My Take | Syracusefan.com

My Take

sutomcat

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The board is so overwhelmingly negative right now, I hesitate to add fuel to the fire with another negative post. And any review of that game is going to have negative comments. That said, I will make a post. It isn't going to be very long, but here are my thoughts:

The Fine Mess did another nice job with the tailgate. Not sure people realize but the crew that does the setup to make it all happen got there around noon (for a 7:30 kickoff). And worked straight through from that point forward. Props to everyone involved. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the luxury suite Cuseregular set up for his crew. It was around 32 outside and around 72 in there. Oriental rugs, heaters all over, very plush. John Wildhack should be using that setup to land some donors to finish fundraising for the new Football Operations Center.

We were missing a few key luminaries but we were graced with the return of a major member of the group, whose presence we have been missing all season. It was great to see him and his wife and that was a highlight of the day. Welcome back my friend.

I headed up to the dome about 45 minutes before kickoff. The screening tents are now a well oiled machine and I got through with my wristband in a minute or so. It was of course already dark and the crown truss was lit a vibrant orange. It really looks terrific at night up close.

Got through security and had my ticket scanned quickly, and ran up to my seat. SUMB had a formation @Orangeonion's little onion said looked like a dradel. Not sure if that was the intent but SUMB sounded good. 11 tubas. They showed all the members of SUMB that are graduating on the big scoreboard, with a nice picture of each member, which was a nice touch. Good work there.

More good news: we only lose one sousaphone player. Heavy losses in our alt sax and trumpet sections, along with the mellophones. I think we will be okay. Maybe get up to 14-16 tubas next year?

Pitt attacked our defense different than most have. They rarely threw it deep, content to throw little dinks just past the LOS to get 3-7 yards a pop. We played soft coverage and let them do this. They tried to run some and got shut down pretty nicely here. But when they needed a first down, they usually got it and it was usually to one of their TEs or Addison, their best playmaker (he had 2 TDs to get to 17 receiving TDs on the season). He will surely be an AA and a first round draft choice, when he goes pro (think he is a sophomore now).

Thought Jones had another great game. All over the field. Garrett Williams missed a couple of tackles early, did not look like his normal self and was soon replaced by Cole. I assume he was banged up and tried to give it a go and his body was not up to it. Looked like they picked on Carter and Simmons a lot, which is nothing new.

We seemed to get good pressure on Pickett a lot but he has a good feel for pressure and deftly escaped sacks a number of times. Often then made a really nice pass on the run. Did not think he had a shot at the NFL a couple of years ago but he does now. Really impressive QB who played a really good game. The only obvious mistake he made was the throw to Duce in the end zone, where Duce had position and Kenny threw it anyway.

On offense, Pitt did a nice job keying on Tucker and seemed to have him contained with no place to run to almost every time he touched it. Shrader was good about reading the defense and deciding whether to keep it or hand it off early in the season but defenses have adjusted and show him fakes designed to fool him into making bad decisions and he is taking the bait too much.

That said, it looked like Garrett had more arm strength on Saturday than he has in a while and he threw the ball with more confidence and accuracy as well. Maybe it was because they finally did away with the controversial plan to have WRs run flexible routes that change based on how the receivers are covered.

Pitt blitzed us using a variety of blitzes and was able to put extreme pressure on Shrader on virtually every passing play. Garrett struggled a little reading some of the blitzes but I think the issue was mostly our OL, which was dominated by the Pitt DL almost every play.

Saw Shrader throwing before most series on offense. He has done this for a couple of games now. I am going to assume he has an injury to his arm, ribs or shoulder that is causing him to tighten up and he needs those throws to loosen up enough to throw decently. Hope someday soon we find out what was wrong with Garrett. I am guessing a shoulder injury.

Once Vet got hurt and we were forced to play Tisdale, and Rhino got hurt, the quality of blocking dropped dramatically and our the offense ground to a halt. We do not currently have quality depth at OL and FB and when our best get hurt, there is no good alternative. I think Tisdale is hurt and that is largely why he is getting dominated so badly. And our backup DB/H backs are young and struggling big time. Quite unfortunate. I look forward to seeing Chris back out there next season. Hopefully for all 12 regular season games.

Good to see Courtney get targeted a lot and consistently make plays. He has good hands, gets open and can run once he gets the ball. Just need a couple more to pair with him. Alford has a world of potential but something bizarre seems to happen a lot when we throw to him. He is often not even looking for the ball. Makes a lot of bad penalties. Misses a lot of blocks. This is why you don't want to play freshmen. Was good to see Gadsden make a nice catch and get some reps. If I was a good WR looking for immediate playing time elsewhere, I would consider Syracuse. Someone could get a ton of PT, 50 catches and 8 or 10 TDs pretty easily in year one here.

