My Take | Syracusefan.com

My Take

sutomcat

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It was a nice tailgate. They seem to be getting bigger with each passing week. I think this one had a Southern Tier theme. giacofan was the mastermind. The usual crew did their stellar job backing things up. They actually did deep friend dough with powdered sugar, hot from the fryer. Tough to see and smell for a guy on keto.

JGIII was the guest and he made a nice speech, talking about how fast his time here has gone and how he is looking forward to seeing how the youngsters on the team are going to blend in with the veterans. He stayed for a long time and talked to a lot of people. Very cool.

Got to the dome about 55 minutes before kickoff. Lots of room on the concourses. It was a late arriving crowd. Noticed a new sign up on the southeast corner interior wall for JMA. I think it had a blue background with while lettering. Looked good. Haven’t seen any of the exterior signs yet but last week there was some stuff up on the ring on the western edge of the building we thought might be materials for the biggest sign on the exterior, which will be mounted on the cross trust facing I-81.

Virginia did not travel well. Maybe 250 people in their section. I didn’t see a single person in UVa gear walking around or sitting in random other sections. Very similar to UL. Purdue traveled much better than both.

The SUMB had 10 tubas but I think only 9 marched again. Not sure if there is a bad boy/girl tuba player or someone just is not able to march right now. One of the tuba players runs over when it is time for the alma mater and NA and sings it (along with a female who I think is also a member of SUMB). At half time, SUMB did a rock inspired show featuring an older guy with an electric guitar. I think the singing tuba player might have played bass during the halftime show. Someone in the band did and it looked like him. They did a variety of songs, ranging from Rush to Van Halen. It was innovative and I think it was well received. The sound wasn’t great…the problems here continue.

I will say the horrific screechy noises they constantly came from the speakers in game one and game two dropped down to just a few incidents. They use a number of remote microphones and one or two appear to still have issues. Good that some progress has been made. Saddened we still have issues so late in the season. This is an awful black eye for the facility that this still isn’t fixed years after the sound system was installed.

SUAD is trying a new thing this year, sending a little kid out with the cheerleaders at midfield to lead the ‘Let’s Go Orange’ chant during a timeout. Awful microphone problems destroyed any chance for success for games 1 and 2. This time, the kid didn’t even have a microphone. But they showed a close up of his face, shouting out the words with no audio. Sigh.

The new game host is very active, running all over the facility interviewing people. Her voice activated the horrific screeching sounds the most in games 1 and 2 but things were better this game. Only 1 or 2 really bad incidents. It is her microphone, the frequency of her voice or how rapidly she tends to talk? Seems like she made a concerted effort to slow down this game and that seemed to help.

Let’s talk about the game.

UVa won the toss and deferred, giving us the ball first. A guest and controversial call that immediately bit embattled UVa HC Tony Elliott in the butt, as SU drove down the field and scored a TD.

Eliott inherited one of the best passing offenses in the country and has destroyed it in short order. Armstrong looks like a different player being forced to use Elliott’s awful scheme. Tony is the guy who took over as the Clemson OC and somehow found a way to make a unit loaded with HS AAs look lost and incompetent. That said, the UVa defense was very good all game. They were able to get a good pass rush on Shrader regularly and he even got a case of happy feet due to the pressure. And they dominated the SU OL and gave Sean Tucker no room to run all game long. They did this without putting their corners on an island and I think it was mostly just the UVa DL and linebackers beating our OL. Looked to be worse with our interior 3 OL. They were bad run blocking and pass blocking. Even Berg was beat pass blocking a couple of times. Brutal.

That said, we moved the ball with relative ease down the field though the first quarter and most of the first half. Mostly throwing it. Often going to Gadsden, who has now established himself as our clear #1 WR. He gets open and if the ball is near him, he will catch it. Size, speed and good hands are a good combo for a WR.

Wondered who would replace Jones as our #2 and am still wondering. No one really stepped up. Jackson had another bad game. Struggled blocking, dropped one pass and almost dropped another on a great push pass from Shrader, who was getting tacked at the time. Then after securing the catch, he left the ball out in the open and got it knocked away for a fumble. He is headed hard outside the circle of trust.

Hatcher got a few snaps but I don't think we ever targeted him. Shrader is using Tucker as an outlet pretty often and Sean continues to do a good job as a receiver. He has made great strides here. Alford had a reception and looked good on it but he was targeted for another pass and inexplictedly broke off his route. So much potential. So little realized.

Anyway I think our offense started to feature Tucker on runs too much in the second quarter and that kind of took the offense off the rails. Looked to me as though there was a concerted effort to get Sean going and establish our ability to run but it was a total failure. I think most of the blame lies with the OL but maybe Sean is not 100% and maybe pressing a bit. The fumble deep in our territory was the start of making what was close to a blow out into a game.

The Pena KO return that was fumbled was step 2 in keeping the game close. Trevor is a really talented KO return guy. He had the great return early to get us going. But you can’t fumble a return. Unacceptable.

