It’s another episode of Syracuse football Groundhog Day against the Bearcats.
Syracuse loses 35-24 in Cincy, leaving itself three games to garner the final two wins needed to be bowl eligible. While the Bearcats have had a strong season, once again the Orange found ways to lose to a beatable opponent. SU falls to 4-5, 3-2 in the Big East. Not a lot of breathing room for Syracuse in its postseason hopes. Here’s my knee-jerk reaction:
- A few weeks ago, The Fizz coined the term “KYP’s” – a term used to describe Kill Yourself Plays. The Orange has become masters of its domain in this regard. It only took the opening kickoff for SU to hand the ball to Cincy in scoring position. Jeremiah Kobena fumbled the kick to give the Bearcats a first down at the SU 28. George Winn punched it in from the 5 four plays later. The Bearcats led 7-0 in the first two minutes. That’s how you OWN the KYP department, SU.
- Does this picture of Marrone not speak a thousand curse words? If you’re counting at home, that’s a fumbled kick return, a missed 42-yarder and a blocked 25-yard FG for Doug Marrone’s special teams unit. Read more from The Fizz about how SU’s handcuffed in making a change with the duties of the coaching staff. It’s been ugly this season on the special teams.
- Once again it was an ugly sight when you tallied all the KYPs for the Orange. Syracuse turned it over twice, had 12 penalties and missed two field goals. That’s an astonishing 16 KYPs on the road against a good football team. By contrast, the Bearcats lost two fumbles and had eight penalties at home. That’s 10 KYPs. Guess who won the game by 9?
- The question is why does it feel like the Orange take a step forward, but two steps back? The blowout win over UConn had it all. SU played close to the perfect game. But in the last two weeks, the Orange had to thrillingly dig itself out of a huge halftime hole and then played another sloppy game, both on the road. It’s Groundhog Day for the Orange.
- Once again give credit to the offensive leaders, Ryan Nassib and Jerome Smith. The quarterback threw for nearly 300 yards and a touchdown, and didn’t toss a pick despite dropping back to pass almost 50 times (although he did cough up a fumble on a big blindside hit). Romey keeps his century mark streak alive with another 100-yard game.
- It’s not like Syracuse fans can beat their chest too badly about football attendance, the Dome has been sparse many times this season. But someone wake up the city of Cincinnati and Bearcats alumni. 26,000 fans for a team that’s now 5-0 at home and going bowling again? Isn’t that dangerously close to Temple levels of attendance causing the Owls to get kicked out of the conference? The Big East needs all the programs it can get right now, so Cincy isn’t going anywhere. But 26,000 fans is a joke for a BCS matchup.
- Syracuse now has to either beat the best team in the conference Louisville at the Dome or win on the road in the SEC at Mizzou – then take out Temple. Oy.