Szymt continues to struggle to get the ball into the end zone on kickoffs and again kicked one OB. He has to be playing hurt. Definitely has lost some leg strength. Thought Hawkins had his best game. He actually kicked a couple of punts pretty well and got decent hang time on them. Not a solid punter yet but it is good to see some modest signs of improvement from him. It will be interesting to see what happens with our punter and placekicker next season. No idea what caused Williams to play so much of the season. Hope someday some enterprising reporter can ask a question and get an answer. With the season over, I would think there is no longer a need for cloak and dagger here.

It was a really small crowd. Hard to guess a number because I have rarely seen the dome so empty for a football game. Maybe 20K actually in the seats. Maybe. Pitt brought about 100 fans. They don't travel at all. Would think they would have more here given the year they are having.

DD mentioned the noisemeter. When they showed it on the main scoreboard, it did get a really good reaction from the small but vocal crowd. Really disappointed we did not get a live decimeter feed to show on the main scoreboard in conjunction with graphics imploring the crowd to make noise. That was a great suggestion by RandomGuy. Hope we can do this next season for football (and later this year for basketball and lacrosse)! The dome could be so much louder with just this one small change.

One other thing: the one time we we did use the noisemeter, it was during a time out. It might have even been during half time. Why would we choose to do it during a dead time? Why not do it just prior to a big third down play, when we are playing defense and desperately need a stop? Every other ACC school uses this tool during these times in games. Why are we do awful about maximizing our home field advantage? Please change this.

It was great to be able to attend games in person again at the dome. I really like the renovations. They have enhanced the fan experience for me significantly.

My wishlist for next season:

Noisemeter with live feed and feedback using a decimeter, to be used prior to key plays when SU is playing defense
Better audio (I think it got a little better late in the year but it is still not acceptable)
Vastly improved Wifi
Retention of all pee troughs in existing bathrooms
More food options, especially on the 300 level (I like the chicken and burgers and electronic payment and new concession setups but we need more food options and we need some things with local flavor
More sousaphones in the SUMB. A bigger SUMB in general.
 

RandomGuy

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Wait. They had a DB meter?

Woot woot!

Noise guage is a start. Now bring the db level to challenge the fans to make historical noise levels.

excited-seinfeld.gif
 

sutomcat

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Wait. They had a DB meter?

Woot woot!
It said NOISEMETER and there was a graphic that simulated noise going up and down and up but it was just a graphic and there was not real time feedback. Better than nothing but it is a shame we are throwing away what could be a huge asset to our home field advantage.

I hope we do better in the future. The crowd did react to the graphic even with the lame presentation. They also showed video of a couple of playes gesturing for the crowd to make noise (and I think there was some text saying that too).
 

RandomGuy

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It said NOISEMETER and there was a graphic that simulated noise going up and down and up but it was just a graphic and there was not real time feedback. Better than nothing but it is a shame we are throwing away what could be a huge asset to our home field advantage.

I hope we do better in the future. The crowd did react to the graphic even with the lame presentation. They also showed video of a couple of playes gesturing for the crowd to make noise (and I think there was some text saying that too).
Its a start. Use a reference on the side.. You want to be louder than Beaver Stadium in Creepy valley? (I've measured louder, BTW. :) ) Show those b@stards on the top of the meter and watch us beat it. People will go nuts... Then show the next stadium to beat... Here's a list.

 

NineOneSeven

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I was there and that place was absolutely dead. Considering how important that game was, and how cheap a ticket was, that is really crazy...but also not crazy at all. SU football, I guess.
 

All4SU

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Great summary, Tom. Just a note, these posts are so complete and so long, that I always have a difficult time making a few minutes to read them. And then, invariably, my wife wants me to read them to her. It’s been difficult. So our new trick is I copy and paste your post into a text message and send it to her. And then we use Siri to just read the text back to us while we continue doing other things. A real time-saver.:)

And we guessed no more than 15,000 in the Dome, and very probably less.
 

Chip

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I thought the PA was pretty clear for the first time in what seemed like forever. My only PA problem was Mr Excitement almost consistently saying the wrong receiver on pass plays. He often corrected himself. But did not on the Gadsden catch (gave it to Hatcher).

I’m sure I will be told the PA announcer is the least of our worries because we are losing games, but did anyone else notice how often he got it wrong?

Nice moment after the game. My son and I left after our last 4th down play. Went back to the Sheraton. The refs were already at the elevators, they were shuttled down quickly and don’t even change first. I told them they had a good game. The head ref gave my son the coin they flipped. He loved it.
 

