Week 12 Fizz Five: How Syracuse Turned Around Its Final Big East Season

If someone told you at 2-4, the the midway of the season, the Orange would only lose one more game, you’d think that person was crazy right? But believe it or not, Syracuse managed to pull off a thrilling second-half of the season with a 5-1 record, finishing it off Friday 38-20 over Temple. SU not only scored big on Black Friday, but also Saturday with both Rutgers and Louisville taking losses.

Once again, everything seemed to click on both sides for the Orange. Early on, bad SU reared its ugly head with sloppy penalties and bad execution. But like against Missouri, the Orange overcame a slow start and finished strong. Good SU pushed past its Turkey Day hangover and eventually created scoring opportunities with the play action run/pass as well as the Tank package. The defense forced turnovers, and squeezed Juice Granger.

Now we can look forward to the Orange opponent in the bowl game. Here’s the Fizz Five, the five biggest takeaways from the Temple win.

  • Syracuse loves to put itself in a hole.

Football fans looking for a heart attack? Become a Syracuse fan. The Orange dug itself into a 10-point hole right out of the gate. The same scenarios occurred against USF (down 22-3 at halftime), and the Mizzou game (trailing 17-3). We’re seeing a lot of swag out of this Orange squad. SU does not panic and that should help this team come bowl time. The Orange displays discipline and confidence once it gets down early. SU cleaned up the silly turnovers (multiple fumbles in the first quarter) and costly penalties.

  • Orange can share the Big East title.

If Louisville beats Rutgers next week SU can finish no worse than tied for the conference crown. It would leave at least three teams with a 5-2 record. Cincinnati can also join that group with a win over UConn. The winner of the Big East would be determined by highest BCS ranking. As The Fizz detailed, it’s highly unlikely the Orange at 7-5 would win that tiebreaker, but it’s mathematically possible. But just to be in the conversation shows the resiliency of the program over the last month and a half.

  • SU ends its Big East membership with a bang.

Amazingly, Friday marked either a winning or losing record in its Big East history. The win over Temple means an overall 76-75 record in conference play. The past 21 years have been both good and bad to the Orange, but ending strong was a terrific statement. SU did so with its creative play-calling in its final six games. Its only two league losses were close and on the road (at Rutgers and Cincy). If a play or two went differently, it could’ve been a flawless Big East season for SU.

  • This type of season builds a great reputation for recruiting.

Syracuse recruits who watched how Syracuse finished had to have come away impressed. Early season sloppy play and concerns about playing musical chairs with the coaching staff isn’t appealing to recruits. Finishing in style with two dara,tic wins against USF and Missouri, along with blowouts against top 10 Louisville and Temple really make Syracuse’s brand look good. Guys like Zach Allen and Austin Wilson have showed their anticipation to head to the Hill all year long, and have to be excited after seeing this great turnaround. Isaiah Johnson caught up with us last week and is pumped the team is playing well, and other recruits can’t wait to hear again from the program. The move to the ACC by a program that finished 5-2, and could end tied for the league title sounds pretty cool to us.

  • What a difference between the beginning and the end. 

The most vivid early memory was Ryan Nassib’s surprising comments that his team wasn’t ready to beat Northwestern to open the season. Would Nassib be the leader many expected? Would the offensive weapons work out? Would this defensive live up to expectations and force turnovers? Ryan has emerged as a potential NFL prospect and the best statistical passer in program history. The runningbacks have been outstanding, from 1000+ yard back Jerome Smith to up and coming Adonis Ameen Moore. The defensive leadership, including the struggling secondary, turned out formidable. Now we are talking the top tier Big East bowls.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen


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  1. Ron says:

    @Brendan Glasheen;
    Brendan if I remember right I responded to one of your post by asking why couldn’t Syracuse go 4-0 or maybe even 3-1 in the month of November. They sure ended the season in fine fashion. Now onto the bowl game.

    Again Brendan another fine post for the “FF” to ponder and debate.

    All I can say is,none of us agreed on the path Coach Marrone took while recruiting the players that we have here now. I think the program has turned the corner and is headed on the road to national recognition again. My only hope and prayer is that once we get there another troubled program comes calling for Coach Marrone to leave our program. Looking for great things in 2013 maybe a(8-4 overall) and 2014 (9-3 or better overall)records.

    What say you Terrie?

    @Terry;
    Have you noticed the picture associated with the above article posted by the Fizz?
    If you don’t recognize the player involved(#23)then please let me tell you who it is.
    It’s the guy you told us all that he would fumble the ball in a big game and cost Syracuse a chance to go bowling. Do you remember? I want you to know Terrie that I will never let you live that down,NEVER.

    His name is PRINCE-TYSON GULLEY one of the many who helped this team accomplish one of the team goals by returning to a bowl game and help secure head Coach Doug Marrone’s future at Syracuse University.

