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Mizzou Miracle! D.A.’s Knee-Jerk Reaction as Syracuse Grabs Bowl Slot

Doug Marrone’s team nabs its 6th win in dramatic fashion.

For a season with so much hand-wringing and griping about missed opportunities and state of the program, Syracuse is really pouring it on in the second-half of the season. A dramatic 31-27 win at Missouri means the Orange is bowl eligible, and has a chance to finish the season with 7 victories. Here’s my instant reaction:

  • A standing ovation for Doug Marrone is in order. The program is not ranked, let alone a player on the national stage. But the last two weeks have officially been his stamp on the Orange. His squad took off their cleats and beat #9 Louisville over the head with them last weekend on Senior Day. Then went into an SEC venue and grabbed bowl eligibility in a thriller. SU should go bowling for the second time in four seasons. Marrone has officially dragged the program out of the Groobers death pit. There were questions about how warm his seat was getting at midseason. That seems like a long time ago.
  • What an incredible turnaround in the second half of the season. The Orange is 5-2 since Big East play started, with a chance to net 6 wins in that span next weekend at Temple. The Owls are no pushover. They’ve played plenty of Big East opponents tough, and just hung 63 on Army. But Syracuse looked to have buried itself with three non-conference losses. Since an uninspiring 1-3 start, the Orange has played its best football down the stretch.
  • Ryan Nassib’s flair for the dramatic is only getting more exciting. It’s going to be hard to watch him graduate, simply because we are watching him develop into one of the program’s better quarterbacks in the final few games of his college career. He threw for 385 yards, 2 TDs, and zipped the 17-yarder to Alec Lemon for the GW score with just seconds to play. He’s had an ice water blood transfusion over the last two months.
  • You can officially start asking where Nassib ranks on the list of Syracuse quarterbacks all-time. He is now the school’s all-time leading passer in yards. He won’t reach the rarified air of Donovan McNabb, Don McPherson or Marvin Graves in many people’s minds because those three presided over eras where SU was a national championship contender. But he’ll have gone to two bowl games, thrown for a ton of yards, and shown enormous leadership skills. Nassib’s name will go down with the greats in program history.
  • What an absolutely stupid game through the air for Lemon. Not only did he nab the game-winner, but he had a dozen grabs for 244 yards and two scores. He fell just five yards short of the SU single-game record of 249 yards established by Scott Schwedes in 1985 against Boston College. Nassib-to-Lemon was nearly indefensible all night. The last two weeks have been dynamic between these two. They’re on a different level with a QB/WR connection. Lemon had 7 catches for 140 yards in the 4th quarter.
  • Syracuse has shown impeccable resiliency in turning its season around. The Orange rallied from a 17-3 deficit last night, to cap off yet another game where SU had to dig itself out of another hole. It’s not the easiest way to win games, but the Orange is showing how much heart and guts it has on a weekly basis.
  • For all the complaining about Nate Hackett’s play-calling, he’s turning some heads late in the year. Syracuse topped 500 yards of total offense for the sixth time this season. The Orange tallied 508 yards (385 passing, 123 rushing) against the Tigers, including 301 in the second half. Nassib has developed into one of the great clutch QBs in the nation. Hackett may start getting some love as a young coordinator on the rise.
  • It looked like the Orange had once again buried itself with a late turnover, although it really wasn’t a bad decision. The late INT was a bad stroke of luck, a deflected pass that popped into the Mizzou defender’s arms. Missouri leads the FBS in forced fumbles, dislodging the football 20 times this season. But the Orange didn’t cough it up all game, and the teams split the two turnovers on the night. Missouri came in 0-3 when it loses the turnover battle. SU was 5-1 when it has a favorable turnover margin. Missouri has played seven games that included a fourth quarter turnover. This was the first one where the team that turned it over late still won the game.
  • Two missing players hurt the Tigers badly. Mizzou’s a pretty bad offense (103rd in the nation), but has a stout D (35th). So the loss of DT Sheldon Richardson was huge. Richardson’s history of academic problems makes Fab Melo look like Aristotle. And Marcus Murphy leads the nation with four combined kickoff and punt return touchdown, but he didn’t play either.
  • Syracuse won the penalty battle 8-to-5, a critical stat that has doomed the Orange on the road all season. SU ranks near the bottom of FBS, (115th) in penalties committed, averaging 8.2 penalties per game. But less than a half dozen in Columbia was another example of how much this team is growing late in the season, and putting itself in position to win.
  • Had to figure Doc Gross would find a way to get himself into the action. He was standing behind the end zone on the game-winning TD, and chest-bumped Lemon after the score. Isn’t there a luxury suite or seat in the stands he should be tending to? Gross is never one to miss a photo opp.