OrangeAl

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The sound was noticeably better, even with all that exposed concrete and aluminum!

Wonder if the state championship games will have a bigger crowd than this one.
 

Cusefan69

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Nice write up as always. As a public service announcement don't buy domedogs last game of the year. Must have been using buns from week 1. Hard as a rock.
 

Nick44

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It really does amaze me at how many missed opportunities this administration has on a regular basis. It’s happened across multiple administrations too, I have no explanation. I’m not talking about unrealistic changes/mistakes, just the head scratching obvious ones -

- Millions spent on a sound system…..that does not work correctly. Too late to put it back in box and return it to Walmart?

- WiFi….does not work.

- The missed opportunity to maximize from a marketing standpoint what you have with Tucker, #44, etc.

- Nonexistent reach out to former players.
 

All4SU

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It really does amaze me at how many missed opportunities this administration has on a regular basis. It’s happened across multiple administrations too, I have no explanation. I’m not talking about unrealistic changes/mistakes, just the head scratching obvious ones -

- Millions spent on a sound system…..that does not work correctly. Too late to put it back in box and return it to Walmart?

- WiFi….does not work.

- The missed opportunity to maximize from a marketing standpoint what you have with Tucker, #44, etc.

- Nonexistent reach out to former players.
Sound system has disappointed. But I’ve had zero WiFi issues. Big improvement over past years. Might all be about where you sit I suppose. Agree completely on #44. Your last point always seems to be cyclic.
 

hoopsupstate

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Sound system has disappointed. But I’ve had zero WiFi issues. Big improvement over past years. Might all be about where you sit I suppose. Agree completely on #44. Your last point always seems to be cyclic.
I’ve struggled with WiFi at every basketball game.
 

DoubleDee

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I too had no issue at all with Wi-Fi this year. Sound IS better, hopefully they continue to fine tune it.
 

SyraGus

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I too thought there was a poor turnout of Pitt fans initially. But then I noticed a substantial number of Pitt fans wearing their bright blue gear, sprinkled all around the lower deck on the visitor side. They were pretty vocal when their team was operating near the east end zone. Imagine they scored some good deals on secondary ticket markets.

WiFi was fine for us in section 331, which was sparsely populated. Agree the sound system really needs improvement. Thankful they stream closed captions on the ribbon board near the corner of the field.

Was VERY impressed with the salute to SUMB on the large scoreboard! In addition to the photo of each graduating band member they cited the student's major and hometown in addition to their instrument. Kudos to whoever organized that project!
 

storange

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The board is so overwhelmingly negative right now, I hesitate to add fuel to the fire with another negative post. And any review of that game is going to have negative comments. That said, I will make a post. It isn't going to be very long, but here are my thoughts:

The Fine Mess did another nice job with the tailgate. Not sure people realize but the crew that does the setup to make it all happen got there around noon (for a 7:30 kickoff). And worked straight through from that point forward. Props to everyone involved. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the luxury suite Cuseregular set up for his crew. It was around 32 outside and around 72 in there. Oriental rugs, heaters all over, very plush. John Wildhack should be using that setup to land some donors to finish fundraising for the new Football Operations Center.

We were missing a few key luminaries but we were graced with the return of a major member of the group, whose presence we have been missing all season. It was great to see him and his wife and that was a highlight of the day. Welcome back my friend.

I headed up to the dome about 45 minutes before kickoff. The screening tents are now a well oiled machine and I got through with my wristband in a minute or so. It was of course already dark and the crown truss was lit a vibrant orange. It really looks terrific at night up close.

Got through security and had my ticket scanned quickly, and ran up to my seat. SUMB had a formation @Orangeonion's little onion said looked like a dradel. Not sure if that was the intent but SUMB sounded good. 11 tubas. They showed all the members of SUMB that are graduating on the big scoreboard, with a nice picture of each member, which was a nice touch. Good work there.

More good news: we only lose one sousaphone player. Heavy losses in our alt sax and trumpet sections, along with the mellophones. I think we will be okay. Maybe get up to 14-16 tubas next year?

Pitt attacked our defense different than most have. They rarely threw it deep, content to throw little dinks just past the LOS to get 3-7 yards a pop. We played soft coverage and let them do this. They tried to run some and got shut down pretty nicely here. But when they needed a first down, they usually got it and it was usually to one of their TEs or Addison, their best playmaker (he had 2 TDs to get to 17 receiving TDs on the season). He will surely be an AA and a first round draft choice, when he goes pro (think he is a sophomore now).

Thought Jones had another great game. All over the field. Garrett Williams missed a couple of tackles early, did not look like his normal self and was soon replaced by Cole. I assume he was banged up and tried to give it a go and his body was not up to it. Looked like they picked on Carter and Simmons a lot, which is nothing new.

