My Take | Page 2 | Syracusefan.com

My Take

JustPherU

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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.
Ok I just watched replay in slow motion and can’t figure out why people think it’s a safety. Syracuse defender latched on to qb at the two yard line and spun him into end zone with never losing a grasp.
By rule the ball is spotted where the qb’s forward progress was, you don’t put the ball where he ended up on the turf.
 

BillSU

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Ok I just watched replay in slow motion and can’t figure out why people think it’s a safety. Syracuse defender latched on to qb at the two yard line and spun him into end zone with never losing a grasp.
By rule the ball is spotted where the qb’s forward progress was, you don’t put the ball where he ended up on the turf.
// I changed my mind based on what I thought I saw and SWC75 also observed in a post below. It was a safety!
 
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All4SU

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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!
So he was a tuba defector? That may solve Tom’s tuba question.
 

David332

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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.
My section was furious. I saw the replay on tv and still think it was a safety.
 

OrangePA

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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! The hit on Peña was a target - really bad.

Barton’s hit on a leaping WR looked routine to me as well.

And, it certainly looked like a safety to me.

That was a crucial miss in my opinion.
 

sutomcat

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Thanks. My bad, I didn't have the view you did so it was, as you say, where the QB's forward progress was.
Better let tomcat know too.
They did not show a replay of the safety on the scoreboard. What I saw was a clear safety. But I am one row from the top of the stadium and the play was a long way from me. I could be wrong.

Even if the ref possibly made a correct call (I am dubious), the ball had to be spotted on the 1 or the half yard line. The thing that made my section furious is that the ref spotted it on the 3 yard line.

That is not defendable.

If I see a replay, I will post my thoughts. Might have time to check it out tomorrow.
 

SWC75

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You are correct. Williams has been in the Punter Protection Program since von Marburg and Denaburg arrived.
I went with the depth chart, which apparently isn't very accurate, or at least up-to-date.
 

Ozone!

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Tom,
Great review as always!
A targeting call that seems to be an eye of the beholder call. Sometimes obvious targeting is not called and other times it’s called and it’s not helmet to helmet and it’s called.

The timing of a call can effect the outcome of a game and some calls that went against us helped Virginia to keep it close.

Unfortunately, our offensive problems also impacted the outcome.

When we play the tougher opponents on our schedule we better have our offense issues worked out and some our best defenders healed up!

The good news with our D is that we are young on D and we are developing a deep talent pool outside of our dline!

Let’s hope we get our backup QB’s and RB’s some more playing time vs Wagner!
 

Newhouser

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Agreed! The hit on Peña was a target - really bad.

Barton’s hit on a leaping WR looked routine to me as well.

And, it certainly looked like a safety to me.

That was a crucial miss in my opinion.
Was Dino arguing Pena gave himself up on the fumble return? I thought he did too, thought I saw his arms spread out before catching and taking off.
 

Chris02M

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Was Dino arguing Pena gave himself up on the fumble return? I thought he did too, thought I saw his arms spread out before catching and taking off.
i think so to
 

SWC75

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They did not show a replay of the safety on the scoreboard. What I saw was a clear safety. But I am one row from the top of the stadium and the play was a long way from me. I could be wrong.

Even if the ref possibly made a correct call (I am dubious), the ball had to be spotted on the 1 or the half yard line. The thing that made my section furious is that the ref spotted it on the 3 yard line.

That is not defendable.

If I see a replay, I will post my thoughts. Might have time to check it out tomorrow.


It's on the "condensed" game at 11:36, (with two slow motion replays) and the Pena fumble on the kick-off is at 14:40, (ditto):


I looked for the NCAA rule on forward progress but could not find a description of what forward progress is when a quarterback drops back and never moves forward:

Here is the targeting rule: "The 2019 NCAA Rule Book defines targeting as when a player "takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or legal block or playing the ball." The NCAA targeting rule bans any forcible contact leading with the crown of the helmet or to the head or neck area of a defenseless player."

Here's what i saw on the would-be safety: Armstrong grabs the snap at the 5 and retreated to the 3. He positions himself for a throw but here comes Caleb, who makes first contact at the 2. Armstrong stays on his feet and tries to escape, initially by going backwards from the 3 to the 2, then to his left and then to his right while in the end zone, where he is spun down by Caleb. I'd call it a safety.

Pena got turned around and was then hit in the back by the Virginia player, who hit him more with his should than his head, which was to the side. No targeting, although it was close and might have looked like it from a different angle.
 

Chip

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I truly don't understand when refs arbitrarily rule forward progress vs when they don't. On any level, that was a safety yesterday and it wasn't even close. Truly don't understand it.

First contact was inside the 1, but the tackle actually took place in the end zone.

They put the ball at the 2.

It was complete garbage and should have been reviewed.
 

gmoney44

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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.
He should have not taking that one out. He does that frequently and gets tattooed often because of it. He also shouldn’t have ever left his feet or had his back to the oncoming kick coverage. That’s a great way to get yourself killed.
 
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Bayside44

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He should have not taking that one out. He does that frequently and gets tattooed often because of it. He also shouldn’t ever have his back to the oncoming kick coverage. That’s a great way to get yourself hurt.

I thought he started to signal for a fair catch.

I hate kick returns, usually bad things happen.
 

gmoney44

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I thought he started to signal for a fair catch.

I hate kick returns, usually bad things happen.
If he did that’s the right move. Running with it as soon as he catches it wasn’t. I hope he learns from it but he has been doing it for a couple years. He’s deadly if he gets some room but he takes lots of big hits especially on punt returns that seem obvious fair catch situations that he try’s to return.
 
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SWC75

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First contact was inside the 1, but the tackle actually took place in the end zone.

They put the ball at the 2.

It was complete garbage and should have been reviewed.

They put it at the 3!
 

Cajovalley

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Great write up as usual, They were never going to call that a safety. It was. But they were NEVER going to do it.
 

ImperialOrange

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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.

Eh, he did 2 thinks wrong. 1. He returned it 2. He got air born going over his own blocker. You don't EVER want to do that on return or coverage teams or inside the tackle box. RBs and QBs get lit up when they try stepping over linemen and returners... Well Pena is now the poster boy for coaches to show players why not to do that.

I'm seriously glad he walked away from that much less returned to the game. As someone with multiple concussions from kick coverage in high school, I can't imagine a D1 size/speed player cracking me in the lower back full speed. Was terrifying to watch it transpire
 

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