Syracuse took all that good will and supposed momentum from the win over Pitt and dumped it in the Piscataway River. Once again, turnovers kills SU. A 23-15 loss leaves the Orange at 2-4 on the season, 1-1 in the Big East. Here’s my instant analysis.
- This game will forever be remembered for the blocked FG/TD, a 10-point swing SU never recovered from. Doug Marrone is the special teams coach. This program has had some of the worst special teams in the nation. And in one fell swoop, special teams may have cost the Orange a game. Blocked FGs are pathetic, but when it’s returned for a score it’s unacceptable. It should’ve been 10-7 Orange with SU’s defense playing very well. Instead, it was 14-7 Rutgers. Terrible.
- Nathaniel Hackett embarrassed himself with pitiful red zone play-calling. Down 23-7, 1st and Goal from RU’s 10 yard line in the 4th quarter, here’s what SU’s offensive series looked like: INC to Lemon. INC to West. INC to Lemon. INC (pass interference). First and Goal from the 2: INC. INC to Sales. Ameen-Moore loss of a yard. Time out. INC to Lemon. Rutgers stopped 7 plays from inside the 10. I’m choking on my own puke.
- On the bright side, David Stevens proved to be a nice target all game. He showed sure hands, a big body to take on tacklers, and decent agility for a big man.
- So did Ashton Broyld steal cologne from the Carousel Mall, TVs from Nassib’s apartment or just forget to feed Marrone’s cat when Doug was out recruiting for a few days? Honestly, what kind of ridiculous dog house is he in? There’s NO way you can get one of the most explosive players on your team into a game when you score a total of 22 offensive points over two weeks? This is bordering on absurd.
- Terrible INT by Nassib with a final chance to tie the game with just over 2:00 left. Throwing from deep in your own end into tripe coverage? What kind of decision is that? Give your team a chance. Make smart plays. Don’t try to do too much.
- Let’s combine turnovers and penalties and call them KYPs (Kill Yourself Plays). SU had 4 TOs, 7 penalties, and a blocked FG. Rutgers had 0 TOs, 4 penalties. So Syracuse went on the road and tried to beat a ranked team with 12 KYPs to 4. No chance. Still looking for SU to play disciplined football four years after Marrone took over. Gimme a break.
- To give Orange Nation hope moving forward, SU proved it could move the ball through the air on these guys. For all the credit RU’s defense gets, Nassib threw for over 300 yards on it (but also made some horrific mistakes). The ground game was bottled up all day. 32 carries for 57 yards, less than 2 yards per carry, and Nassib gave away two INTs and couldn’t punch it in from 8 plays inside the 10.
- This whole game sucked even worse because it was Rutgers. Had a chance to beat a ranked team, a rival no less, on the road to go to 2-0 in the Big East. Blew it. That’s how the SU/RU series ends. A win would’ve given Syracuse some breathing room in the quest for 6 wins. Now, it needs to go 4-2 the rest of the way including the trip to Mizzou. Can the Orange go 4-1 in the Big East? Uh oh.