Let’s talk special teams a bit more. Thought Von Marburg did a reasonable job. He isn’t bombing punts and isn’t kicking awful ones either. Most are pretty good to good. I think he is doing well for a frosh and on track to having a really good career. No question he is a big upgrade over the crew that tried to punt last year.

Denaburg did a good job of kicking off but had a couple that were returnable and even the ones he got into the middle of the end zone where low line drives. Looks like his leg is getting less strong as the season progresses.

Trevor didn’t have much to work with on punt returns. One play he beat two guys and then got leveled by 3 more.

Props to Midkiff for filling in as the holder for Barron and doing a solid job.

I agree the refs did a reasonably decent job and were impartial to both sides. Watching replays at the dome (they are doing a better job showing replays at the dome this season; even on controversial plays, which is appreciated greatly), they all looked like targeting. The one where Trabor fumbled looked the most egregious of all of them. I never saw a replay of Barron’s hit. The play looked like a routine play watching it live. My biggest gripe is the safety the SU defense got on Armstrong. That has to be a safety. He was trying to get away and if you watched the game, Armstrong is very good at this and did get away all the time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you have a QB running around trying to make tackles and make plays, when he screws up and gets sacked in the end zone, it is a safety. The refs marking it at the 3 was even crazier. What the hell?

Shader missed some open receivers again. I think he has done this in every game. He forced the ball into coverage a few times when he had someone open not far away. That interception and the other almost interception were examples of forcing it that he has to learn from. Thought he threw it okay. Made some really nice throws but had a few poor ones as well, that were reminiscent of last season. Hope this does not because a trend. And he had 4 or 5 plays where we were headed for some bad result, probably a sack, and Garrett just saved it, running around and either finding someone open and hitting them or running for a first down himself. He is really good at improvising.

Thought the defense played well. Great even in the first half. McDonald had no pads on pregame so we knew he was out early. I am not sure when Carter got hurt but it had to be fairly early and he was out of pads pretty fast. Hope his injury is not serious. Looked like he was limping to me. Pretty sure Coley replaced him and I thought he did a solid job while he was in.

I think Simmons has a bad shoulder and was playing hurt. Garrett Williams missed a couple of series. That might have been to rest him. Duce missed some plays too. Including that last series. After playing on specials on the KO. He might be banged up. Missed some tackles that he normally makes. Clark was also hurt and down on the field for a long time but he returned and played hurt. Pretty sure he was the guy who deflected the pass on 4th down to end the game. Nice.

Thought Johnson, who ended up playing a lot, was solid backing up the CBs. Sparrow replaced McDonald and had a pretty rough day. He is not the pass rusher Thompson was but he is a good athlete and I thought his play was passable. Lowery got some PT at LB too and made a couple big plays. Sacked Armstrong when he tried to get to the corner late. That was big. At one point, even Jones left the game and Roon came in at played MIKE. He looked okay but I was glad to see Mikel return quickly.

The injury to Lockett looked bad and I hope it is less serious that I think it is. Seemed like we lost Barron and Lockett in the span of 2 plays and it changed the game big time. Barron is big enough and strong enough to cover the UVa receivers. Hanna is a nice player but he is not well suited to covering those big guys.

With all the injuries to safeties. I was wondering if Oliver was going to play. But I never saw him out there. Maybe he is hurt? Maybe he is struggling to learn the new defense? Not sure but I was hoping he would be a fit at Rover.

In the Purdue game, we were probably going to lose if not for a late, senseless penalty on a late hit by a Purdue DL.

The same thing happened last night. Shrader was down, the drive was over. But a UVa player grabbed his facemask as he was going down and Syracuse was given another chance to win. And they took advantage.

We knew going in that this season was going to be full of close games against evenly matched teams. That is proving to be true. To have a great season, you need great players making great plays. But sometimes you need more. You need luck. That is what differentiates a pretty good team from a good team and a good one from a great one. I think that is the case with this team.
 

richmondcuse03

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Great recap as always.

The new game host is a Cuse grad from Newhouse - think 06. Remember her a bit.

Think we are able to spell Garrett and Duce more because of strength of backups. Johnson in particular was a great transfer pickup.
 

sufandu

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If I'm remembering the play right, the Barron targeting looked to me like nothing egregious but was the right call going by the rule.

I was ok with the non-safety call. He was wrapped up outside the endzone and pushed back as he tried not to go down, but didn't run backwards.
 
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DoctorBombay

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If I'm remembering the play right, the Barron targeting looked to me like nothing egregious but was the right call going by the rule.

I was ok with the non-safety call. He was wrapped up outside the endzone and pushed back as he tried not to go down, but didn't run backwards.
Disagree on the safety call. That was ridiculous. Don’t know if Dino could’ve reviewed it but I sure was screaming it out loud watching the reply. Glad we didn’t need it.
 

sufandu

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Disagree on the safety call. That was ridiculous. Don’t know if Dino could’ve reviewed it but I sure was screaming it out loud watching the reply. Glad we didn’t need it.
That's fine. When I saw the replay, my reaction was the opposite. The defender made contact outside of the endzone and never lost contact as he dragged him down. I've never seen a safety called on a play like that.
 

