Knee-Jerk Reaction: Syracuse Football Loses Again, 17-10 at Minnesota

The Orange lost this game with a 2nd-and-goal in the 3rd quarter.

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Syracuse loses 17-10 at Minnesota, here’s The Fizz’s knee-jerk reaction:

  • Let’s face it, the game was lost on 2nd and goal from the 1-yard line late in the 3rd quarter. Back-to-back pass interference calls led to a 1st-and-goal on the 1, as the Orange trailed 14-3. Jerome Smith was stopped on first down for no gain on what appeared to be a trap play. On 2nd-and-goal, Nate Hackett called for an indefensible pitch wide left for Smith. Jerome is a grinder, he will never be the fastest to the edge. The Gophers defense easily beat him to the outside and left him with a loss of three. The Orange would have 3rd-and-goal from the 4, needing a touchdown. SU elected to throw and ended up with a sack-deflection-INT which gave the ball back to Minnesota.
  • It’s normally impossible to pin a loss on one play in the 3rd quarter, but stringing Smith wide was ridiculous. That’s not his game. And on a drive that had to end in a TD, the Orange backed itself up three and made 3rd down a passing down. A FG there cuts it to an 8-point lead, and still one possession ties things up. But over thinking (or under thinking) the situation is pathetic. You push ahead for a yard on both 2nd and 3rd downs. It needed to be a 14-10 game at that point. No excuses.
  • SU was an atrocious 4-13 on third down. While the Gophers were not much better (6-15), the Orange has got to be more efficient when it matters. This is a good offense when the play-calling is not horrid. Needed to make it happen.
  • Once again penalties and turnovers cost SU the game. The Fizz has already cited the INT previously. The Orange committed four TOs, and 10 penalties. The Gophers had zero turnovers and 8 penalties. Minnesota was also playing at h0me. Guess who’s gonna win that battle? How can a Doug Marrone program be so disciplined when creating a structure and developing recruiting bonds, yet so undisciplined when playing the actual games?
  • This is a bad trend for Marrone. The Orange seems to shoot itself in the foot continuously, especially with needless turnovers. All Doug does is preach accountability, yet this team never seems to be mindful of it during games. Inexplicable. You can definitely argue now that SU lacks decent Xs and Os on a weekly basis.
  • The Big East becomes a track meet. At 1-3, the Orange needs to finish 5-3 the rest of the way to get that elusive bowl appearance. Assuming SU loses at Missouri, the Orange must go 5-2 in the Big East. Is that even possible with the inconsistency of this program? Tall task for SU. It’s a sprint, and the Orange needs to begin against Pitt in two weeks. A loss to the Panthers makes the climb nearly impossible. Can SU go 5-1 after that game in conference?

Posted: D.A.

35 Comments on this Post

  1. I have been an SU fan for over 50 yrs, minus the horrible coach (which I will not name and should be scratched from modern history), The football team seems to be regressing. I agree with some of the blogs that the play calling at certain times is not very good but the team is lacking ‘fight’. Do you want to win? Are you going to get mean enough to win? What ever happened to that top 10 defense or is Schafer regresses to his Michigan years. Its nice to have an explosive offense but defense wins games no matter what level your playing. the Minnesota game should have been a shutout or close to it. What gives?

  2. smitty section 129

    Vert disgusted inright section 129. I thoughtknow this team was better then this. Everytime they showed Marrone he looked like he was just in disbelief to what is going on. Looks like the losing is really to getting to him. I totally agree with everything printed above. 2nd and goal from the inch line are you kidding me running a sweep with your slowest back. How about a qb sneak, even putting broyld behind center I guarantee he can sneak for two inches. I thought the defense played well overall and the offense just turned the ball over two much. Kobena please return we need you on the kickoffs. This was the first game I noticed how much we need Pugh back. Alexander had a tough time. When Reddish returns how about finally starting Morgan. I’m sorry but every week teams are throwing at K. Lyn and he misses alot of tackles. While watching this game an interesting point was made the two best players on this team, sales and nassib were robinson(worst coach ever) recruits.

  3. We have 21 seniors left on this team that were GROBS recruits. They’ve never won and in their mind belief that they probably can’t win against an inferior team like Minnesota. What ever the reason is for any team to have the talent that Syracuse has and play the way they did,THERE’S JUST NO EXCUSE FOR IT. NO EXCUSE.