Posted: D.A.

38 Comments on this Post

  1. unbeleivable, so proud of this team and the coaching staff. i’m so pumped for everyone involved with the syracuse football program. way to go. awesome job.. keep up the excellent work..

  2. Section 129 Smitty

    Awesome win for the program. Ryan Nassib is in a zone right now. Earlier in the season the consenus among us die hard fans was that this team was good but didnt know how to win. They do now. I think Marrone has improved as well. I think earlier in his career he would of attemoted the 52 yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 10. Gotta love how the offensive line is playing as well. Bowl game here we come and lets focus on Temple this week. We need this game 7-5 is alot better then 6-6 and also lets keep them momentum rolling. Yankee Stadium here I come but I also wouldn’t mind heading south to watch a game.

  3. BronxBound

    Symbolic of the entire season, never say die, makes a statement to the SEC, ACC , the recruits, SU football is back.

    Nice pick up DA. Just like USC, then Asst AD Gross always found a way to be photographed with their Heisman Trophy guys, like he made this happen. Maybe Gross can use this latest photo op to polish up his resume and find his way out of town. Notice the players were reluctant to celebrate with him in the end zone, because at 1-3 Gross heaped tons of pressure on the players (as their head coach’s job was on the line) and I am sure they all can’t believe as does the rest of the world why Gross’ head didn’t roll for the GRob debacle years ago! Nancy C protected him, but Nancy is soon to retire, so please start packing.

    Like USC, Gross had NOTHING to do USC’s success nor SU football resurgence, it was a committee that hired Doug M and it was Gross that single handily hired GRob!!

  4. Texascuse

    Murphy returned everything kicked to him. Not sure which game he missed.

  5. Russell MacEachern

    Guys,again thank Nassib for an amazing last second win on his arm,…Im not sure Nassib don’t deserve most of the praise!! I like Dougie but NEXT year when we have a new,young QB will show what kind of coaching skills he really has!An amazing late season run for these determined kids!!Kudos to all!!

  6. Russell MacEachern

    @Carlton,looks like w/a win at USC next week ND should be in NC game but Im pretty sure “Bama” would thump them this yr?What do u think?They finally scored some pts yesterday tho!!

  7. Fantastic win! …it was so good I’m watching the game again (anyone else see the ridiculously blatant holding on Keon Lyn on Green-Beckam’s long TD?)

    Anyways, the 4 guys I was sitting next to at the bar in Boston were visiting from Mizzou, and it was fantastic to just see them go completely quiet and, frankly, look completely stunned at the end of that game. Good guys, but they were under the impression that Syracuse sucks… not these days!

    As you all know, I haven’t been a big fan of Hackett since he became OC, but he showed flashes of genius early in the season (mixed with completely bonehead calling), but has been steadily getting better, especially over these past few weeks. It sort of feels like he’s been learning on the job, which he has been to be honest, so I think now I’m okay with keeping him around since he seems to have his offense figured out.

    Go ‘cuse!

