Why is the Orange creating more questions than solutions this late in the season?
This is the low point of the Doug Marrone Era. Forget the 4-8 first season, the brutal home losses last year or many other tough moments. On Senior Day, after 15 days off to stew on a three-game losing streak, Syracuse was embarrassed by a guy named Munchie and yet another unproven quarterback running all over it. The final score of 30-13 doesn’t even begin to describe how much of a blowout it actually was.
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Dougie seems to have lost at least some of his grip on the team. Like the team’s play on the field, Marrone’s postgame comments reflected defeat as well. The pain was evident on his face during his now famous words.
“I guarantee you don’t have any idea how I feel and how I’ve been feeling. I can’t believe I’ve disappointed the fans, the people, everyone. It’s my responsibility and that’s why I don’t think people can understand.”
It’s hard to believe. Just five weeks earlier, The Dougie proudly stood at that very podium with his team 5-2 and coming off a blowout win against a ranked West Virginia team on national television. It has all come crashing down for the Orange in every possible way. From Ryan Nassib’s regression, to a rash of injuries, lethargic losses, the suspension and possible defection of Phillip Thomas, the team has collapsed.
The loss to Cincinnati personified so many of Syracuse’s problems. The Orange once again failed to tackle as Isiah Pead made several defenders miss seemingly every play. To highlight the special teams woes, Pead also gained more yardage on punt returns in one afternoon than Syracuse has all year. The aerial attack was completely ineffective despite playing one of the worst pass defenses in the country. Worst of all was seeing yet another middling quarterback succeed against SU, this time Jordan Luallen.
It’s impossible to believe Syracuse would quit on Senior Day, but it was far from SU’s best effort. The Orange seemed to be going through the motions and accepting defeat by the 2nd half, even while Cincy continually tried to let SU back in the game.
An Orange team with potentially just one game left in the season will likely be left home from the bowl party. And it’s sickening how many pieces seem to be broken at this point of the season. Good teams are finding solutions after 11 games, not creating problems. Marrone:
“We have a lot of issues right now.”
That may be an understatement as the season has seemingly slipped away from this team. SU has one final chance to salvage its season, but it seems as though the Orange is destined to be home for bowl season.
Posted: Alex Plavin