    Maybe it’s time for Nancy Cantor to spend some of that $1 billion the school has collected and get some coaches in here that knows how and wants to win ball games. Syracuse should fire the offensive and defensive coordinators to start. And as far as Coach Marrone goes(I have a ton of respect for him)if he can’t handle the job and get more aggressive maybe it’s time for him to go too.

    In closing,the game last night was downright PATHETIC. Such a poor showing from a university that has sooo much talent on it.

  4. @Russell MacEachern; Just letting you know that I’m changing my prediction from a 9-3 year to I DON’T WHAT ANYMORE.

    And I thought I’s never be saying this but maybe Terry might be right. Coaching changes are needed immediately. Let’s start with the offensive and defensive coordinators and see where that gets us.

  5. Hacket is the biggest hot/cold play caller i’ve seen. Cuse needed tgis game to have any hope of keeping community interest. I expect small crowds st the dome the remainder of the year. What a shame.. 1-3. They deserve better with a 5th year qb.

  6. i feel the offense clearly lossed this game for us last night. i am pleased with the defensive effort though. listen the defense was on the field way too long (about 98% of the time). i know i’d be tired to. you can’t win football games without getting in the endzone period. offensive coordinator needs to really get his playcalling better or he has to go. our offense was way way to inconsistant. the offense really needs to not play like this again or were in big trouble. i love syracuse football and have been a fan for over 20 years but i have never seen us play such sh&&ty offense like that in a while. offense needs to figure it out.

  7. I was called into work last night and rushed home only to see the last quarter of play. Listening to it on radio I didn’t hear Marcus Sales name mentioned hardly at all and I didn’t hear Ashton Broylds name called either. What about the tight ends,did they even play last night? Where was that hurry-up offense that averaged 86 offensive plays per game that were used in the first three games of the season that kept the opposing offenses off of the field? WHERE WAS ANY OF THAT?

    This team has the studs on it to produce touchdowns. If the damn upper class-men don’t want to win games then put the youngsters in and give them experience so in another year we can have a chance to start winning ball games.

    I’m disappointed because I just don’t understand the play calling. Inches 1st and goal and Syracuse couldn’t cross the DAMN GOAL LINE. That’s embarrassing.

  8. Guys do you really think we have tons of talent and offensive weapons? IMO the difference between being good and ordinary is doing it on a consistent basis. I can hit a decent golf shot every now and again but that does not make me a good golfer. Our guys are by and large ordinary D-1 players, and the coaching staff is not doing a good enough job getting them in position to consistently make plays. Yeah our injuries have hurt us but that happens to every team and is no excuse. ‘Cuse does not have the talent, coaching or otherwise, to be consistently good. It’s that simple.

  9. saltine44

    As many SU fans, Ive been extremely patient due to the situation that GROB put our program under but last night really showed that changes need to be made. Marcus Sales was irrelevant in first half, Ashton Broyld should have been given the rock on 2nd and Goal and we continued to run the ball on 1st & 2nd down, then put our offense in 3rd and long situations – obvious by the stat sheet that we didnt succeed with this.
    I do think Marrone is a good coach based on special team improvements over the last week but he should hand special teams over to Nate H. and take over the offense himself. Defense is talented and had a few crazy ref calls against them last night – 2 pass interference calls that were obviously home cooking. another point that should be made, if HCDM is fired what happens to guys like Zack Allen that we are so much in need of to get this program back on track…..I remember losing Ray Rice to Rutgers due to coaching changes and we dont need that again. I do believe Marrone is the right guy but should be spending some time with Sean Payton to get idea on coaching in game situations. Last I remember Sean had some time on his hands. Forever Orange!

  10. I’m with you guys here. How is Sales not part of the action? How is Broyld still a spectator at this point in the season on so many important plays (I realize he had the fumble last night). The defense was solid, kept the Orange in this game. But how do we keep accounting for so many self inflicted wounds from a program that preaches accountability?

  11. P.K. Jones

    Well i hate to say it …. but 1 win in the last 9 is poor coaching .

    The players are playing erratic due to the erratic coaches . Just like a dog reflects it’s owner’s traits , so does the team .