JustPherU

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Definitely not a safety, had he broke loose from the defender at all while in the end zone it would of been, but he was pushed into end zone from about the two or three yard line
 

DoctorBombay

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That's fine. When I saw the replay, my reaction was the opposite. The defender made contact outside of the endzone and never lost contact as he dragged him down. I've never seen a safety called on a play like that.
I will say that it did look like a bang bang play. If they’d called it a safety, it would’ve been hard to overturn. JMHO
 

buffalorange

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Good game summary. Another nail biter with a great ending.

I would like to see what the ref sees on the replay monitor. On a pass ruled an interception on Shrader, the replay on the big screen showed the ball hitting the turf. On the play ruled a catch and run for a first down the big screen replay showed the receiver's knee touching the turf as the ball hit his hands. What!?

On the other hand the correct team had it's ... Kicked and SU is 4-0!
 
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ImperialOrange

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If I'm remembering the play right, the Barron targeting looked to me like nothing egregious but was the right call going by the rule.

I was ok with the non-safety call. He was wrapped up outside the endzone and pushed back as he tried not to go down, but didn't run backwards.

Barron didn't connect helmet to helmet. He tried but the receiver was approximately 8 feet tall so he ended up helmet to side shoulder pad. Looked like me trying to tackle Fab Melo or something
 
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PhatOrange

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That looked like a safety all day. In replay sure looked to me like he backed into the endzone on his own free will.

Kick off tackle should have been ruled targeting especially in light of the other two. I literally do not know what the differences are between them seems arbitrary.

I thought sparrow had a great game and made two huge plays at the end if I recall correctly.

Shrader Needs to use Tucker as an outlet more often it’s open nearly 100% of the time
 

sufandu

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I will say that it did look like a bang bang play. If they’d called it a safety, it would’ve been hard to overturn. JMHO
I agree. Probably not enough to over turn had it gone our way.. Watching the replay on TV left me fine with how they called it.
 

Hoo's That

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Good game summary. Another nail biter with a great ending.

I would like to see what the ref sees on the replay monitor. On a pass ruled an interception on Shrader, the replay on the big screen showed the ball hitting the turf. On the play ruled a catch and run for a first down the big screen replay showed the receiver's knee touching the turf as the ball hit his hands. What!?

On the other hand the correct team had it's ... Kicked and SU is 4-0!
The argument that the TV crew made was that he didn't have control of the ball (in the stop action frame they showed you could see it was loose), until he hugged it to his chest and his knee was off the ground when that happened.
 

SWC75

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Dino, in his presser explained something I've wondered about for years.

Teams used to have the back-up quarterback hold for placekicks. If there was a bad snap and they couldn't get the kick-off, he could scramble and improvise a play. Then, a few years back, teams started using their punter to hold, (I think Riley Dixon was our first). I couldn't see why but Dino said that the punter was less likely to get hurt than quarterback and if the holder gets hurt, the place kicks might become too much of an adventure. This year, they decided to go with Justin Barron because, (as Dino has said earlier), he "has great hands". But to deal with any problems with Barron, Bob Ligashesky, the ST coordinator, practiced with both Barron and his back-up, James Williams and it paid off.
 

HRE Otto IV

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The last 2 games teams have kept Shrader in the pocket and he has had nowhere to run once he pulled the ball down. Gotta think that is the blueprint we see going forward. We are going to need to mix in a few rolled pockets or bootlegs every now and then. His 1st run last night went for 17. His last run went for 12. In between he had 12 rushes for -18 yards.
 

Capt. Tuttle

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It was a nice tailgate. They seem to be getting bigger with each passing week. I think this one had a Southern Tier theme. giacofan was the mastermind. The usual crew did their stellar job backing things up. They actually did deep friend dough with powdered sugar, hot from the fryer. Tough to see and smell for a guy on keto.

JGIII was the guest and he made a nice speech, talking about how fast his time here has gone and how he is looking forward to seeing how the youngsters on the team are going to blend in with the veterans. He stayed for a long time and talked to a lot of people. Very cool.

Got to the dome about 55 minutes before kickoff. Lots of room on the concourses. It was a late arriving crowd. Noticed a new sign up on the southeast corner interior wall for JMA. I think it had a blue background with while lettering. Looked good. Haven’t seen any of the exterior signs yet but last week there was some stuff up on the ring on the western edge of the building we thought might be materials for the biggest sign on the exterior, which will be mounted on the cross trust facing I-81.

Virginia did not travel well. Maybe 250 people in their section. I didn’t see a single person in UVa gear walking around or sitting in random other sections. Very similar to UL. Purdue traveled much better than both.

The SUMB had 10 tubas but I think only 9 marched again. Not sure if there is a bad boy/girl tuba player or someone just is not able to march right now. One of the tuba players runs over when it is time for the alma mater and NA and sings it (along with a female who I think is also a member of SUMB). At half time, SUMB did a rock inspired show featuring an older guy with an electric guitar. I think the singing tuba player might have played bass during the halftime show. Someone in the band did and it looked like him. They did a variety of songs, ranging from Rush to Van Halen. It was innovative and I think it was well received. The sound wasn’t great…the problems here continue.

