My Take

Forza Azzurri

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I arrived on campus around 12:40, knowing Coach Babers likes to start on time or earlier. The Stadium was full. The Fine Lot was full. Had no choice to but to park at the Standart Lot. And I ended up way in the back. There were almost no spaces left.

Parking at this site has probably been a problem since the days of horse driven carriages. It continues to get worse.Last fall, there were games i arrived 90 minutes early and could not park in the Fine Lot.

On the positive side, this is largely driven by bigger crowds. Which is great. But the lots are shared with the students and in the fall, SU has to do a better job getting them to leave these lots on game day.

On to the game. First, sorry i didn’t do a stream of the game. I thought it was bee in streamed. It should be streamed. Hope it is treamed in the future.

I really wanted to just sit there and enjoy it. That is what i did.

Second, i sat with a bunch of the Fine Mess Crew. Always a pleasure to send time with the gang. We have so many now it was hard to talk to everyone...

General observations:

The size, strength and speed of the team continues to improve. This applies to the freshmen and upperclassmen. Some will say wwe say this every year. Well, maybe since Dino took over.

This season, SU will have a roster full of true BCS level players, plus a few really promising walk-ons. I think the last time this was true was 20 years ago. The staff ran 3 units on offense and defense today, with little overlap. We struggled to field 1.5 units on each side of the ball a couple of years ago.

For the freshmen, everybody is going to rave about Jawhar Jordan, and he deserves the attention. The bad news first. He was listed at 5’9, 161 lbs on the roster, and that looks legit. But that great speed is very real. He does it using an effortless upright gliding motion, taking huge strides that bely his diminutive frame. He played RB exclusively and it looks like that is where he will stay. Perhaps just as impressive as Jawhar was Courtney Jackson. He looks to be a favorite of Tommy Devito. Got targeted a lot, got open a lot, great hands, looks like he is going to be a future star.

On defense, Andrew Tuazama was really impressive. He has jacked arms, plays hard and fast and no one could block him. My guess is that he will grow into a DT down the road but when Robinson and Coleman leave Syracuse for the NFL, look for Android to be one of the replacements. Adrian Cole is a little light but can fly and was very impressive as well.

Offense:

Tommy is the undisputed starter at QB. He throws a beautiful ball. He has a powerful arm. His throwing mechanics are text book. He made some great throws and didn’t have lots of time with the inexperienced, banged up OL in front of him. Go pointed out how well he threw the inside crossing route to a slot WR (Riley beat Cisco on one for a long TD). Saw the field well, looked solid except for a pass to he flat where he didn’t see Trill, who ended up in the endzone 10 seconds later.

Nykeim looked noticably stronger and more mature. He had a long TD too. Going to put up some nice numbers this year. Sean Riley...same thing. Anthony Quelley didn’t get a ton of snaps but looked veery good when in. Nice size. They threw to him on a sideline patter in the end zone. The ball was underthrown and closer to the CB than Anthony. No problem. He jumped over the corner and grabbed it anyway. Thompson-Bishop barely played. I didn’t see Sharod Johnson out there. Cooper Lutz got some run and looked promising.

Taj rarely had the ball thrown his way. I think they know what he can do. Trish looked very good when targeted but didn’t get many touches. Cam didn’t get many chances and didn’t stand out while in. Has nice size.

Looks like Hackett is going to be featured at TE. He brings a nice blend of blocking and catching to the position.
On the OL, Servais played center and looks very good. His body looks NFL ready. Red and Vettorello had tough days dealing with the vet DEs and will likely need to wait another year to claim starting positions at OT. Clark struggled too. Gotta feel Servais and Alexander will be our tackles in 2019, with Heckel at center.

Evans and Dakota looked good. They are big people. Clark looked okay at OT. No one else stood out except Duerig, who is clearly the backup center. It looked like the first team defense DL dominated play against everyone. McKinley Williams, Josh Black, Kingsley Jonathan, Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman are pretty damn good. Ruff is no slouch either.

It was more even with the other units of OL vs DL. Cooper Dawson needs some work in the weight room but is a heck of an athlete.

For special teams, there were no FGs, punts or even kickoffs. Szmyt tried a 51 yarder just before the scrimmage started and just missed it. We should be all set here; the best in the ACC and maybe the best in the country.

I already talked about the DL and how impressive it was.

Looked to me as though they had Williams the first team at middle linebacker, with Armstrong at the weak side LB. They did well. I saw Richards and Wallace get some reps here. Trotter played some as well. Lee Kpogba get a few snaps, but I didn’t; see Mikel Jones play.

At secondary, Frederick missed the first half but took over a CB spot with the first team when he returned. Iffy and Trill started with the first team initially. Iffy got beat a couple of times but made some good plays. Trill looked like the best athlete on the field. So big, so smart, so fast. I already mentioned Cole, who looks very fast and nimble in coverage. We have some depth at corner now for the first time in forever.

Cisco was of course the starter at FS and got an interception, as is his wont, and scored a TD on it. I believe the backup FS was Cam Jonas. He is imposing looking and looks like he can run and hit. Got beat deep at least once. His physical skills are there. Stritzinger was the first team nickel. Not sure if Scoop is going to fill that role in the fall...he is out right now. Either should be excellent in the role.

At SS, I think Evan Foster is banged up. Didn’t see him play. Devon Clarke filled in. He is probably the hardest hitter on the team but he missed a couple of tackles trying to crush people. He has talent for sure. The backup SS was Eric Coley, who had a couple good plays and a couple of bad ones.