  8. Not sure why anyone would hate Gross. He admitted he made a mistake with GRob, but other than that, everything he is touching is turing to gold. We are winning like never before, including non-revenue sports. The Dome is constantly being improved upon, something that was badly needed 10 years BEFORE Gross even got here. He is marketing the crap out of a football team that- let’s be honest- has not exactly been an advertiser’s dream lately, getting them primetime, nathional television games. He masterminded the move to the ACC to get SU out of the sinking ship Big East, and he is raising money like his name was Carol Baldwin and SU was breast cancer.
    Yes, he is flashy. He wears nice suits. He drives nice cars, he never misses a photo op, but ask yourself where Syracuse Athletics would be right now without the Good Doctor.

  9. Cuse don't luse

    I agree with agada gross is a very good ad football is getting to be respectable basketball is always solid and lacrosse is getting back in the right track the acc move was crucial for lacrosse and football and is an equilvelent to big east basketball or the closest thing when u consider unc and duke things are looking good for syracuse sports

  10. Section 129 Smitty

    I agree besides for hiring GROB, which was terrible, what has Gross done wrong.

  11. I really didn’t like a guy from California coming in here to be our AD. But you know,sometimes you have to swallow your pride and dislikes and look at the big over all picture. Has DR. Gross come up with some new ideas to promote Syracuse University? YES. Has he opened new doors for Syracuse to walk through? YES. Does he deserve the credit for bringing Doug Marrone to Syracuse? MAYBE. Has he and is he continuing to raise unprecedented sum’s of money for the University? YES and YES. I believe through his efforts and hard work,Syracuse University has turned the corner that everyone in the Orange Nation has been waiting for since the firing of Coach Pasqualoni. Let’s all swallow our pride and get behind our athletic director. He’s deserved our support,so let’s give it to him.

    GO CUSE;

  12. saltine44

    I agree with the Dr. Gross comments, you may not like his ‘style’ but he is working his butt-off for this athletic program and has done a great job! For instance, Mens soccer has turned the corner and now it looks like Football has too. The other programs keep winning and improvements to the dome have been tremendous. Including the Manley Field House improvements not to mention the Melo Center. I don’t think all this would have been possible without his efforts. You may not like it but this is the way you get on top by Marketing your school and promoting your programs. Syracuse Athletics is heading in the right direction. #National Championships!!

  13. @Russell MacEachern;SU34 Mizzou20..thats my prediction. What else is left to say Russ? Getting pretty damn bold in your old age aren’t you? You nailed it(TO THE WALL) buddy. Nice job.

  14. Russell MacEachern

    And not 1 word about realignment?What do u guys think about Md and GT kissing up to the B1G???I hear UConn may get an ACC invite?I think Rons good with that?…Im not sure what to think,Im still trying to adjust to the move and still aint really sure about this mess?

  15. Russell MacEachern

    Yeah Ron,pretty close!!Was just thinking about u and Carlton!!Feeling pretty heady today but bugged about the “news” a little?No more loyalty?

  16. Russell MacEachern

    Im watching James.O’neill HS playing Hoosic Falls on tape!!

  17. Russell MacEachern

    I guess we were in our manholes typing at the same time?HaHa..

  18. Russell MacEachern

    It looks like we could get WVU in our bowl if we go “Pinstripe”?Ol Sweet Home HS on tape!!We could try to impress EO in the Bronx!!

  19. Russell.I was reading what the Missouri news papers were saying about the game last night. Here’s a tidbit that’s interesting Syracuse and Missouri signed a one year contract to have Syracuse come to Missouri to play the game. Missouri scheduled it because they all thought that they could win the game and would help them become bowl eligible. They had to pay Syracuse $800,000 for the a$$ whooping they got and some are asking for a refund of the money.

    Now that’s priceless man,JUST PRICELESS.

  20. @Russell MacEachern;I guess WVA is finding life outside the Big East kinda rough wouldn’t you agree Russell? They’re setting at 5-5 and playing Iowa State this weekend. My guess if we should go to the Pinstripe Bowl we would be playing Iowa State.