I will say the horrific screechy noises they constantly came from the speakers in game one and game two dropped down to just a few incidents. They use a number of remote microphones and one or two appear to still have issues. Good that some progress has been made. Saddened we still have issues so late in the season. This is an awful black eye for the facility that this still isn’t fixed years after the sound system was installed.

SUAD is trying a new thing this year, sending a little kid out with the cheerleaders at midfield to lead the ‘Let’s Go Orange’ chant during a timeout. Awful microphone problems destroyed any chance for success for games 1 and 2. This time, the kid didn’t even have a microphone. But they showed a close up of his face, shouting out the words with no audio. Sigh.

The new game host is very active, running all over the facility interviewing people. Her voice activated the horrific screeching sounds the most in games 1 and 2 but things were better this game. Only 1 or 2 really bad incidents. It is her microphone, the frequency of her voice or how rapidly she tends to talk? Seems like she made a concerted effort to slow down this game and that seemed to help.

Let’s talk about the game.

UVa won the toss and deferred, giving us the ball first. A guest and controversial call that immediately bit embattled UVa HC Tony Elliott in the butt, as SU drove down the field and scored a TD.

Eliott inherited one of the best passing offenses in the country and has destroyed it in short order. Armstrong looks like a different player being forced to use Elliott’s awful scheme. Tony is the guy who took over as the Clemson OC and somehow found a way to make a unit loaded with HS AAs look lost and incompetent. That said, the UVa defense was very good all game. They were able to get a good pass rush on Shrader regularly and he even got a case of happy feet due to the pressure. And they dominated the SU OL and gave Sean Tucker no room to run all game long. They did this without putting their corners on an island and I think it was mostly just the UVa DL and linebackers beating our OL. Looked to be worse with our interior 3 OL. They were bad run blocking and pass blocking. Even Berg was beat pass blocking a couple of times. Brutal.

That said, we moved the ball with relative ease down the field though the first quarter and most of the first half. Mostly throwing it. Often going to Gadsden, who has now established himself as our clear #1 WR. He gets open and if the ball is near him, he will catch it. Size, speed and good hands are a good combo for a WR.

Wondered who would replace Jones as our #2 and am still wondering. No one really stepped up. Jackson had another bad game. Struggled blocking, dropped one pass and almost dropped another on a great push pass from Shrader, who was getting tacked at the time. Then after securing the catch, he left the ball out in the open and got it knocked away for a fumble. He is headed hard outside the circle of trust.

Hatcher got a few snaps but I don't think we ever targeted him. Shrader is using Tucker as an outlet pretty often and Sean continues to do a good job as a receiver. He has made great strides here. Alford had a reception and looked good on it but he was targeted for another pass and inexplictedly broke off his route. So much potential. So little realized.

Anyway I think our offense started to feature Tucker on runs too much in the second quarter and that kind of took the offense off the rails. Looked to me as though there was a concerted effort to get Sean going and establish our ability to run but it was a total failure. I think most of the blame lies with the OL but maybe Sean is not 100% and maybe pressing a bit. The fumble deep in our territory was the start of making what was close to a blow out into a game.

The Pena KO return that was fumbled was step 2 in keeping the game close. Trevor is a really talented KO return guy. He had the great return early to get us going. But you can’t fumble a return. Unacceptable.

Let’s talk special teams a bit more. Thought Von Marburg did a reasonable job. He isn’t bombing punts and isn’t kicking awful ones either. Most are pretty good to good. I think he is doing well for a frosh and on track to having a really good career. No question he is a big upgrade over the crew that tried to punt last year.

Denaburg did a good job of kicking off but had a couple that were returnable and even the ones he got into the middle of the end zone where low line drives. Looks like his leg is getting less strong as the season progresses.

Trevor didn’t have much to work with on punt returns. One play he beat two guys and then got leveled by 3 more.

Props to Midkiff for filling in as the holder for Barron and doing a solid job.

I agree the refs did a reasonably decent job and were impartial to both sides. Watching replays at the dome (they are doing a better job showing replays at the dome this season; even on controversial plays, which is appreciated greatly), they all looked like targeting. The one where Trabor fumbled looked the most egregious of all of them. I never saw a replay of Barron’s hit. The play looked like a routine play watching it live. My biggest gripe is the safety the SU defense got on Armstrong. That has to be a safety. He was trying to get away and if you watched the game, Armstrong is very good at this and did get away all the time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you have a QB running around trying to make tackles and make plays, when he screws up and gets sacked in the end zone, it is a safety. The refs marking it at the 3 was even crazier. What the hell?

Shader missed some open receivers again. I think he has done this in every game. He forced the ball into coverage a few times when he had someone open not far away. That interception and the other almost interception were examples of forcing it that he has to learn from. Thought he threw it okay. Made some really nice throws but had a few poor ones as well, that were reminiscent of last season. Hope this does not because a trend. And he had 4 or 5 plays where we were headed for some bad result, probably a sack, and Garrett just saved it, running around and either finding someone open and hitting them or running for a first down himself. He is really good at improvising.

