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D.A.’s Knee-Jerk Reaction: Syracuse Mauls #9 Louisville in Perfect Afternoon

Syracuse nabs one of its biggest wins in recent memory with a dominant 45-26 win over #9 Louisville. Here’s my knee-jerk reaction:

  • This is easily the biggest win of the Doug Marrone era for a couple reasons. Let’s start with what was on the line. A loss against UofL would force SU into the daunting task of having to win at Mizzou next week, along with a season-ending victory on the road at Temple just to make a bowl. The Orange just put itself into a very favorable position for the postseason, only having to win one of its final two. And for an SU team that just worked over a top 10 Cardinals team, it should beat Temple in the Owls first year back in the Big East.
  • A non-bowl season would’ve been a big dip for the Orange program. Next year SU will face a very difficult schedule in its first ACC campaign, and the prospect of three straight non-bowl seasons if SU didn’t capitalize this year. The Orange just set up a terrific chance to get back to the postseason.
  • It was a beautiful day of PR for Syracuse’s program. On national TV, in the middle of the afternoon, the Dome was rocking, the old magic was back in the building, emotions were high with Senior Day, and SU drubbed a top 10 team. The offense was in beast mode all day, and Ryan Nassib once again proved how good he could be. What a recruiting tool today should end up being.
  • Don’t look now, but SU could finish 5-2 in the Big East and be tied for the second-best record in the league. Rutgers still has games against both Louisville and Cincinnati, so plenty it yet to be determined. But a win over Temple in two weeks would mean SU has its best conference record since it went 4-2 in ’04. The Orange finished 1-6 in the conference last year. What a turnaround this season after a terrible non-con start.
  • Jerome Smith’s century streak continues. A 144-yard day on the ground was the standout performance of SU’s monster day on the ground totaling 278 yards. Give ‘Rome major credit. He has worked his tail off to become a more effective runner this season, put his head down and did all the right things. It’s great to see his work ethic pay off. PTG added 98 more.
  • While the SU offense might not be Mike Leach’s Air Raid Attack, it’s pretty damn effective. For years, The Fizz has begged for Marrone to open up the playbook and take advantage of a fast turf and controlled conditions for all home games. Why not recruit speed, athletes and throw it around the Dome as a recruiting tool? That’s not quite how the Orange are stacking points and yards, but it’s still been fun to watch. Nate Hackett has found a great balance of runs and pass, and Nassib is running the operation to perfection.
  • Look at what happens when the Orange limits penalties (7-55) and doesn’t turn the ball over? The most disappointing part of this season will always be what could’ve been. It’s obvious the Orange was good enough to beat every team on its schedule, including USC (seeing the recent swoon of the Trojans). Without mistakes and self-inflicted wounds, could SU have finished 9-3? 10-2? Better?
  • Are there many things more satisfying than watching UofL get killed? Whether it’s Slick Rick in hoops, or the Cards football team, enjoying SU obliterating Louisville on national TV is as good as it gets.

Posted: D.A.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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