  21. Russell,I couldn’t believe the message as it was coming across the screen last night about Rutgers and Maryland going to the Big 12/10?

    Why would Maryland want to go there? Do they actually believe going there would improve their football team/ They can’t win in the ACC,to me it’s plain stupidity. Rutgers,well they’ve been lobbing to join the Big 10/12 now for more than two years. If Rutgers does leave the Big East,the Big 10/12 is not going to take NYC over after they join.

    Let’s face it,the Big East screwed themselves by not being pro active when they had the chance.

    If both schools leave their respective conferences,then yes I would like to see UCONN in the ACC mainly for their basketball.

  22. BronxBound

    60 Minutes just aired a piece on the College Football and how important winning is $$.
    My beef with Gross is simple, he promised to lead SU to the Football greatness USC style including all the financial rewards, to pay for all the non-revenue sports, which is why so many non-revenue sports got the ax, because of no football $$.
    This is SU’s 2nd bowl in last 8 years, since GRob was hired in 2005. His leadership has cost SU Athletics $millions.
    And please stop with the Gross ACC accolades; Jake C laid the groundwork, as BC owed SU big time when they weaseled the last ACC slot in 2005. The BC AD made good on his promise to Jake to help SU get the next bid. And BC’s AD delivered, not Gross.
    Tomorrow MD Board votes on joining Big Ten, why BECAUSE it is all about Football $$. The pictures on the Dome walls really help put people in the seats while the football team kept losing. Thank you Dr Gross…….

  23. Actually BronxBound, I could be misremembering, but was it not JakeC that botched the initial move to the ACC.

  24. Good morning everyone; On Saturday night,the Syracuse Offense showed the world how good they are. Ryan Nassib’s 81 yard drive with 81 seconds left in the game to win it is on equal footing as any of John Elway’s 4th quarter heroics. It was awesome watching,made for real good football.
    But let’s not overlook the efforts of the defense. They clamped down in the second half and almost held Missouri scoreless. Over the last couple of years I’ve got to know a few of the players personally and on Saturday those players played as good a game as I’ve ever seen at Syracuse.
    So for me,A JOB WELL DONE, goes to #18 ILB Siriki Diabate, #13 DT Deon Goggins and #96 DT Jayson Bromley.

    Jayson I believe has 1 maybe 2 more years here at Syracuse and after graduation should make the NFL and continue his play on Sunday’s. Siriki and Deon should get chances to play on Sunday’s also after graduation.

    Good job to all;GO CUSE.

  25. Should we all be concerned that Coach Marrone is a candidate and is being looked at by Tennessee for it’s next head football coach?

    I hope not!

  26. Russell MacEachern

    ha Ha,Ron,unbelieveable HCDM is on HOT SEAT a couple weeks ago now UT is looking at him?I have trouble buying that because hes a LOUSY recruiter and Marrones at his DREAM job!!Why would he want to deal with that nonsense?I’ll believe it when I see it!!I hope he pooh poohs the rumor!!

  27. Russell MacEachern

    On the other hand MD and RU to the B1G and I hear their not done raiding the ACC and will give ND the B1G last chance option or take GT and UVa???What will happen to the ACC now that its been exposed as vulnerable?There gonna start chippin away at our new conference as Delaneys revenge!?!?Im hearing 4 – 16 team conferences?Crazy man crazy,whats the world coming too?Five years from now we won’t recognize the college football landscape!!I don’t like all this lack of loyalty and disrespect of tradition for dollars!!

  28. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,I’ve been a little quiet due to death in my family on PEI,Canada…my favored uncle and worse due to recovering from last weeks hospital visit and Thanksgiving obligations I couldnt get to funeral!!He married my Aunt Laverne in “48”or “49”….he was 88 and never sick a day in his life!!