Thought the defense played well. Great even in the first half. McDonald had no pads on pregame so we knew he was out early. I am not sure when Carter got hurt but it had to be fairly early and he was out of pads pretty fast. Hope his injury is not serious. Looked like he was limping to me. Pretty sure Coley replaced him and I thought he did a solid job while he was in.

I think Simmons has a bad shoulder and was playing hurt. Garrett Williams missed a couple of series. That might have been to rest him. Duce missed some plays too. Including that last series. After playing on specials on the KO. He might be banged up. Missed some tackles that he normally makes. Clark was also hurt and down on the field for a long time but he returned and played hurt. Pretty sure he was the guy who deflected the pass on 4th down to end the game. Nice.

Thought Johnson, who ended up playing a lot, was solid backing up the CBs. Sparrow replaced McDonald and had a pretty rough day. He is not the pass rusher Thompson was but he is a good athlete and I thought his play was passable. Lowery got some PT at LB too and made a couple big plays. Sacked Armstrong when he tried to get to the corner late. That was big. At one point, even Jones left the game and Roon came in at played MIKE. He looked okay but I was glad to see Mikel return quickly.

The injury to Lockett looked bad and I hope it is less serious that I think it is. Seemed like we lost Barron and Lockett in the span of 2 plays and it changed the game big time. Barron is big enough and strong enough to cover the UVa receivers. Hanna is a nice player but he is not well suited to covering those big guys.

With all the injuries to safeties. I was wondering if Oliver was going to play. But I never saw him out there. Maybe he is hurt? Maybe he is struggling to learn the new defense? Not sure but I was hoping he would be a fit at Rover.

In the Purdue game, we were probably going to lose if not for a late, senseless penalty on a late hit by a Purdue DL.

The same thing happened last night. Shrader was down, the drive was over. But a UVa player grabbed his facemask as he was going down and Syracuse was given another chance to win. And they took advantage.

We knew going in that this season was going to be full of close games against evenly matched teams. That is proving to be true. To have a great season, you need great players making great plays. But sometimes you need more. You need luck. That is what differentiates a pretty good team from a good team and a good one from a great one. I think that is the case with this team.
I think Peña is lucky he could walk after that hit on the kick off. Got crunched square in the back. There are some fumbles that the runner didn't do anything wrong.
 

MartyCuse

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It was a nice tailgate. They seem to be getting bigger with each passing week. I think this one had a Southern Tier theme. giacofan was the mastermind. The usual crew did their stellar job backing things up. They actually did deep friend dough with powdered sugar, hot from the fryer. Tough to see and smell for a guy on keto.

JGIII was the guest and he made a nice speech, talking about how fast his time here has gone and how he is looking forward to seeing how the youngsters on the team are going to blend in with the veterans. He stayed for a long time and talked to a lot of people. Very cool.

Got to the dome about 55 minutes before kickoff. Lots of room on the concourses. It was a late arriving crowd. Noticed a new sign up on the southeast corner interior wall for JMA. I think it had a blue background with while lettering. Looked good. Haven’t seen any of the exterior signs yet but last week there was some stuff up on the ring on the western edge of the building we thought might be materials for the biggest sign on the exterior, which will be mounted on the cross trust facing I-81.

Virginia did not travel well. Maybe 250 people in their section. I didn’t see a single person in UVa gear walking around or sitting in random other sections. Very similar to UL. Purdue traveled much better than both.

The SUMB had 10 tubas but I think only 9 marched again. Not sure if there is a bad boy/girl tuba player or someone just is not able to march right now. One of the tuba players runs over when it is time for the alma mater and NA and sings it (along with a female who I think is also a member of SUMB). At half time, SUMB did a rock inspired show featuring an older guy with an electric guitar. I think the singing tuba player might have played bass during the halftime show. Someone in the band did and it looked like him. They did a variety of songs, ranging from Rush to Van Halen. It was innovative and I think it was well received. The sound wasn’t great…the problems here continue.

I will say the horrific screechy noises they constantly came from the speakers in game one and game two dropped down to just a few incidents. They use a number of remote microphones and one or two appear to still have issues. Good that some progress has been made. Saddened we still have issues so late in the season. This is an awful black eye for the facility that this still isn’t fixed years after the sound system was installed.

SUAD is trying a new thing this year, sending a little kid out with the cheerleaders at midfield to lead the ‘Let’s Go Orange’ chant during a timeout. Awful microphone problems destroyed any chance for success for games 1 and 2. This time, the kid didn’t even have a microphone. But they showed a close up of his face, shouting out the words with no audio. Sigh.

The new game host is very active, running all over the facility interviewing people. Her voice activated the horrific screeching sounds the most in games 1 and 2 but things were better this game. Only 1 or 2 really bad incidents. It is her microphone, the frequency of her voice or how rapidly she tends to talk? Seems like she made a concerted effort to slow down this game and that seemed to help.

Let’s talk about the game.

UVa won the toss and deferred, giving us the ball first. A guest and controversial call that immediately bit embattled UVa HC Tony Elliott in the butt, as SU drove down the field and scored a TD.

