For all of the cheerleading this site does for The Dougie, right now The Fizz is aggravated. We sprung into action when Marrone was looking for support, designed t-shirts to wave the SU flag, and been writing love sonnets to him on this site. This is now back-t0-back losses against inferior competition that probably coughed away any chance at the conference – not one of his finer moments.
UConn this season is awful. Truly pitiful. This is a program which has lost to Iowa State and Vanderbilt. A school with a quarterback discovered by throwing footballs into baskets on YouTube. A team that has lost to… (throwing up)… Western Michigan. I was in East Hartford at this game. I sat among the unwashed Husky fans in their XXXL sweatpants. I digested this up close. UConn has almost no talent. Coach P inherited a Patriot League-type roster.
Yeah, the Orange is susceptible to the emotional let down. We’ve gone over this before. Big win followed by bad loss. But that was the excuse last week. SU didn’t know how to handle prosperity after the West Virginia victory. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fly with this one. Syracuse should’ve been appropriately humbled by the loss at Louisville. SU should’ve had no problem looking for redemption for its pot hole stumble. Motivation should’ve been shoveled into the Orange locker room by the ton.
Instead, it was a lousy ‘Cuse effort, made worse by Coach P on the other sideline. The entire afternoon I was surrounded by UConn fans making fun of Pasqualoni, sarcastically asking me, “You want him back?.” Driving home from the game, I streamed The Dougie’s postgame comments on the Score 1260 with Brian Barrett and The Fizz’s own Alex Plavin. I might be wrong, but I believe I heard Marrone explain the putrid first half offense by suggesting the Orange didn’t have a lot of offensive plays. Well, who’s fault is that? You’re handed FIVE turnovers in thirty minutes by UConn and come away with seven points?
Here’s the end result of the Orange’s first half drives: Fumble, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, touchdown, punt, missed field goal. That’s Groobers Error stuff. Put plenty of this blame on the players. Ryan Nassib was incredibly impotent, gobbling tight end check-downs like Mike n’ Ikes. Punts continually sailed out of bounds far too soon, giving UConn solid field position all day. The defense seemed stunned when Scott McCummings ran draw after QB draw. But if we applaud Marrone daily for turning around this program, he deserves criticism after a loss like this. A season that just two weeks ago looked primed for a run toward the BCS is now in danger of missing a bowl altogether with two ugly losses. SU needs to find at least one win in the Pitt, Cincinnati, USF final three. That’s anything but a given.
The educated guess here is SU finds that victory and heads to the postseason. But this was a flashback Saturday to a not so distant time when Syracuse football was unwatchable and pessimism was at an all-time high. No one expected Syracuse to be a top 15 team, but two straight embarrassing losses makes you reconsider if reality is in line with our optimism. It’s interesting the Big East is absorbing a slew of C-USA programs right now, because SU played like one today.