Bowl bound at last! Saturday’s win against Rutgers ensured Syracuse would play in a bowl game for the first time since 2004. Doug Marrone must keep his troops focused, though, because now it is time to get a little greedy. The Orange can get the Big East’s BCS bid if Pittsburgh loses its next two games against West Virginia and South Florida. It has been a crazy year in the Big East, so anything is possible.
SU must focus on winning out it if has any shot of playing under the big lights. This week, that means beating UCONN. The Huskies began the season 3-4, but two straight victories against West Virginia and Pittsburgh have kept their bowl hopes alive.
Something’s got to give…
Syracuse has not won a Big East game at home. UCONN has not won a single game on the road. I have no idea why Syracuse has played better on the road during conference play. Perhaps the players feel more pressure or are basking a little too much in their own glory thanks to the increased attention the team is getting on campus. It’s all speculation, but it would be great to see the Dome have something football-related to cheer about this week (keeping UCONN’s road losing streak alive would also be great).
Huskies’ running back Jordan Toddman is having a ridiculous season. The 147 rushing yards per game he is averaging is second in the country and first in the conference. Only Louisville has held him under 100 yards this season, but it is not a stretch to say the Orange could stifle him as well.
Syracuse’s defense has been its biggest asset this season (which is a bit unexpected considering Doug Marrone’s offensive roots, but he and Shaffer really have done a fantastic job with the D this season). SU is giving up and 297.7 total yards of offense and 128.8 rushing yards per game (ninth and 39th in the nation respectively). Then again, the Orange defense has taken steps back at home this season. If this trend stops, Toddman might have some problems this weekend.
O C’mon, Now
If there was ever a game for ‘Cuse’s offense to break out, this would be the one. The Huskies have been inconsistent on defense this year, and Temple put thirty on the board in week 3. Of course, it’s certainly not going to be easy for the injury-riddled Orange O to get something going. Its two best receivers, Alec Lemon and Van Chew, have been MIA due to injury. Expect to see more of Marcus Sales this week. The CBA alum had two big catches in the fourth quarter against Rutgers. The offensive line is also struggling to protect Nassib, who was sacked four—count ‘em four—times in Jersey.
Delone Carter will look to rebound from an “off-day,” too. Carter picked up 85 yards on the ground against a poor Rutgers rush defense last weekend.
Payback’s a…female Husky
When the Huskies blew out the Orange 56-31 last year, it seemed like Randy Edsall was running up the score. SU can get revenge this weekend by making it a little more difficult for UCONN to qualify for a bowl.
Nothing pleases Orange nation more than beating UCONN at something (well, except maybe Georgetown). Saturday, it’s the football team’s turn.
About the Author
Written by Beth Ann Clyde
I graduated from Syracuse University in 2009 and can count the number of times I witnessed the Orange win a football game on two hands.