Eliott inherited one of the best passing offenses in the country and has destroyed it in short order. Armstrong looks like a different player being forced to use Elliott’s awful scheme. Tony is the guy who took over as the Clemson OC and somehow found a way to make a unit loaded with HS AAs look lost and incompetent. That said, the UVa defense was very good all game. They were able to get a good pass rush on Shrader regularly and he even got a case of happy feet due to the pressure. And they dominated the SU OL and gave Sean Tucker no room to run all game long. They did this without putting their corners on an island and I think it was mostly just the UVa DL and linebackers beating our OL. Looked to be worse with our interior 3 OL. They were bad run blocking and pass blocking. Even Berg was beat pass blocking a couple of times. Brutal.

That said, we moved the ball with relative ease down the field though the first quarter and most of the first half. Mostly throwing it. Often going to Gadsden, who has now established himself as our clear #1 WR. He gets open and if the ball is near him, he will catch it. Size, speed and good hands are a good combo for a WR.

Wondered who would replace Jones as our #2 and am still wondering. No one really stepped up. Jackson had another bad game. Struggled blocking, dropped one pass and almost dropped another on a great push pass from Shrader, who was getting tacked at the time. Then after securing the catch, he left the ball out in the open and got it knocked away for a fumble. He is headed hard outside the circle of trust.

Hatcher got a few snaps but I don't think we ever targeted him. Shrader is using Tucker as an outlet pretty often and Sean continues to do a good job as a receiver. He has made great strides here. Alford had a reception and looked good on it but he was targeted for another pass and inexplictedly broke off his route. So much potential. So little realized.

Anyway I think our offense started to feature Tucker on runs too much in the second quarter and that kind of took the offense off the rails. Looked to me as though there was a concerted effort to get Sean going and establish our ability to run but it was a total failure. I think most of the blame lies with the OL but maybe Sean is not 100% and maybe pressing a bit. The fumble deep in our territory was the start of making what was close to a blow out into a game.

The Pena KO return that was fumbled was step 2 in keeping the game close. Trevor is a really talented KO return guy. He had the great return early to get us going. But you can’t fumble a return. Unacceptable.

Let’s talk special teams a bit more. Thought Von Marburg did a reasonable job. He isn’t bombing punts and isn’t kicking awful ones either. Most are pretty good to good. I think he is doing well for a frosh and on track to having a really good career. No question he is a big upgrade over the crew that tried to punt last year.

Denaburg did a good job of kicking off but had a couple that were returnable and even the ones he got into the middle of the end zone where low line drives. Looks like his leg is getting less strong as the season progresses.

Trevor didn’t have much to work with on punt returns. One play he beat two guys and then got leveled by 3 more.

Props to Midkiff for filling in as the holder for Barron and doing a solid job.

I agree the refs did a reasonably decent job and were impartial to both sides. Watching replays at the dome (they are doing a better job showing replays at the dome this season; even on controversial plays, which is appreciated greatly), they all looked like targeting. The one where Trabor fumbled looked the most egregious of all of them. I never saw a replay of Barron’s hit. The play looked like a routine play watching it live. My biggest gripe is the safety the SU defense got on Armstrong. That has to be a safety. He was trying to get away and if you watched the game, Armstrong is very good at this and did get away all the time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you have a QB running around trying to make tackles and make plays, when he screws up and gets sacked in the end zone, it is a safety. The refs marking it at the 3 was even crazier. What the hell?

Shader missed some open receivers again. I think he has done this in every game. He forced the ball into coverage a few times when he had someone open not far away. That interception and the other almost interception were examples of forcing it that he has to learn from. Thought he threw it okay. Made some really nice throws but had a few poor ones as well, that were reminiscent of last season. Hope this does not because a trend. And he had 4 or 5 plays where we were headed for some bad result, probably a sack, and Garrett just saved it, running around and either finding someone open and hitting them or running for a first down himself. He is really good at improvising.

Thought the defense played well. Great even in the first half. McDonald had no pads on pregame so we knew he was out early. I am not sure when Carter got hurt but it had to be fairly early and he was out of pads pretty fast. Hope his injury is not serious. Looked like he was limping to me. Pretty sure Coley replaced him and I thought he did a solid job while he was in.

I think Simmons has a bad shoulder and was playing hurt. Garrett Williams missed a couple of series. That might have been to rest him. Duce missed some plays too. Including that last series. After playing on specials on the KO. He might be banged up. Missed some tackles that he normally makes. Clark was also hurt and down on the field for a long time but he returned and played hurt. Pretty sure he was the guy who deflected the pass on 4th down to end the game. Nice.

Thought Johnson, who ended up playing a lot, was solid backing up the CBs. Sparrow replaced McDonald and had a pretty rough day. He is not the pass rusher Thompson was but he is a good athlete and I thought his play was passable. Lowery got some PT at LB too and made a couple big plays. Sacked Armstrong when he tried to get to the corner late. That was big. At one point, even Jones left the game and Roon came in at played MIKE. He looked okay but I was glad to see Mikel return quickly.

