Monday, November 29, 2010

Senior Day Ends the Way Many Senior's Careers Started

The majority of Syracuse seniors entered the Carrier Dome for the first time as athletes on August 31, 2007. On that Saturday on ESPN, Syracuse got smoked by the Washington Huskies 42-12. So, after a great turnaround season that found Syracuse 7-4 heading into the final Saturday of the season, its almost fitting that the seniors who debuted in that game are going out the same way, with a disappointing loss in the Dome.

Its unfortunate it had to end like this. For many seniors this was a story book season. Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith dominated on defense. Delone Carter was running through the record books all year, passing legendary football names like Ernie Davis and Floyd Little on his way to his second 1,000 yard rushing season in a row. As a team, they turned a train-wreck of a program in to a competitive and exciting team to root for. After losing 8 or more games 5 seasons in a row, these seniors helped bring the Orangemen to the cusp of the Top-25 and gave Syracuse their first bowl eligible season since 2004.

They started the season 6-2, however stumbled down the stretch when the injuries starting mounting. On the last Saturday of the season, Syracuse hosted former Big East conference member Boston College, and the Eagles showed the Orangemen what they've been up to the last few years. Boston College ran through Syracuse in the 2nd half en route to a 16-7 victory on the road. The loss gives Syracuse a final record of 7-5, losing 3 of their last 4 games of the season.

Syracuse's defense stood as strong as it could in the first half, as the offense did not give them too much time on the sidelines to rest. The Orangemen held B.C. to just two field goals in the first half, however were unable to get anything going offensively. Syracuse entered the locker room down 6-0.

The second half started out promising for the Orangemen. They went on an 80 yard, 5:21 second drive that was capped off with a 6-yard touchdown run by Antwon Bailey to give Syracuse a 7-6 lead. Unfortunately for Syracuse, Andre Williams was about to take the field for the first time in the 2nd half. And he would not disappoint the Eagles faithful.

Boston College would score just 4:49 later on a 1-yard touchdown run by true freshman Andre Williams to give the Eagles a 13-9 lead. They would not look back. Williams finished with 185 yards on 42 carries, and was absolutely unstoppable for the Syracuse defense in the second half. Perhaps the defense was worn down after playing much of the first half, but either way they were unable to tackle the behemoth that is Andre Williams.

Delone Carter was forced out of the game in the first half with some sort of undisclosed injury, and Antwon Bailey took over the rushing efforts for the Orangemen, finishing with 72 yards on 18 carries. Carter rushed 6 times for 30 yards. Ryan Nassib completed 15 of his 24 passing attempts for 147 yards and zero touchdowns with 1 interception. Marcus Sales, once forgotten receiver, lead the Orangemen for the 3rd week in a row with 5 catches for 73 yards.

With that, the Syracuse Orangemen 2010 regular season comes to a close. They finish the year 7-5 and bowl eligible. After starting the season 6-2, Syracuse closed out the campaign with a very disappointing 1-3 record. However, a win in a bowl game will erase those feelings of angst. We find out where and when Syracuse will be playing their bowl game on December 5th, so be sure to check in with The Cuse Connection for a full breakdown of the bowl decision.

It's been a memorable season for the Orangemen, one that this fan won't soon forget. Thanks to the players, the coaches, and the fans who made it out to the games.

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