    I cannot blame the players any longer , when it’s clearly coaching mistakes .

    If you want a ‘big-time’ program you have to start with the foundation . And that foundation is a ‘big-name’ coach .

    But i do wish the team well the rest of this year , because it’s far from over . The players play their as*es off , and i’ve witnessed so many questionable coaching calls , it makes me scratch all of hair out trying figure out why .

    P.S. I’m almost bald , and it’s only 4 games in !

  12. We now have a lot of very talented players. The kids know it, the coaches know it and opponents know it. So what gives? Foolish Penalties. Poor coaching calls. Mediocre tackling. With BE play about to start, we shall see very soon if this patter continues.

  13. now it seems like we are all just waiting for basketball season again. this year was supposed be different though; 5th year quarterback, a slew of targets for him, and a defense with great depth. despite all of that the orange are 1-3, with that 1 coming from fcs stony brook. the main problem that i am seeing is playcalling. i mean consistently using the rb’s in situations that are opposing their strengths has too be a joke. and in spite of constant arm tackling the defense has played ok, although not shutting teams down until there in plus territory.

  14. like i said looks like its starting again… just waiting for basketball to start again

  15. The crazy thing about this team… They could still run the table in big east. I’m just say’n.

  16. Roody, how do you figure this season was supposed to be different? Before the season started, 2-2 headed into bigeast play was widely considered a success, we have the toughest out of conference schedule in the FBS.
    Ive never been a Marrone fan, but he has gotten the players that are producing. In spite of his coordinaters mainly Hackett. Hell where was all of the PTG screen passes of the last three weeks? Play calling is our biggest problem. We had 4 to’s and still could have won the game, playcalling, playcalling, playcalling…. ridiculous.

  17. PersonalBias

    Pregame preparation was poor. Minn’s 4 man front was burdensome and disruptive. Everytime SU rushes three we get burned, but they continue to do it. O’line mad no obvious adjustments in 2nd half and SU’s defense kept them in the ballgame. Play calling blew, over guessing himself poor calls at wrong time, false starts at key times, I don’t like to give up on the Cuse, but the lack of fight was disheartening as was what appeared to me poor pre-game preparation.

  18. Russell MacEachern

    @Ron,I had to get away from the Cuse board for the day and watch some pro (Jets) ball!After I saw Dippers post i could’nt hold back any longer,I could’nt deny it…they’ve been bad except in spurts!!I would be a fraud if I kept denying it!!Id hate to call for a head coach change but mostly for the recruiting consequence’s,not cause I think the Dougie is doing an adequate job!!We could still get to a bowl so I’ll try and hold my tongue untill we see how it shakes out!I say 6-6 or bust for now!what do you [email protected],you too?Don’t be afraid to speak the truth guys…no one will hold it against you!

  19. Russell MacEachern

    @Ron,ur right about one thing,at the least we need a top notch OCer on this team next yr!

  20. Unfortunately (fortunately?), I couldn’t watch the game thanks to the bar I went to for UFC lying about having the Big 10 network, but from what I’ve filled in from the reports, box scores, comments and blogs, this was an awful affair. Here’s my two cents…

    I was saying last year that they need to get rid of Hackett. First couple games this season I ate my words because it looked like he was getting creative and opening up the offense more, but now we’re back to the same old crap.

    I don’t know how you can be an offensive coordinator with this offense and not know that you need to be slinging the ball downfield 70% of the time, even if it’s only 5-15 yards down field. Passing into the flat doesn’t work anymore, if it ever did, because defenses know to key on it when you do it as much as this team does.

    We don’t have a quality back that can establish the run without spreading the defense out a bit with the pass. It sounds stupid, but this is a team that almost needs to establish the passing game to open up the running game. That’s where we’re strongest and the coaches need to fight the urge to go back to what we’ve done in past seasons because the personel is different.

    I’d love to see them go 4 and 5 wide now and then… maybe mix in some jumbo sets just to keep defenses guessing. Also, we have the perfect set of players to run a triple option… just saying. Anyways, Hackett sucks at play calling. I’m going to stick with that until he proves me wrong.

    Why the hell does Nassib have more carries (according to the box score) than any of our running backs? It’s not what he does (as illustrated by the 1 yrd/carry avg).

