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?