So what do you think of our team now? | Page 3 | Syracusefan.com

So what do you think of our team now?

TheCusian

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I’m still high on our O - had a bad regression after a bad half maybe due to sickness. Feels like the D will get gashed from time to time, but is good otherwise.

6 win floor and 9/10 win ceiling? I’ll take it.
 

kirbivore

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Voice of Doom: "Last year we pulled out the Liberty game by 3 points. Then we lost the next three games by the same margin. A big factor: decision-making in the final minutes, like failing to run the clock at 2:53 with the 3-point lead."
Maybe I'm misremembering but thought the new OC was supposed to take the clock management away from Dino.
 

David332

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I knew we would be good because we were a good team last year; it was an absolute fluke that we never got 6 wins last season. I thought our SOS would essentially equalize out our improvements and we would be in a dog fight to get to six wins again.

I was wrong, dead wrong. It happens. This season feels special, and these guys have the collective heart of a lion. I knew we would be better but this is great!
 

blust2i3d4

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That's where I am also.

Clemson, NC State, FSU, Pitt, Wake and Notre Dame are six very challenging games, but none are overwhelmingly tough.

Going 3-3 in those six and winning the rest would make for an excellent year.
Notre Dame is very bad this year. This is the year we have to beat Notre Dame. Also NC State is not as good as its rank indicates. Toss up game against FSU. We are underdog against Clemson, Pitt and Wake.
 

bballbeadle

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Regardless of the circumstances, at teh beginning of the year I always publicly aver we're playing for a National Championship (not including GRob's tenure). This team is 3x better than I thought we'd be. Louisville's stolen our lunch money for years. Purdue had at least two NFL players on the team. UConn was a gimme. Even though I would never tell anyone, I had us at 1-2. We slipped with Purdue because Garrett (by his own admission) had been having issues during the week and Tucker is still in Rhino mode. The offense is geared to Tucker hitting the line on first down and getting 4 yards. That's do-able with Elmore in front of him. Now they have to rework the offense to get him into space. Anae's a freaking genius. He'll find a way without Shrader losing his efficiency again. I would not be surprised if the play used to spring Gadsden is not used a bunch more. Only this time they'll add another crosser and open the flat.
We're playing for a championship.
I just read that Shrader and other members of the team were sick this past week. That has probably been mentioned on another thread or three.
 

David332

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On the positive side: 1) we're 3-0 with victories over two quality programs (and UConn); 2) the team has "bought in" and plays with a lot of heart; 3) we have the best coaching staff we've had in years; and 4) we have better talent at the skill positions than we've had since at least 2018 - including a mobile QB, excellent ST's, an all American RB, a huge OL, and a ranked defense with a surprising DL and pro potential at the second and third levels.

Realistically, however, assuming our DL continues to develop and we clean up our TE coverage, the offense is what is holding us back. Here's why: 1) at WR we are struggling to get separation against press coverage and we don't have a big TE to catch in traffic or a vertical threat to back off the safeties; 2) because of #1, our QB is forced to throw (mostly) 5-15 yard passes, through tight windows to smaller players, and expose his body on runs and scrambles; and 3) because of these passing challenges, the OL faces heavy boxes that make it difficult to open running lanes. These problems are pretty much the inverse of the strengths that Purdue used against us. THeir vertical threat (Jones) forced our secondary to back off (zone in the first half, some press in the second) while their pinpoint QB gashed us underneath with a big TE (Durham). 400+ yards is a lesson we don't want to repeat. Great to see us overcome this adversity and still win the game.

Against UVA, we might not see a vertical threat like Jones. But they have a very good QB and a big WR (K. Thompson). I hope our D has some answers for them. On offense, I expect GS to be healthier, less hurried and more accurate than he was against Purdue. This week the staff will be coaching up our WR's - especially Gadsden - I think these guys hold the key to unlocking this team's top-20 potential.
I really enjoyed reading this, solid analysis. You know your football.
 

Eric15

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Notre Dame is very bad this year.
Believe me, I would love for you to be right. But I would be surprised if they don't figure things out between now and late October.
 

FRANKIEFAN

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Believe me, I would love for you to be right. But I would be surprised if they don't figure things out between now and late October.

Its a home game and at worst should be an ugly close rock fight benefitting us.

We have lost a ton though our goal line lead blocker, NFL level LB, and new WR who might be our most well rounded target. Noone knows where GS is at healthwise and if hes close to end of last year and Tucker hasn't been himself.

No reason to get discouraged but there are no easy games after Wagner until possibly BC. Even this weeks game is falling at the right time most likely although I'd rather they weren't coming off a humiliating loss to "Syracuse Midwest."
 

Newhouser

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Believe me, I would love for you to be right. But I would be surprised if they don't figure things out between now and late October.
I would normally agree but I've watched them quite a bit and, on offense at least, I don't know what there is to figure out. A - I think their talent on that side is way down and B - I think their OC misses Brian Kelly more than anyone. My thought/hope is they continue to get beat down by their schedule and stay a mess. I said we would sweep the state of Indiana at the start of the year and I still feel good about it.
 

kcsu

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We're 3-0, just beat a good Big Ten team and are on the verge of breaking into the rankings. That was one of the greatest games in the history of the Dome -and we won it!