Where are the low number players? A few years ago, it seemed everyone...QBs, WRs, LBs, RBs all wanted a single digit number. Today, only one player Chris Frederick, was listed on the roster with a number less than 10, and he missed the first half fo unknown reasons.
Hey Tomcat, thx for recap...

With my daughter now up on the hill and my son in high school, looks like it will be Clemson or Road trip to Maryland, Pitt (Family weekend) and Wake Forest this season. Cannot wait.

Cannot wait to see Devito. I have loved that kid since I watched him make his first throw. Hopefully, the line holds up...
 

sutomcat

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Hey Tomcat, thx for recap...

With my daughter now up on the hill and my son in high school, looks like it will be Clemson or Road trip to Maryland, Pitt (Family weekend) and Wake Forest this season. Cannot wait.

Cannot wait to see Devito. I have loved that kid since I watched him make his first throw. Hopefully, the line holds up...
It is an exciting time to be a Syracuse football fan. We got through spring practice with little in the way of serious injuries. Let's hope the same can be said for summer workouts and preseason practice.
 

AZOrange

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I stand corrected.

I am too young to know that all those snaps that Jim Brown took as a single back or in the I formation meant that he was a tailback and not a fullback.

I am also too young to know that the terms halfback and fullback originated in the 1970s and derived from the fact that the halfback was half as big as the fullback.

I humbly apologize to both you and OrangePA.

Larry Csonka and Larry Czonka clearly are the two greatest fullbacks in NFL history.

Sincerely,

Bub
I enjoyed this for many reasons
 

Forza Azzurri

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It is an exciting time to be a Syracuse football fan. We got through spring practice with little in the way of serious injuries. Let's hope the same can be said for summer workouts and preseason practice.
With our household down to 3 high school sports and no club baseball, club soccer or AAU hoops, there is now time to contemplate seasons, at least for football...especially, with my daughter at SU...drive up, watch game, take daughter and friends out to dinner; stay overnight and drive home the following day...
 

Nahson

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With our household down to 3 high school sports and no club baseball, club soccer or AAU hoops, there is now time to contemplate seasons, at least for football...especially, with my daughter at SU...drive up, watch game, take daughter and friends out to dinner; stay overnight and drive home the following day...
That sounds like a good weekend!
 

sutomcat

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With our household down to 3 high school sports and no club baseball, club soccer or AAU hoops, there is now time to contemplate seasons, at least for football...especially, with my daughter at SU...drive up, watch game, take daughter and friends out to dinner; stay overnight and drive home the following day...
You and your family are always welcome at the Fine Mess tailgates...
 

Forza Azzurri

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You and your family are always welcome at the Fine Mess tailgates...
I appreciate that.

I do believe that the last time we hung out together was pre-Vermont with CTO and JB's sister in '05.

Hopefully, next time there will be a better outcome...

Funny what having kids will do to trending in a different diirection...14 years is a long time...

I could never hit Blarney in NYC because I always had my son in tow...same with the Final Fours in '13 and '16...and making it back to the Dome was always tough with all the sports my kids played...

I will warn you that my tailgating goes more Italiano...mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto, pecorino tartufato...although I do like to accompany that with some good ribeyes..sliced, of course, on grilled bread with garlic and olive oil...Madonna...

You will receive an honorary one with, of course, the very best Ginger Ale money can buy...nothing like Steak and Ginger Ale...
 
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sutomcat

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I appreciate that.

I do believe that the last time we hung out together was pre-Vermont with CTO and JB's sister in '05.

Hopefully, next time there will be a better outcome...

I will warn you that my tailgating goes more Italiano...mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto, pecorino tartufato...although I do like to accompany that with some good ribeyes...
I like where your head is...
 

tbonezone

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Could not agree with you more.

My BS in Gridiron Greats from Faber College clearly not worth the paper it is printed on...


"yes go on. uhhhummmnnn . a single back lined up in I-formation you say ? and your question is...???"
 

care taker

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I appreciate that.

I do believe that the last time we hung out together was pre-Vermont with CTO and JB's sister in '05.

Hopefully, next time there will be a better outcome...

Funny what having kids will do to trending in a different diirection...14 years is a long time...

I could never hit Blarney in NYC because I always had my son in tow...same with the Final Fours in '13 and '16...and making it back to the Dome was always tough with all the sports my kids played...

I will warn you that my tailgating goes more Italiano...mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto, pecorino tartufato...although I do like to accompany that with some good ribeyes..sliced, of course, on grilled bread with garlic and olive oil...Madonna...

You will receive an honorary one with, of course, the very best Ginger Ale money can buy...nothing like Steak and Ginger Ale...
Where is my invite ?
 

Forza Azzurri

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Where is my invite ?
LOL...

Leave it to a "Devito" to try and weasel in on an authentic Tailgate all'Italiano...some mozzarella, prosciutto and pecorino with truffles as appetizers (along with roasted peppers alla Rao's and some bocconcini - just because)...

Followed by a second course of sliced ribeye on grilled Italian Garlic Bread...and, of course, a Brunello to wash it all down...

Hopefully, as good as the tailgate will be, it will still pale in comparison to the game...that hasn't been the case in recent years as the pre-game meals definitely outshone the actual games at Giants stadium...
 

Crusty

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Jim Brown was not a tailback. The tailback was popularized in John McKay's "I" formation at USC in 1962. The tailback stands up 11 yards from the LOS behind the fullback.
 

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