Captain Comeback: Ryan Nassib Wakes Up SU with Fiery Speech in Tampa

Syracuse’s game-winning drive against South Florida saved the season. You’d think a 23-3 halftime deficit would have Doug Marrone fuming in the locker room. Instead it was Ryan Nassib, according to players, who took care of the motivational speech. He told his teammates if they didn’t want to show up for the 2nd half, don’t even bother going back on the field. Nassib led the Orange offense to three touchdowns right out of the break, and finished the job with an epic 75-yard drive for SU – maybe the best of his career. He finished 27/40 with 4 TD passes for 328 yards. Obviously, his halftime burst woke up his teammates. Jerome Smith tells The Fizz Nassib is a natural in that situation:

“He didn’t even look like anything bothered him. Look at him right there. He’s a cool dude. He knew he was going to come out and take care of business. For a guy that’s been through so much that he’s been through. He’s got quiet confidence and you can’t let him down.”

Nassib truly showed his fiery competitiveness in this victory. In his final season on the Hill, this is his team. From the start of the 2nd half, he came out punching and never let up. Usually quarterbacks are pre-assigned as leaders, but playing the position doesn’t necessarily mean you have those qualities. Just like point guards in basketball, just because you carry the ball up court doesn’t equate to leadership.

But Nassib not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk. He’s the leader of that offense, and proved it Saturday night with the season in the balance. The Fizz talked to Alec Lemon about Ryan’s demeanor:

“When you have a quarterback that’s calm in the huddle you know everyone else is calm and ready to roll, and it wasn’t just that drive, you know. That whole game he was on it.”

SU’s key for the rest of the season is mental toughness and leadership. The Orange needs to find two more wins for bowl eligibility, and as we found out last year, there are no guarantees. In ’11, the Orange handed #11-ranked WVU an unexpected thrashing at the Dome. But it was a steady 5-game slide that followed. Saturday’s win in Tampa cannot set up another dreadful ending to the season. It’ll take Nassib and the rest of that’s locker room’s leaders to keep this team focused on finishing the job.

One of The Fizz’s top questions heading into the season was just how much of a leader Nassib would be? A week before the opener, he told reporters the team wasn’t ready. Then came SU’s rocky 1-3 start. But the Orange has now won 3 of its 4 Big East games, and plays a strong defensive team in Cincinnati. SU didn’t fair well last year against the Bear Cats. This is a much better team than the Bulls. Nassib and the offense will have to be even better to grab that 5th win.

It’s clear, as the quarterback goes, so does the Orange. He proved on Saturday night he can be that strong leader who backs it up on the field. If Nassib can continue his play, and improve his red zone production, then this will be a thrilling final month. #12 has got one thing on his mind: getting the Orange to go bowling.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen


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  1. Frank says:

    Great article. What insight! Nassib deserves more credit to the teams’ success than given to date.

  2. Ron says:

    @Brendan Glasheen;Brandon why does everyone dwell on past history? We all know about the 5 game collapse at the end of the 2011 season. Why not dream of future possibilities?

    Why not dream of this Syracuse Team doing a 180 degree turn around and have them win the last 5 games of the season?

    Let’s stay positive man and start thinking about the unthinkable possibilities for this team. After all I’m one who thinks it can and will be done.

  3. Brendan Glasheen says:

    Thanks for the read guys.

    @Frank: I totally agree. This was the game for me personally that he came out and said “I am taking over and bringing us back.” We haven’t really seen this from Nassib, EVER. We know he can put up points and “lead” the team as a QB, but this game he did it with his halftime words and his game in crunch time.

    @Ron: This is a positive outlook my man! I am referencing that this USF game was around the same time last year as the West Virginia astonishing win. Had SU lost to USF, you could argue things would be a lot uglier. The team’s 30 point beat down of UConn wouldn’t have mattered. Instead, they pulled off a huge comeback win, setting them up for a possible win @ Cinci. This post highlights Nassib’s leadership really showed in this game.

  4. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,Im not sure if u realise it but u called Glash,Brandon not Brendan….big difference!!I guess just a misspell?

  5. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,what was it Det. Joe Friday used to say on Dragnet?Just the facts sir…just the facts!!Im glad Ryan Nassib is getting his due cause he took more static than his share and did’nt deserve it!!Keep up the good work Ryan!!

  6. Ron says:

    Brendon, I want to apologize to you for calling you Brandon,my mistake and I’m truly sorry. Thank you Russell for catching that and letting me know.

  7. Ron says:

    Terry I know your not going to like my babbling here and I know this is a sports web site, but I’m concerned for the people who have family and friends that live in the State of new Jersey.