But did your estimate of how good this team is increase or did it deflate a bit? We looked like a powerhouse beating what should be a pretty good Louisville team and steamrolled a bad Connecticut team. Against Purdue we couldn't run the ball. Shrader and the receivers looked like they did last year. the defense got burned several times. Those high snaps on the placekicks could cost us. Injuries are starting to pile up. Purdue would have won if they'd kept their mouths shut. But we gutted it out and made the plays to win the game anyway.

What did that do to your estimate of how good this team is? I'm very happy but also more concerned than I was before the game.
I think that we are a good solid team that if we win the turnover battle can beat any team remaining on the schedule. With the exception of Wagner and possibly BC we can also loose to any team remaining.

The keys for me as they are for all teams especially those that dont have a ton of depth is to remain healthy and to rest key players as the game and score permit. Take Wagner once we are up by three scores the starters should be done. Give everyone else an opportunity at live game action and see what they can do.
Tucker and most of the other starters dont need more reps.
 

Goin' Deep

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We're a team where a few more players on offense that gotta step up their games.
I'm talking WRS and OLine...by that I mean consistently good and not occasionally great.
I'm going to step on some feet here...but Barron concerns me on D. I don't know that he has the instincts
and talent to stay with above average D1 talent.
Purdue is a VERY solid team...on a neutral site they probably beat us 8 out of 10 times. They exposed some weak spots. I hope CUSE comes back and stomps Va. and then we get 2 weeks to mend and sharpen things up for NC State.
That game will answer alot of questions.
 

thedisciple

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Overall I'm feeling really good about this team and their prospects going forward because of how low my expectations were coming in (to be explained further down). How good I'm feeling depends on the extent to which I can convince myself that Louisville and Purdue are good teams. I've managed to convince myself that Louisville is good, and that Purdue is very good. As a result I'm feeling great about this team (with a few nagging concerns). Of all the "surprise" 3-0 teams in CFB (Kansas, Indiana, Duke, Rutgers etc.) we have played by far the hardest schedule.

Louisville returned everyone from a team that should have been at least 8-4 last year (3 pt. loss to Wake, 1 pt. loss to Virginia, 6 pt. loss to Clemson, gacked away 4th qtr lead vs. NC State). Their subsequent performances this year confirm that the SU win was no joke. They beat a UCF squad on the road that was picked 3rd in a very strong AAC, and arguably outplayed a much much improved Florida State.

Purdue returned everyone on defense and everyone but their WRs from a team that won 9 games last year, and played a Penn State team that just crushed Auburn (at their place) evenly. Even though it's a few degrees of separation Penn State's performance at Auburn greatly improved my feelings about this Syracuse team because...

The performance against Purdue was not great. We were not the better team and got lucky. SU deserves credit for coming through in the clutch, taking advantage of opportunities handed to them, and doing a lot of bending but not breaking in the first three quarters but the eye test doesn't lie. The only way to feel good about that game is if Purdue is a very good team and I think they are. They have one of the top 5-10 QBs in the country and a good veteran defense. They might be the favorite to win the B1G West.

Purdue exposed some of SU's problems and weaknesses. Tucker's lack of production continues to be very frustrating. He's looked like a good ACC RB not like one of the top 3 RBs in College football that we were expecting. Is it him or the O-line or the scheme focusing more on passing, or lack of Rhino, or an injury from the Louisville game? The offensive line is a bit underwhelming. Not only is Tucker not dominating but pass protection has been just ok. Maybe I was expecting too much from a line that brought back everyone and was great run blocking last year. The receivers continue to be mediocre at best and will have to rely on scheme rather than individual ability to get open.

Nitpicks aside I feel great about this team for the simple reason that my expectations were so low coming in and I thought the fanbase was being delusional for three main reasons. I did not think the passing could improve to the extent it has. Shrader had the arm of a Division 2 QB last year and our WR corps. was the worst in Dino's tenure. Anae and Beck have performed a miracle. I thought the young and green defensive line would be a massive problem and was shocked at the non-chalance of the staff in the off season not going all out to bring in a transfer. The D-line has massively outperformed (my at least) expectations thus far. Finally and maybe most importantly what I thought was going to be a murderers row schedule is looking much much much easier. Coming in I thought even if this team is improved no way are they eeking out 6 wins. Then we found out Notre Dame isn't that good, Clemson's offense still sucks, NC State's offense is surprisingly not very good, and Virginia and BC are even worse then we thought. Sure they can all improve but so far so good for SU.

So in summary I'm feeling fantastic about where SU is at this moment. We are 3-0 after beating two good teams we were expected to lose to. The three biggest concerns coming into the season aren't really concerns anymore (passing game, D-line, impossible schedule). Beat Virginia and Wagner like we're supposed to and we go into the bye 5-0 and able to rest up for the meat of a schedule that doesn't seem so meaty anymore.
 

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