The Downside - Florida State |

The Downside - Florida State


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
- I was not surprised by the result of this game. I wish I was. These two teams were obviously going in opposite directions. Our team is decimated by injuries to key players and a shell of the team that went 6-0. Mike Norvell brought in a slew of transfers that upgraded Florida State’s talent level and those players have figured it out as the season has progressed and they are looking like the old Florida State, having now won their last three games by a combined 128-22. The formula for defeat was absolutely predictable: We could neither run nor pass the ball effectively and had three and out after three and out while our heavily compromised defense, (Ja’Had Carter, who had taken over for Garrett Williams and the leader of the secondary was helped off the field, not under his own power) played valiantly but got worn down. The question now is: can Syracuse ever come to resemble the 6-0 team again this year? The specter of 6-7 is blinding.

- I have to wonder: If Dino wanted to do what Norvell did and bolster his line-up with a truckload of talented transfers, would we even have the capability to do that. We’re not Florida State. What role would NIL play in that? Do we have the scholarships available? (11 guys were introduced before the gamer as if it’s their last home game.)

- Also, is a 12 game season just too long for a school like Syracuse. It’s not just Dino who has a lousy November record: we’re 10-29 since we joined the ACC and are working our 6th winless November. In Jim Brown’s day, we played 8 game seasons. When I was growing up in the 60’s, it was 10 games, then 11. Maybe 12 is too much against this level off competition. I suppose the answer lies in the fact that our problems this year started before the 8th game.

- Garret Shrader played all but the last 3 minutes, but he’s far from healthy. His lower legs were heavily taped and he couldn’t get the thrust off his back foot to throw accurate sideline passes. He couldn’t run as he normally can and went into a slide on one play where he’d fooled the defense with a quarterback draw after he’d gotten the first down. There were just two defenders out ahead of him, neither anywhere near him. Last year’s Shrader would have split the distance between them and maybe taken it all the way but this year’s version didn’t even think to try it. They ran the counter play to Tucker where Shrader makes the seal block on the outside that’s been successful for us but this time Shrader wasn’t able to get outside his man and Tucker got tackled for a modest game. A good block and he would have been off to the races.

- Which brings up the question of why did Dino wait until there were three minutes left in a game that had been long decided to go to Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and give him some more experience while sparing Shrader further punishment? I would have put CDRW in after it was 3-31, as it was obvious Shrader had no potential to mount a come-back. It made no sense.

- Also making no sense was the failure to call a time out at the end of the game when we had the ball on their one yard line, second down and 37 seconds left. We had two time outs. There is a difference between 3-38 and 10-38 when you haven’t scored int wo weeks and the second teamers had drive 65 yard in three minutes to get to that point, the first life the SU offense had shown since we kicked a field goal in the first half. Why not give the kids a chance to score? I’m sure they wanted to. On the “Upside” I’ll say that the players never quit. But their coach did.

- Penalties reared their ugly head again. We had 10 of them for 72 yards. The yards were as bad as the timing. They tended to come early in possessions, getting us “off schedule” or negating some of the few good plays we had. Of course, they may have helped to create those plays but too many of them were of the 5 yard variety – mental mistakes.

- We were 1 for 11 on third down conversions. Part of that was Shrader’s poor passing and inability to run. But we had 3rd and 4, 3rd and 10, 3rd and 4, 3rd and 10, 3rd and 11, 3rd and 16, 3rd and 8, 3rd and 16, 3rd and 10, 3rd and 6 and 3rd and 9, an average of 3rd and 9. The problem was on first and second down.

- Oronde Gadsden now has 1 catch in two games, and several drops. He seems bored. And if he’s board, I wonder how the other receivers feel.

- I’ve always heard that punt returners are taught to stand on the 10 yards line and if they’d have to back up to catch the ball, they let it go as it’s likely headed for the end zone. If you can stand there and catch it or move forward to do so, then go ahead and catch it. Trebor pena seems not to have heard about that.

- The defense continues to perform valiantly but there were more missed tackles than we have been used to this year. I credit Florida State with some of that – they have nifty runners and receivers and one guy gave Jeremiah Wilson a straight arm Jim Brown would have admired. But a lot of it is fatigue and playing hurt – and being on the field for 2/3 of games. People bemoan our terrible rushing defense but we’ve played some team that run the football well and the defenders have gotten no help at all from the offense. The defense has actually had many more injuries than the offense but it’s the offense that has collapsed.

- The teams’ still playing hard but they’ve lost their mojo. They don’t tear into the game and the other team like that 6-0 bunch did. Injuries and losses have deprived them of their confidence. If we could squeeze out a win, it might turn things around, but how do we do that?

- Jared Verse has played two games in the Dome. In both an over-matched team got blown out, one despite his efforts and one because of them. He could have been playing for us today but if he’d come here, he’d probably be injured, too.

- The time to beat Florida State was 2017 when they went 7-6, 2018 when they went 5-7, 2019 when they went 6-7, 2020 when they went 3-6, or 2021 5-7. But that’s over they aren’t the Semi-noles anymore. They are the NOLES again. We did beat them 30-0 in 2018 and didn’t get to play them in 2020. The other games were 24-27, 17-35 and 30-33. The door slammed shut today.

- Way to empty the place for the Senior Walk…


It’s time to kick names and take ass
Aug 31, 2011
I counted two fair catches at/near our own five yard line. I stopped watching in the fourth so maybe there were more. How was that not corrected after the first one? Did we really hire a special teams coach?


Walk On
Nov 13, 2019
You are on target with your comments. If they weren't going to try to score why not just take a knee and kill the clock. Now we've gone two games without a TD.


Suds Peddlar
Jan 25, 2013
Gadsden III will be in the transfer portal when the season is over. Too good to waste his time playing for Dino.

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