    @Russell MacEachern;I hope that none of your family members or friends were hurt in any way. I hope that they haven’t lost their homes like many along the Jersey Shore has done. Best wishes and hopes go to those who have lost everything. With Gods, help I hope things return to normal quickly.

  8. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;your so right on the money again Russ. Ryan has been bent over backwards kicked in the teeth and dragged through every knot hole possible by these fans over the last three years.

    They were all standing tall(big men)while kicking him in the teeth after each and every loss that he’s had.
    Now Russ the shoe is on the other foot and I don’t see any of those people who did the complaining stand tall and give Ryan his just due. Ryan is a leader,it won’t matter if he doesn’t get drafted in the NFL draft,Ryan has a bright future in the financial world where I know he will become one in very short order.

    I wish him well.

  9. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,thanks for asking Ron,but outside of my Moms electric being out for 2 days all is well!!My sister was lucky enough to be on vacation in Las Vegas till tommorow so all in all most were lucky,the electric should be back on soon!!thanks for asking!!Boy did we get lucky upstate huh?..

  10. Russell MacEachern says:

    I have about 30 family members who live in Jersey,sisters,cousins,nieces,nephews etc etc but all seems well,thank god!!

  11. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,believe it or not some actually use mustard instead of vingar on their ham and cabbage…..could u believe that?Im all about the vinegar but I’ll drop a dollop of mustard on the ham or corned beef once in awhile “with” the vinegar!!Where the hecks Carlton after his big weekend?I hope the tonic wore off?Ha Ha…probably working him to the bone??

  12. Ron says:

    That’s great news Russell. I hope your family gets through all of the turmoil healthy and their homes are still standing when everything get’s back to normal.

    I honestly wish the people of New Jersey a speedy recovery.

  13. CuseOnly says:

    I know I don’t post often, usually in defense of something I believe in or if I think have something to offer.

    Great news that your family is safe Russ!! Nothing more important than family.

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    Thanks CuseOnly,its very nice of you!!

  15. Russell MacEachern says:

    I know Malone lives in the same area as my family I hope alls well with him and his?!?!

  16. Carlton says:

    @Russ, i’m alive! well kind of lol. Went out last nigt for halloween. Hoping that this powerade and tylenol take hold. Rdy to go back to bed! Gonna be a long day.

  17. Russell MacEachern says:

    Good to see your back to earth after that wild,crazy weekend!!All present and accounted for!!

  18. Terry says:

    Yes my thoughts are with NJ(even Rutgirls). Hey don’t forget about the Big Apple either!! Well, and back to the babble blog(ham and cabbage get real). Ryan has never got a lot of credit for his play. But got tons here from you guys for his poor play!!! Mark my words “NOW” there is no replacement for him now or in the future. His replacement is of low quality. That’s all on HCDM/dougie. Its his fault don’t forget that. dougie got lazy in recruiting a quality QB to eventually to replace Ryan!!! So we might start all over in HCDM’s GROB like record again. Heaven help us. From that and the insane non-sports babble too!!

  19. Russell MacEachern says:

    Thanks Terry and NYC and L.I, too,lest we forget!!

  20. Russell MacEachern says:

    Terry,Im surprised u underestimate yhe power of mom’s ham and cabbage,Ryan Nassib credits it for helping him to grow big and strong like you!!

  21. Terry says:

    Pigs and blankets did it for me!!!

  22. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ah,pigs in the blanket?Hungarian I think?Delish!!!!

  23. Russell MacEachern says:

    Glad I just ate,..u guys make me hungry!btw Shaker HS is on TW right now up 7-0!!

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    There playing Shenendahowa after robbing Schenectady HS last week!!

  25. P. Jones says:

    Great win ! But sitting and watching the Cincy game at the moment , and already a turnover and costly penalty .

    I hope they settle down quickly , or it may turn ugly fast .

    Good luck guys , you can beat Cincy !

  26. P. Jones says:

    Clearly after watching the replay over-and-over , of the Cincy fumble ( which it was refs ) that the Big East doesn’t want SU to have any chances whatsoever to win the Big East in their last year in the conference . It wouldn’t be int he league’s favor to have egg on their face .

    So the refs are either; a) blind , even after clear replays

    b) biased

    c) paid off

    I hope SU has a clear win , without ref interferances deciding the last Big East games .

    Let’s go SU !

  27. Russell MacEachern says:

    Yeah P.Jones,we wuz robbed!!Maybe bad karma from last years Toledo game?, but more likely a home call!?!?

  28. Russell MacEachern says:

    I think it was Akron,my mistake same difference!!

  29. Russell MacEachern says:

    What happened in the last 4 minutes of the Cinncy game?I got up to go to the loo and its over?BAD REFFING by OFFICIALS!!!

  30. Russell MacEachern says:

    Are we guaranteed a bowl at 6-6?

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