We seemed to get good pressure on Pickett a lot but he has a good feel for pressure and deftly escaped sacks a number of times. Often then made a really nice pass on the run. Did not think he had a shot at the NFL a couple of years ago but he does now. Really impressive QB who played a really good game. The only obvious mistake he made was the throw to Duce in the end zone, where Duce had position and Kenny threw it anyway.

On offense, Pitt did a nice job keying on Tucker and seemed to have him contained with no place to run to almost every time he touched it. Shrader was good about reading the defense and deciding whether to keep it or hand it off early in the season but defenses have adjusted and show him fakes designed to fool him into making bad decisions and he is taking the bait too much.

That said, it looked like Garrett had more arm strength on Saturday than he has in a while and he threw the ball with more confidence and accuracy as well. Maybe it was because they finally did away with the controversial plan to have WRs run flexible routes that change based on how the receivers are covered.

Pitt blitzed us using a variety of blitzes and was able to put extreme pressure on Shrader on virtually every passing play. Garrett struggled a little reading some of the blitzes but I think the issue was mostly our OL, which was dominated by the Pitt DL almost every play.

Saw Shrader throwing before most series on offense. He has done this for a couple of games now. I am going to assume he has an injury to his arm, ribs or shoulder that is causing him to tighten up and he needs those throws to loosen up enough to throw decently. Hope someday soon we find out what was wrong with Garrett. I am guessing a shoulder injury.

Once Vet got hurt and we were forced to play Tisdale, and Rhino got hurt, the quality of blocking dropped dramatically and our the offense ground to a halt. We do not currently have quality depth at OL and FB and when our best get hurt, there is no good alternative. I think Tisdale is hurt and that is largely why he is getting dominated so badly. And our backup DB/H backs are young and struggling big time. Quite unfortunate. I look forward to seeing Chris back out there next season. Hopefully for all 12 regular season games.

Good to see Courtney get targeted a lot and consistently make plays. He has good hands, gets open and can run once he gets the ball. Just need a couple more to pair with him. Alford has a world of potential but something bizarre seems to happen a lot when we throw to him. He is often not even looking for the ball. Makes a lot of bad penalties. Misses a lot of blocks. This is why you don't want to play freshmen. Was good to see Gadsden make a nice catch and get some reps. If I was a good WR looking for immediate playing time elsewhere, I would consider Syracuse. Someone could get a ton of PT, 50 catches and 8 or 10 TDs pretty easily in year one here.

Szymt continues to struggle to get the ball into the end zone on kickoffs and again kicked one OB. He has to be playing hurt. Definitely has lost some leg strength. Thought Hawkins had his best game. He actually kicked a couple of punts pretty well and got decent hang time on them. Not a solid punter yet but it is good to see some modest signs of improvement from him. It will be interesting to see what happens with our punter and placekicker next season. No idea what caused Williams to play so much of the season. Hope someday some enterprising reporter can ask a question and get an answer. With the season over, I would think there is no longer a need for cloak and dagger here.

It was a really small crowd. Hard to guess a number because I have rarely seen the dome so empty for a football game. Maybe 20K actually in the seats. Maybe. Pitt brought about 100 fans. They don't travel at all. Would think they would have more here given the year they are having.

DD mentioned the noisemeter. When they showed it on the main scoreboard, it did get a really good reaction from the small but vocal crowd. Really disappointed we did not get a live decimeter feed to show on the main scoreboard in conjunction with graphics imploring the crowd to make noise. That was a great suggestion by RandomGuy. Hope we can do this next season for football (and later this year for basketball and lacrosse)! The dome could be so much louder with just this one small change.

One other thing: the one time we we did use the noisemeter, it was during a time out. It might have even been during half time. Why would we choose to do it during a dead time? Why not do it just prior to a big third down play, when we are playing defense and desperately need a stop? Every other ACC school uses this tool during these times in games. Why are we do awful about maximizing our home field advantage? Please change this.

It was great to be able to attend games in person again at the dome. I really like the renovations. They have enhanced the fan experience for me significantly.

My wishlist for next season:

Noisemeter with live feed and feedback using a decimeter, to be used prior to key plays when SU is playing defense
Better audio (I think it got a little better late in the year but it is still not acceptable)
Vastly improved Wifi
Retention of all pee troughs in existing bathrooms
More food options, especially on the 300 level (I like the chicken and burgers and electronic payment and new concession setups but we need more food options and we need some things with local flavor
More sousaphones in the SUMB. A bigger SUMB in general.
They also need someone with some expertise in pre game productions to get to work on the entrance. With all the bells and whistles they have at there disposal they should do much better.
 

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