would not hate to see him go back to the outside and see Scott go back to safety. I think both spots would get boosts.
 

OrangePA

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I worry about Macky as well. It seems that the thrust of the DL tonight was up the middle.

I do not worry all that much about the over pursuit - that is youth and effort and will settle down.

We had a bunch of bad breaks tonight - the RI QB stumbled to a number of broken play first downs - the RI guys seemed to catch everything thrown to them including a great TD catch - we had that first down early on 4th down as far as I could see and the number of penalties for first downs was almost hard to believe.

Again, we won and that's all anybody will know at the end of the season.,
 

orangephan

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Nice report, 'Cat, that about says it all. The only thing I might add is that our run game appears predictable and more teams will be using URI's overplay scheme against us. With the better teams, this will eventually impede our passing game, too. It's time to implement a 2-D running attack again like we had with DC3 and AB. With a power runner splitting time, Ant's game will be maximized. I think it's time to pull out our big gun, AAM, give him 10-12 carries, and let him run inside the tackles. I predict we'll see him against USC. That said, no matter who's carrying the ball, the running game will continue suffer if we don't fix the issues with the line.
 

SWC75

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Thomas had one play where he was the last guy on a cut-back run and hit the guy only with his shoulder. it was enough to knock the guy off his feet but when you are playing safety you've got to wrap up or you are going to wind up trying to block an extra point.
 

rrlbees

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When it comes to Phil Thomas, I am sure that I will be called a moron for this (and it may be true), but I think his physical style, athleticism, and aggressiveness have always had "corner" written all over him.

He is 30 pounds short, but his game has OLB written all over him. He not only makes too many unnecessary penalties, but he can't cover anyone either.
 

upperdeck

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it does hurt that the best safety on the team cant get on the field..
 

orangephan

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it does hurt that the best safety on the team cant get on the field..
Does anyone know the status of DE? This NCAA clearinghouse process is as slow as molassas...hurry up and wait. Can DE still practice with the team? Anybody?
 

JeremyCuse

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From the article on syracuse.com after the game sounds like Eskridge is going to Redshirt, still caught up in NCAA red tape.
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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He is 30 pounds short, but his game has OLB written all over him. He not only makes too many unnecessary penalties, but he can't cover anyone either.

Very true about the OLB part, but as far as covering people, if I had to choose, I think I would put more trust in his physical abilities and cockiness to stay with a WR one on one, than I would his decision-making abilities. Main point, I think people looked at the 90+ tackles, forgot just how bad the mental lapses were, and anointed him a better player than he had previously proven to be. Let's hope that he is still finding his way after missing a lot of practice.
 

qdawgg

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We have no power running game right now. What I don't understand is why we aren't attempting to run Jerome or AAM, as I was wondering last week. I'm really confused by this. I think Bailey has been very disappointing so far this year. We knew that the loss of DC could be a big deal but I was hoping it would be ok with Bailey's type of running combined with Jerome, Gulley, and AAM. But Bailey isn't even marginally effective right now, or at least that's how it feels after the game.
 

Fjoinkay

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I agree that P. Thomas is playing beneath his experience level. If Eskridge can somehow get through that NCAA red tape I wonder if he would show more maturity as a true freshman than P. Thomas. Unfortunately, I have very little confidence that the bureaucrats at the NCAA will do their job anytime soon. Big disappointment seeing P. Thomas make the same mental mistakes.

And I agree with everything else you mentioned. The defense has many issues, but I expected the defense to struggle early this year. And even with all the problems, as you said, in the end the the defense only gave up 14 points.

But the offense scoring 21 points is a problem. SU had 300 yards last week and scored 36 points against an ACC team. This week they had more yards but fewer points. SU will face pressure every game until they can consistently capitalize on it. Bailey needs to find his comfort zone, and I think it might be time to give the rock to AAM. Those yards after contact that DC3 used to pick up are sorely missed at this point. When Nassib sees the blitz he needs to understand where the advantage is and take it. And the Oline and some of the backs need to do a better job picking up the pressure.

The SU fans need to show up.
 

OttoinGrotto

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Main point, I think people looked at the 90+ tackles, forgot just how bad the mental lapses were, and anointed him a better player than he had previously proven to be. Let's hope that he is still finding his way after missing a lot of practice.
No way, that's just crazy talk. Our posters would never commit so common a sin as overrating our own players. ;)
 

Cadillac

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This was a lot closer to the 42-7 Colgate crap game last year than anyone realizes.

Same read option crap that we can't defend, have never been able to defend.

Almost everyone else in the BE has some big problems or an L to deal with.

Had a special brownie at 3, so felt sorry for anyone at the game who wasn't high.
On a related note, realized a zip line from the 300s down to field level would be trippy
emot-2bong.png
 

orangepassion

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Great posts, as always. Just adding a couple of points.
* Unlike phillip, Shamarko was excellent again and might be our best defensive player
*Our OL was outplayed by Rhode freakin' Island
*Lemon and Chew played very well
*Would like to see a little more Gulley-Looked good when he had a chance
*Really like Stevens and Lyn-They are players
* Nervous about facing any rushing QB's for the remainder of the year-How many 1st downs did Probst run for?
 

OttoinGrotto

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I think it's time to pull out our big gun, AAM, give him 10-12 carries, and let him run inside the tackles. I predict we'll see him against USC.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say there's exactly zero chance that AAM as a true freshman runningback gets his first major exposure to college football on the road on the other side of the country against a team currently ranked right around 25 that is a powerhouse in the history of college football playing in one of the most noted venues in the sport.

Or, in other words, circumstances will be such that if AAM sees the ball much against USC... some very, very bad things must happen in order for that to take place.
 

SUalldway

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Loved the play where Cam Lynch was 1 on 1 in space with a quick back, did not over-pursue, and made the tackle!
 

hungrychuck

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Agreed. If we were going to see him in early season, there were plenty of opportunities this week and last when the running game was doing zippo. You don't debut him in that lion's den. Start to wonder if we will see him this year unless injuries force it.
 

sutomcat

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Agreed. If we were going to see him in early season, there were plenty of opportunities this week and last when the running game was doing zippo. You don't debut him in that lion's den. Start to wonder if we will see him this year unless injuries force it.
When Bailey went out, Jerome Smith or Gulley replaced him. I think AAM is our 4th RB right now...
 

IthacaBarrel

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This was a lot closer to the 42-7 Colgate crap game last year than anyone realizes.

Same read option crap that we can't defend, have never been able to defend.

Almost everyone else in the BE has some big problems or an L to deal with.

Had a special brownie at 3, so felt sorry for anyone at the game who wasn't high.
On a related note, realized a zip line from the 300s down to field level would be trippy
emot-2bong.png

Good for you dude
 

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