    The post game pressers were depressing. Marrone saying “we got to keep the team believing” was simply not believable given his tone, body language, and saddy dumpington slouch over the podium. If you want this team to believe, bounce back! Get fired up! Or be pissed off, whatever… just don’t mope.

    Accountability… I don’t think it’s there. They talk about it, and have since last year, but one thing I noticed starting with the losing streak last year is Marrone would say stuff like “it starts with me,” “I have to do a better job,” etc, etc… at what point will he finally say someone effed up? Our guys need to do better? …I just want to know that he sits his team down after a game like this and rips into them the way our high school coaches ripped into us.

    Also, I want to know they get punished for every penalty they make. In high school, we had to run a set of sprints on Mondays for every penalty we committed during the game. It really makes you reflect on who screwed up (if it’s you, it sucks. If it’s another guy, you make sure you break his balls for making you run). If we had a great game, we were rewarded with an easy day on Monday (few sprints) and would go in and study film and talk about corrections and game plan for the coming week.

    I used to believe that Marrone is a discipline and fundamentals kind of guy, but that’s not what his team is demonstrating. Too many mental errors. They should do nothing but drill the fundamentals over the bye. Also, we can’t get Pugh back fast enough. Getting Alexander off the field should reduce our penalties significantly all by itself.

    I still think this team can be good. They need to make some adjustments, but the only coaching changes I would make is to get a new offensive coordinator in there and get a dedicated special teams coach. Shafer is doing great with the talent he has. If the defense gets beat, it’s usually a result of inexperience in the secondary… I can live with that because you know it’s something that will get better with experience and the defense keeps the game under control otherwise to give the offense a chance to win. But you can’t leave the defense on the field for that long and expect them to play lights out.

    Also, some of these interceptions have to be on Nassib. At first I thought West just let it bobble off his hands, but it bounced really high in the air. If Nassib put a bit more touch on it that ball doesn’t get the airtime needed to get picked off. He’s a great quarterback, but they need to drill him on putting some touch on those passes.

    Let’s hope they get things together over the bye. I’ll be at the Pitt game, which may be the only game I get back home for, so hopefully it’s a good one. I expected a good crowd for this one, but with the fans we have, they’ll probably stay home because of this loss. I hope not though… this team wins when the Dome is rocking.

    Go ‘cuse!

  21. Fellas, it all comes down to this . . . turnovers. In every one of our ‘should haver won that game’… games – it’s been the TO’s that have absolutely killed us. This team is solid at almost every position. Heck we had 700 yards of offense vs Northwestern and lost (turnovers). We had more overall yardage vs USC (which happened to be the #2 team in the country) and lost (turnovers). And we lost by 1 TD to Minnesota even after turning the ball over 4 times(!) – (turnovers). Reduce the TO’s in half and this team is easily 3-1 at this point. In addition play calling has been suspect at times. The ‘sweep’ to Smith was ridiculous and putting Broyld in vs USC with pour field position was not good. All that being said, they have the ability to turn it around and go 5-3 over the next 8 games to finish 6-6 and get into a bowl.

  22. Hey the count down till midnight madness is on! I’m not going to call anymore scores. ‘Cuse should have killed minny. This team is an embarrassment. Nothing else to really say.

  23. Couple things i forgot…. Even Central Michigan can find a way to beat a mediocre big10 team. I also said this team was undisciplined and it started /w coaching. I got torn up in the NW post by alot of you over that. Well 4weeks in i look pretty dam smart.

  24. Russell MacEachern

    Carlton,I didnt like the way the board treated you for ur observations then and its good to get this built up frustration out!I basically agreed with u then but tried to hold my tongue…losing to Minny was my last straw and I thought I had to speak up!Im glad Dipper put the question to me about the state of affairs of the post Minny state of SU football!!..Its good to see the fans speak openly w/o being chastised!We just can’t expect people to get pizzed on and tell them its only raining!I hope thats not to crude!

