How can the first game be season changing?
Thank God for Nassib...
This isn't a difficult concept. If we lose that home game, it is an enormous setback for the program. The fanbase meltsdown, the fair weather fans turn their backs, we take a black eye in the national sports media, we don't reverse the trend of being unable to win at home, and the grumbling begins that we still stink.
Then, we'd have about 25,000 fans--tops--show up for Rhode Island next week, and even if we handle them, then the naysayers would still be down on SU, claiming that all we can do is beat a D1AA team.
But by winning this game, we avoid having a losing record, and starting the season potentially 1-2
if we lose @ USC, with the lone win being against a D1AA. To say nothing of bowl eligibility / contention now being more of an uphill struggle.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it was season changing in that it was an enormous confidence boost for the players, who now have a tune-up game next week to work out some of the kinks, improve, get healthier, and hopefully get the reserve players a lot of developmental PT.