The Downside | Syracusefan.com

The Downside

SWC75

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- It started with a fumble and ended with one, with three interceptions and two blocked kicks in between. We also gave up five first downs on penalties. How we even stayed in the game with so many errors is hard to figure. What really hurt is that the plays involved guys we normally rely on to make good plays- Antwon Bailey, Ryan Nassib, Ross Krautman.

- The whole game was hard to watch but the third quarter was agony. First we score to make it 13-3 but the extra point is blocked, (which didn’t prevent the student section from starting a ‘wave’ - never start the wave after something bad happens). Then we get an interception at the RU 31. A beautiful chance to blow the game open. Krautman misses a 39 yard field goal. Rutgers goes back to punt 4th and 19 from their ten yard line. Our guy gets near the kicker who makes sure to fall over him to get the call and a Rutgers first down. We recover a fumble after a sack at the RU 16. Nassib throws a slant that gets tipped and picked off in the end zone. Philip Thomas jumps Sanu’s route and has the ball right into his hands as he motors toward the goal line- and inexplicably drops the ball. We never do score again in regulation.

- One the Rutgers touchdown, Mohammed Sanu, the nation’s leading pass receiver was being guarded by Deon Goggins, our nose tackle. I’d type that again for emphasis but I don’t feel like it.

- Maybe someday they’ll admit that having Antwon Bailey run up the middle for 1-2 yards on first down doesn’t really set up anything except a punt. This is a passing team that sets up the run with the pass, not the other way around. Nassib is at his best when we are in “attack” mode- where every play is designed to be successful now. You don’t waste a play to set up a play that might work later. The Dome was as electric as I’ve seen in years after Davis’s monster hit and Anderson’s fumble return. All that excitement and momentum just went down the drain as we “stuck to the game plan”. We wound up with one offensive touchdown and that was in the second half. Dick Vermiel said it best: the St. Louis Rams got their Super Bowl winning offense going when Dick and Mike Martz were trying to figure out when to use their best plays and Martz suggested they use them all the time. That’s the spirit!

- Earlier this season Nassib completed 22 passes in a row. Excepting some “victory formation” plays at the end of the Rhode Island game, SU passed on 23 of 35 plays in that stretch, (counting a play where Nassib was sacked as a passing play). That’s 2/3 of the time. Nassib at the time was 60 for 76 on the season (.789). Since then we’ve passed 82 times and run 88 times and Nassib Is 44 for 81, (54.3%). Ryan needs a rhythm to be at his best.

- Last week we won the toss, deferred to the second half and gave up a 21 play 10 minute scoring drive. This week Rutgers won the toss, deferred to the second half and we fumbled on the first play.

- Shane Raupers? Why?

- Rutgers returned kickoffs right up the middle and would get to the 35-40 yard line. Why can’t we block for Kobena? And why don’t we have Graham back even with him so he could get some of the action. He’s really our best returner. I’d like him returning punts, too.

- We’d won 7 games in a row decided by a touchdown or less. Today showed what happens when you keep playing games like that.

- Watching Rutgers celebrate in the Dome is tough to watch. This might be our last game vs. Rutgers as members of the same conference. We though we’d turned the series back around but Greg Schiano, RutgersAl and the rest of the Scarlet Knights have big smiles on their faces. as they go back to the Garden State. No frost there.

- There's been some tough losses but the last time I drove home from a football game at the Dome feeling like this was the 1985 Penn State game when, after 15 straight losses to our biggest rvial, we fumbled while trying to run out the clock and gave up a quick TD to lose it. Sand in your fingers.
 
On the Sanu TD you could see Thomas trying move Davis into the right position and Davis blitzed and Sanu went open.
 
SWC75 in your humble opinion - was anyone on the O-Line a primary cause to the loss? I'm not naming names but this group was supposed to shine this year.
 
-Our guy gets near the kicker who makes sure to fall over him to get the call and a Rutgers first down. .
They never showed the replay of this. Is there even a running into the kicker 5 yard penalty anymore in college football? Seriously, I can't remember the last time I've seen that called. It's ALWAYS called a persoanl foul automatic first down.
 
SWC75 in your humble opinion - was anyone on the O-Line a primary cause to the loss? I'm not naming names but this group was supposed to shine this year.

I think the line has improved as the season went along and was fine tonight. They kept the safety in, knowing that we'd keep running it on first down. They pressured Nassib some but it wasn't a major problem. Bad calls by Hackett and bad plays by Nassib, Nailey and Krautman doomed us.
 

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