  25. It seems to me that these guys are regressing instead of progressing. Let me explain,the first day GRob got on campus and held a team meeting and told the players what he wanted out of the team all of the upper class-men stood up and just about told him to go to hell. That season it showed on the field, I don’t think we won a game that year. I was telling everyone that there had to be a lot of in house fighting on the team and when spring practice came around the following year,that’s exactly what was reported in the Post Standard.
    Let’s face it,these first four games have taken a toll on the players to the point that they’re not believing in themselves any more. Someone has to take the bull by the horns and shake the living hell out of it. I’m hoping Coach Marrone is the man to do the job.
    If there is in arguing amongst the players, then it looks like we’ve regressed back to the GROB’s first day on the job
    In a earlier post I made the statement that in order to have a good competitive team you needed a team that had cohesiveness,leadership,built friendships,and camaraderie and most of all players that played the game with heart and not a star rating system.
    Gentlemen I honestly think at this moment in time that we don’t have a team with any of those qualities. It’s sad BECAUSE THIS TEAM IS LOADED WITH SOME GOOD PLAYERS. The coaching staff has to put the pieces together and make this team competitive.

    I really hope this happens.

  26. I had a brain freeze in my last post. I should have included CHEMISTRY,cohesiveness,leadership,build friendships,and camaraderie and most of all players that played the game with heart and not a star rating system.

  27. Russell MacEachern

    Like I said Ron,..we can still make a bowl game!!Lets see what the adjustments are by the staff and decide where we stand at seasons end!?!?Id hate to lose a whole recruiting class at this critical point in our rebuilding!If we finish 6-6 I think the base w/be placated by just a change in assistants in the OC and STs areas!

  28. What I see is a complete lack of confidence. The body language coming from the coaches is just terrible. Hard to blame the kids – they need to get their confidence from the coaching staff, especially HCDM, and I just do not get a sense that he’s instilling any in his players.

    I understand that you can’t take any game for granted, but looking back at the Stony Brook game, the players need to simply dominate their individual matchups, especially at the line of scrimmage, where we were so much bigger. Instead, I see ZERO killer instinct.

    The worst part is, we’re simply going to get our teeth kicked in playing in the ACC. As bad as it feels now, I don’t know how I’m even going to watch next year.

  29. ORangeCrush27

    I do feel that Marrone is the right guy for the job. I feel he is re-opening recruiting trails that were lost by GRob and does things the right way. I just feel that Hackett has to go. His offensive play calling has never been good, very conservative.

    This is is college football! How do teams like TCU, Boise St. and Utah go from irelevant to National Contenders? Wasnt the hook and ladder play one of a few trick play that Utah used to pound Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Ball, or Boise St. “statue of Liberty” play to upset Oklahoma in the 2007 fiesta bowl. Trickery and doing plays that are unexpected. This team isnt having fun out there. Its stale. It needs some big plays to get the team fired up. when your own goal line how about throwing a wildcat at them.

    ‘Cuse better use their only bye week wisely to prepare for conference play or not only will the fan base be rabid, but the recruiting will become scarce when it comes to top tier recruits.

  30. This is a good team. We have a great corps of running backs WR’s and TE’s. The play calling inside the RED ZONE is bad bad bad… Put in Terell Hunt and let him run the option or a naked boot leg.. How many times have we been inside the 5 yard line with a first down and have come away with nothing… Come ON we are continually messing up and why???? No creativity!!!!

  31. Hey Fizz staff instead of the four follow up posts about how everything went wrong on sat. How about some updates on Noah Vonleh. He reclassified to 13. Thanks.

  32. Russell MacEachern

    @Carlton,I don’t no what’s going on w/the team? looks like the fans are in revolt mode?Some of our best fans like Norma,CuseDontLuse and even Stringer are starting to disappear!Were gonna have to pull out a win against Pitt next friday or its gonna get even uglier!Worse for the average fan but not me is RUs renaissance with there big “Wilson-led” Arky win!Most of SUs fans blame them for all their woes but after “Cuse” or when we play them I root for them or any BE team for SOC points!watching tonights pro game?Do u know were Govenour is?I no its a small northern town and Brian Leonards from there!I guess its been quiet w/gameday gone?

  33. Russell MacEachern

    Carlton,what a fiasco in the GBay game,they got jobbed!?!?I won my fantasy league the last 2 weeks…Im 2-1 after losing my first week!….they have to get the regular officials back in the NFL!!but they want to stick it to the league…whose gonna end up paying?you and me in our cable bills!!

  34. Russell MacEachern

    Carlton,above I meant SOS or strength of schedule points,I just noticed the error!!I had conference in my mind for some reason!!

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