  29. @Russell MacEachern;I hope it’s only a rumor concerning Marrone. Truthfully,I don’t know what to expect or believe anymore. I mean what the hell the people just reelected Obama,all of which is just unbelievable to me.

    This mess with college athletics has got to stop and I mean right now. If it doesn’t then I think that the presidents and commissioners of these universities and leagues,that are making these decisions,will ruin them altogether forever.

    Let’s face it,how freaking stupid is it for Maryland to go to the Big whatever it is that they’re calling themselves these days.

  30. Russell MacEachern

    He was the man who gave me my “farming skills” on his 420 acre farm,handmilking in the 50s and early/mid 60s!Outhouse,no electric and fresh cold water from the pump!!Those were the days my friend!!Dirt roads and pickup trucks!!Rest in Peace Uncle Darby!!Prince Edward Island the “Garden of the Gulf”

  31. @Russell MacEachern;I’m sorry to hear about your favorite uncle’s passing Russell. I hope your doing alright though. It’ll probably make you feel a lot better if you take it easy and rest over the next few days. It will help to clear you thoughts. Wish you well friend. Wish you well.

  32. Russell MacEachern

    Thanks Ron,I really appreciate the sentiment!On another topic if we go to the Pinstripe bowl maybe it will give us a chance to meet?I hope to feel better by then but all this realignment nonsense is driving me nuts along w/loseing my Uncle who was more like a dad!!

  33. Great game again from Ryan and the players. Even HCDM looked good too!! It was a players game again tough. I still believe the different actions of HCDM/dougie on the sidelines has made this team better. Since his prancing up and down the sidelines the team has played better and played better for him. HCDM for the U of Tenn. job is a joke. HCDM/dougie still has a way to go to get this program in the right direction. He’s improved, yes!! This mention of U of Tenn. HC job, is all about recruiting and getting that interesting buzz out there about HCDM!! But he still needs to adjust to a few things. Like opening the program up to the media and fans more. SU still needs to beat Temple or this season is just average. But that’s still better than 2 out of 3 years before. Oh how we forget, don’t we!!

  34. @Russell MacEachern;If your feeling down and would like some company tomorrow just say the word friend and I’ll come for a visit. It’s only a 2 hour drive to Albany for me ok and I have the day off and nothing to do.

    We will talk some football,more football and more football. We can discuss our farming experiences growing up in private and won’t get mocked for doing so.

    All you need to know Russell is say the word.

  35. Russell MacEachern

    Thanks Ron,but Im OK and my nephew is picking me up in the morning to take me to my mom’s for my B’day and thanksgiving!!My b’day falls on Nov 25th and sometimes thanksgiving day!!I’ll probably still be online as I’ll take my laptop!!Thanks for the offer if we dont go pinstripe we’ll make later arrangements!!

  36. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,the world seems to have turned upside down with all this conference garbage??What a shame for some good schools,I cant help but worry for Temple and UCinncy,”L’Ville” all for the almighty dollar!!The world has gone power crazy!!

  37. @Russell MacEachern;Spending your Birthday and Thankgiving Day with your mom at her house has got to be priceless friend. Enjoy your time with the family.

    I too hope to have the family with me for Thanksgiving Dinner,my son is bringing his family in from Michigan,I have two other son’s locally with family that will be coming,my wife’s sister and brother his girl fried and her(handicapped)sister that’s now living with them. Should make for a very enjoyable day.

    My wife asked me yesterday Russell if Syracuse were to go to the Pinstripe Bowl was I going to go? My response was yes and I asked her if she would like to go with me this time? She said yes!!!! Wow!! My wife is going to go to the game with me.

    To all of the Fizz Family Members,from my family to yours,I hope you all have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

  38. Glen, encantado de tenerte aquí! Tómese un momento y ver las reglas del foro. Creo que van a ayudar a que se sienta cómodo con cómo funcionan las cosas por aquí, así como familiarizarse con los administradores y mods.

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