The injury to Lockett looked bad and I hope it is less serious that I think it is. Seemed like we lost Barron and Lockett in the span of 2 plays and it changed the game big time. Barron is big enough and strong enough to cover the UVa receivers. Hanna is a nice player but he is not well suited to covering those big guys.

With all the injuries to safeties. I was wondering if Oliver was going to play. But I never saw him out there. Maybe he is hurt? Maybe he is struggling to learn the new defense? Not sure but I was hoping he would be a fit at Rover.

In the Purdue game, we were probably going to lose if not for a late, senseless penalty on a late hit by a Purdue DL.

The same thing happened last night. Shrader was down, the drive was over. But a UVa player grabbed his facemask as he was going down and Syracuse was given another chance to win. And they took advantage.

We knew going in that this season was going to be full of close games against evenly matched teams. That is proving to be true. To have a great season, you need great players making great plays. But sometimes you need more. You need luck. That is what differentiates a pretty good team from a good team and a good one from a great one. I think that is the case with this team.
Great recap as always. I had friends join us at the game last night… they honestly were there to watch their godson in the marching band…. It was an exciting night for him because he normally plays tuba but was given permission to play trumpet last night. Side note I don’t think they will miss another game this year! Go Orange!
 

BillSU

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It was a nice tailgate. They seem to be getting bigger with each passing week. I think this one had a Southern Tier theme. giacofan was the mastermind. The usual crew did their stellar job backing things up. They actually did deep friend dough with powdered sugar, hot from the fryer. Tough to see and smell for a guy on keto.

JGIII was the guest and he made a nice speech, talking about how fast his time here has gone and how he is looking forward to seeing how the youngsters on the team are going to blend in with the veterans. He stayed for a long time and talked to a lot of people. Very cool.

Got to the dome about 55 minutes before kickoff. Lots of room on the concourses. It was a late arriving crowd. Noticed a new sign up on the southeast corner interior wall for JMA. I think it had a blue background with while lettering. Looked good. Haven’t seen any of the exterior signs yet but last week there was some stuff up on the ring on the western edge of the building we thought might be materials for the biggest sign on the exterior, which will be mounted on the cross trust facing I-81.

Virginia did not travel well. Maybe 250 people in their section. I didn’t see a single person in UVa gear walking around or sitting in random other sections. Very similar to UL. Purdue traveled much better than both.

The SUMB had 10 tubas but I think only 9 marched again. Not sure if there is a bad boy/girl tuba player or someone just is not able to march right now. One of the tuba players runs over when it is time for the alma mater and NA and sings it (along with a female who I think is also a member of SUMB). At half time, SUMB did a rock inspired show featuring an older guy with an electric guitar. I think the singing tuba player might have played bass during the halftime show. Someone in the band did and it looked like him. They did a variety of songs, ranging from Rush to Van Halen. It was innovative and I think it was well received. The sound wasn’t great…the problems here continue.

I will say the horrific screechy noises they constantly came from the speakers in game one and game two dropped down to just a few incidents. They use a number of remote microphones and one or two appear to still have issues. Good that some progress has been made. Saddened we still have issues so late in the season. This is an awful black eye for the facility that this still isn’t fixed years after the sound system was installed.

SUAD is trying a new thing this year, sending a little kid out with the cheerleaders at midfield to lead the ‘Let’s Go Orange’ chant during a timeout. Awful microphone problems destroyed any chance for success for games 1 and 2. This time, the kid didn’t even have a microphone. But they showed a close up of his face, shouting out the words with no audio. Sigh.

The new game host is very active, running all over the facility interviewing people. Her voice activated the horrific screeching sounds the most in games 1 and 2 but things were better this game. Only 1 or 2 really bad incidents. It is her microphone, the frequency of her voice or how rapidly she tends to talk? Seems like she made a concerted effort to slow down this game and that seemed to help.

Let’s talk about the game.

UVa won the toss and deferred, giving us the ball first. A guest and controversial call that immediately bit embattled UVa HC Tony Elliott in the butt, as SU drove down the field and scored a TD.

Eliott inherited one of the best passing offenses in the country and has destroyed it in short order. Armstrong looks like a different player being forced to use Elliott’s awful scheme. Tony is the guy who took over as the Clemson OC and somehow found a way to make a unit loaded with HS AAs look lost and incompetent. That said, the UVa defense was very good all game. They were able to get a good pass rush on Shrader regularly and he even got a case of happy feet due to the pressure. And they dominated the SU OL and gave Sean Tucker no room to run all game long. They did this without putting their corners on an island and I think it was mostly just the UVa DL and linebackers beating our OL. Looked to be worse with our interior 3 OL. They were bad run blocking and pass blocking. Even Berg was beat pass blocking a couple of times. Brutal.

That said, we moved the ball with relative ease down the field though the first quarter and most of the first half. Mostly throwing it. Often going to Gadsden, who has now established himself as our clear #1 WR. He gets open and if the ball is near him, he will catch it. Size, speed and good hands are a good combo for a WR.

