Note to Dr. Gross and Co.: Next season Syracuse should only play on the road. After an exhilarating with against Rutgers last weekend, the Orange once again fizzled at home, falling to UCONN 26-6. Syracuse has not won a conference home game this season and will not have the opportunity to. Much to the Big East’s chagrin, SU’s next opponent, Boston College, is in the ACC.
- The offense was absolutely abysmal tonight. I have been harping on the lack of a deep threat and protection for Ryan Nassib, but the signal caller must shoulder some of the blame for the state of the offense. Quite simply, he needs to be more accurate. Tonight, Nassib was 20-36 with an interception and no touchdowns. The interception was unlucky (it was tipped), but it came at a very inopportune time. David Taggert had just missed a field goal for UCONN, and Syracuse gave it right back. Herm Edwards pointed out that Nassib throws too low and he is right. It seems like he gravitates between playing catch with me if it’s a good throw (I am 5 feet tall) and mini-me if it’s a bad one. (Tangent: I saw him in Paris and he is in fact smaller than I am. It was pretty exciting, but not nearly as awesome as seeing the cast of the Jersey Shore several times at Seaside Heights this summer. America’s trashiest sweetheart, Snooki, is also shorter than I am, BTW.) Oh…and in case youw ere counting, Syracuse has not scored a touchdown for 7 quarters. The last time SU reached the endzone was when Antwon Bailey scored a TD against UCONN.
- Penalties were an issue again for SU. The Orange committed nine for 66 yards, which negated good runs and gave UCONN better field position.
- As for Syracuse’s field position, well, it was awful no thanks to the special teams (and of course, the sloppy penalties). Syracuse allowed 60 yards on kick returns. Even the immortal Rob Long struggled tonight. Two of his punts were touchbacks and he had a few short kicks as well.
- It isn’t all bad news for the special teams. Ross Krautman accounted for all of SU’s offense today (yet again). He has made 16 straight field goals and is Big East-best 17/18 on the year. Very quietly, Krautman has put together All-Conference numbers and he is only a freshman.
- In previous home losses, the defense appeared to take a step back. Not this week. Although Jordan Todman had a good game (130 yards on 27 carries), the ‘Cuse D constantly tried to bail out the offense. Case in point: UCONN was just 2-12 on 3rd downs. Unfortunately, the offense and special teams wasted another solid performance by the SU defense.
- Say what you want about Randy Edsall (and I know we were all annoyed at how he blatantly ran up the score last year ), but he has done a very good job with the Connecticut program. For the fourth straight year, the Huskies are bowl eligible. UCONN got off to a slow start and is better than their 5-4 start indicates. If Pitt loses to West Virginia next weekend, the Huskies can actually get the BCS bid. Not bad for a team that started 3-4 and lost to Temple.
I am not sure why Syracuse has struggled so mightily at home, but the guys better figure it out this week. The Orange ends its season at home against a streaking Boston College next Saturday. We can only hope that the senior day ceremonies will inspire the SU offense. Check back for my preview later this week. For the latest news on the Orange, follow me on twitter!
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