Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And now we're gonna party like its 2003!!!


YES! The Syracuse University football team has done it! For the first time since the 49-47 double overtime victory at chapel hill in the fall of 2003 the orangemen have opened their football season with a VICTORY. The quarterback on that day was RJ Anderson, on this day we had first time starter Ryan Nassib under center. I for one liked what I saw for the most part, but he needs improvement if he wants to win any games in the Big East.

Syracuse lost the coin toss but for some reason akron deferred possession to the 2nd half. Syracuse promptly took the ball downfield led by Ryan Nassib and eventually connected on a 23 yard pass to Aaron Weaver (hofstra transfer), who picked up some YACs and ran it into the endzone for a 7-0 cuse lead. They would never look back.

First impressions of weaver: damn that kid is big!! and he's fast too! watching him cut across the middle of the field finding open space was a welcome change to the dropped passes and 6 yard screens that go nowhere we've grown accustomed to. Cuse fans should look for him on gameday #87 and expect to see him as a primary target for Nassib. He's 6'3" and he has some hands (picked up a nassib fumble on the 2nd drive of the game). Welcome to the team!

Another WR that I was impressed with was Van Chew (#82). 3 catches for 79 yards and a TD. His TD catch was a beautiful diving snag in the endzone to end the 1st half.

As for the return of Delone Carter, he picked up 91 yards on 26 carries and a 1 yard TD run. He ran strong but I think we all would like to see some big yardage plays from him against a weak opponent like Akron. He didn't participate in spring practice due to some off the field issues (something involving a snowball???) so maybe he was just getting the rust off..

Antwon Bailey had himself a nice day as well. 9 rushes for 55 yards and 4 catches for 30 yards gave him 85 yards on the day. Frankly, I would have liked to have seen more of him in the 1st half. Delone Carter runs hard and gets the yardage but it'd be a nice change of pace to bring Bailey in for a few more touches early. Maybe thats something Marrone can look for later in the season. Bailey opened the 2nd half for cuse with a 24 yard reverse and punished Akron's defense, even going as far as to make #49 cry at one point!!

It wasn't all pretty for the cuse though. Botched extra points!? unacceptable!! mike holmes' punt returning? AWFUL! honestly i think mike holmes is afraid of catching punts. He looked scared out there when the ball was coming down and could have turned the ball over 3 times himself if not for some fortunate bounces. Another area of weakness was the offensive line. They have GOT to do a better job of protecting nassib, if they can't stop akron's pressure than how can we expect them to block defenders against stronger big east teams?

The defense was as good as I've seen it in a long time. Akron was held to 3 points all night. Those 3 points came after a nassib fumble at his own 18 yard line and the Cuse D held the Zips to 3 points. Way to respond! the zips had 166 yards of total offense. The run D picked up where it left off last season, limiting the zips to 55 yards, and even the defensive backs who have been the weakest link on the su team for sometime, held akron to only 1 big play. As long as they can limit the big plays, the deep passes, then this team can be successful.

My critique for Ryan Nassib is this : put some damn arc on your passes bro! yes, you have a cannon, but you cant just throw the ball through cornerbacks and safetys! you have to throw it over them and lead your receiver downfield. if he had done that we would have seen at least 5 more completions for nassib and for big yardage. you can't just throw the ball on a straight line like you're brett farve and expect to complete passes. Syracuse ran the option 1 time in this game, and frankly he could have done a better job selling the run. He has the legs and he can make defenses pay for not paying attention to his scramble but he has to sell it better. Overall I was impressed with Nassib's play, he just needs to put a little more touch on the football!

This week we travel to Washington to play Jake Locker and the Huskies. The defense is going to need a HUGE game if we want to win. Especially since the huskies are 0-1 after a loss to BYU this week they will look to avenge that at their home opener. Jake Locker is an early heisman candidate and some "experts" say he could be the first QB taken in the 2011 NFL draft. Cuse best be up for the challenge!!

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