Wondered who would replace Jones as our #2 and am still wondering. No one really stepped up. Jackson had another bad game. Struggled blocking, dropped one pass and almost dropped another on a great push pass from Shrader, who was getting tacked at the time. Then after securing the catch, he left the ball out in the open and got it knocked away for a fumble. He is headed hard outside the circle of trust.

Hatcher got a few snaps but I don't think we ever targeted him. Shrader is using Tucker as an outlet pretty often and Sean continues to do a good job as a receiver. He has made great strides here. Alford had a reception and looked good on it but he was targeted for another pass and inexplictedly broke off his route. So much potential. So little realized.

Anyway I think our offense started to feature Tucker on runs too much in the second quarter and that kind of took the offense off the rails. Looked to me as though there was a concerted effort to get Sean going and establish our ability to run but it was a total failure. I think most of the blame lies with the OL but maybe Sean is not 100% and maybe pressing a bit. The fumble deep in our territory was the start of making what was close to a blow out into a game.

The Pena KO return that was fumbled was step 2 in keeping the game close. Trevor is a really talented KO return guy. He had the great return early to get us going. But you can’t fumble a return. Unacceptable.

Let’s talk special teams a bit more. Thought Von Marburg did a reasonable job. He isn’t bombing punts and isn’t kicking awful ones either. Most are pretty good to good. I think he is doing well for a frosh and on track to having a really good career. No question he is a big upgrade over the crew that tried to punt last year.

Denaburg did a good job of kicking off but had a couple that were returnable and even the ones he got into the middle of the end zone where low line drives. Looks like his leg is getting less strong as the season progresses.

Trevor didn’t have much to work with on punt returns. One play he beat two guys and then got leveled by 3 more.

Props to Midkiff for filling in as the holder for Barron and doing a solid job.

I agree the refs did a reasonably decent job and were impartial to both sides. Watching replays at the dome (they are doing a better job showing replays at the dome this season; even on controversial plays, which is appreciated greatly), they all looked like targeting. The one where Trabor fumbled looked the most egregious of all of them. I never saw a replay of Barron’s hit. The play looked like a routine play watching it live. My biggest gripe is the safety the SU defense got on Armstrong. That has to be a safety. He was trying to get away and if you watched the game, Armstrong is very good at this and did get away all the time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you have a QB running around trying to make tackles and make plays, when he screws up and gets sacked in the end zone, it is a safety. The refs marking it at the 3 was even crazier. What the hell?

Shader missed some open receivers again. I think he has done this in every game. He forced the ball into coverage a few times when he had someone open not far away. That interception and the other almost interception were examples of forcing it that he has to learn from. Thought he threw it okay. Made some really nice throws but had a few poor ones as well, that were reminiscent of last season. Hope this does not because a trend. And he had 4 or 5 plays where we were headed for some bad result, probably a sack, and Garrett just saved it, running around and either finding someone open and hitting them or running for a first down himself. He is really good at improvising.

Thought the defense played well. Great even in the first half. McDonald had no pads on pregame so we knew he was out early. I am not sure when Carter got hurt but it had to be fairly early and he was out of pads pretty fast. Hope his injury is not serious. Looked like he was limping to me. Pretty sure Coley replaced him and I thought he did a solid job while he was in.

I think Simmons has a bad shoulder and was playing hurt. Garrett Williams missed a couple of series. That might have been to rest him. Duce missed some plays too. Including that last series. After playing on specials on the KO. He might be banged up. Missed some tackles that he normally makes. Clark was also hurt and down on the field for a long time but he returned and played hurt. Pretty sure he was the guy who deflected the pass on 4th down to end the game. Nice.

Thought Johnson, who ended up playing a lot, was solid backing up the CBs. Sparrow replaced McDonald and had a pretty rough day. He is not the pass rusher Thompson was but he is a good athlete and I thought his play was passable. Lowery got some PT at LB too and made a couple big plays. Sacked Armstrong when he tried to get to the corner late. That was big. At one point, even Jones left the game and Roon came in at played MIKE. He looked okay but I was glad to see Mikel return quickly.

The injury to Lockett looked bad and I hope it is less serious that I think it is. Seemed like we lost Barron and Lockett in the span of 2 plays and it changed the game big time. Barron is big enough and strong enough to cover the UVa receivers. Hanna is a nice player but he is not well suited to covering those big guys.

With all the injuries to safeties. I was wondering if Oliver was going to play. But I never saw him out there. Maybe he is hurt? Maybe he is struggling to learn the new defense? Not sure but I was hoping he would be a fit at Rover.

In the Purdue game, we were probably going to lose if not for a late, senseless penalty on a late hit by a Purdue DL.

The same thing happened last night. Shrader was down, the drive was over. But a UVa player grabbed his facemask as he was going down and Syracuse was given another chance to win. And they took advantage.

We knew going in that this season was going to be full of close games against evenly matched teams. That is proving to be true. To have a great season, you need great players making great plays. But sometimes you need more. You need luck. That is what differentiates a pretty good team from a good team and a good one from a great one. I think that is the case with this team.
AGREED! That is a safety all day long.

The announcers were no help saying I wonder where they're going to spot the ball. It's a safety. Period.
 

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