  2. Terry says:

    PTG did lose the ball at Temple and he’ll do it again, unless he quits waving the ball around. He lost the ball last year too!! The picture should of had NASSIB or SMITH on it instead of PTG!! Those guys are the story of “O” this year not PTG!! As for recruiting this team is no where near NC material or in the future!! Once every 10 years would be great!! SU is rated 80Th(by the experts not uneducated Ronette’s out there)in the national recruiting!! Yes its improved in recent years. But SU can’t even get NYS best yet. But maybe this year(EO has not shown alot this year from NYC HS Blogs) things will change. OL and a fast athlete for ST are a high need. HCDM lost SU’s top OL prospect to ISU already!! 2012 will go down as a good but not great year. Next year with SU’s heart and soul graduated you man HCDM/dougie better show his stuff!!

  3. Ron says:

    Sorry Russell;But I will be rooting for Louisville to win in Thursday night’s game against Rutgers.

    Friday we have Syracuse Basketball playing Arkansas in the SEC/Big East Challenge all of which makes for another big weekend for Syracuse.

    Go Cuse;

  4. OrangeCrush27 says:

    Yeah but Terry IT WAS a great year for ‘Cuse football. For ‘Cuse to play to a 7-5 record against that schedule and comng off a bismal 5-7 record the year prior, i say thats remarkable as well as a step in the right direction. I had a tough time figuring out if this team would even go 6-6 to start the year.

    Your right, next year will be DM’s year to really showcase what he can do with his recruits in a better conference.

    And it isnt easy to recruit with ‘Cuses current football facilities and recent stigma. I dont blame alot of NYS top players to look elsewhere, but DM is getting them slowly.

  5. Mike says:

    I think everyone agrees moving to the ACC will help in recruiting, especially our targets in the southeast. The only thing I haven’t heard people mentioning in regard to the Syracuse moving the ACC is that we landed in the much more difficult division – the Atlantic. Florida State and Clemson are two very tough match ups that we now face every single year… I think Syracuse was good enough to have won the Coastal this season. Not one team in the Coastal scares me, save maybe GA Tech because they’ve got the ability to hang some big numbers.

    Atlantic – FSU, Clemson, NC State, Wake, Maryland (leaving), BC, Syracuse

    Coastal – UNC, Miami, GA Tech, VA Tech, Duke, UVA, Pitt

    Not sure how MD leaving affects the schedule, it was supposed to be a nine game conference schedule – six divisional games and three cross-overs (Pitt every year, two others on a rotating basis). It would be nice if we could schedule a lesser OOC opponent. Not that MD wouldn’t have been a lesser opponent…..

  6. Mike says:

    OK – just read an October Syracuse.com article that with ND coming to the ACC in all sports but football, but agreeing to play five games vs ACC opponents each season that they’re going to an eight game conference schedule. Again MD, still screws this up…..

    2013 schedule so far:

    Non-conference:
    at Northwestern
    Penn State, at MetLife Stadium
    Tulane in the Carrier Dome
    * one more game TBD

    Conference:
    Florida State
    Clemson
    Wake Forest
    Maryland (assuming this game is dropped)
    North Carolina State
    Boston College
    Pittsburgh
    * was one more game TBD – two now w/o MD

  7. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    Here’s some information on the Prince for you to digest.

    He had 132 carries for 617 total yards averaging 4.7 yards per carry. The longest from the line of scrimmage was for 55 yards and a touchdown. His total rushing touchdowns “LED THE TEAM THIS YEAR” with a total of 7 TOUCHDOWNS.

    He also caught 28 passes for 226 yards,an average of 8.1 per catch with the longest being 61 yards and scored a touchdown to boot.

    For the year,he’s fumbled the ball twice out of 132 carries. There was no harm committed(no points scored) with the fumble in the Temple Game. Wouldn’t you agree Terrie that his stats speak volumes for a lowly 2/3 star athlete that doesn’t know how to or understand the game.

    They ought to write a ballad about him that goes a little like this. Every morning at the field he’d same arrive,stood 5’7″ and weighed 175,kinda broad at the shoulders and narrow at the hips,and everybody knew they wouldn’t give no lip to the “PRINCE”. PRINCE TYSON GULLEY that is.

    Terrie, at 5’7″ he’s become a giant amongst men and has proven to us all that he can play the game with and against the best it has to offer.

  8. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,thats OK but if L’ville wins we fall to 3rd or 4th on head to head but if RU wins were 2nd in BE,Im suprised u don’t want “Cuse” to finish 2nd??We lost to RU but beat “ville so if Ville wins we fall to 3rd or 4th behind Cinncy!!I’ve been home since yesterday after my B-day party at moms and following realignment…8 ACC teams are applying to the Big 4 conferences??Im getting worried that we’ll fall back into BE 2?WHATS going on in the world??Everyones so greedy!I hear L’ville,Cinncy,UConn all may get invites to ACC?What have u heard??…RU to Sugar bowl or Russell bowl according to Tallahassee news sourses!!Us or Pitt and WVU might have backyard brawl 2 at Pinstripe maybe,I hope not I want Pinstripe for us!

  9. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,I meant following all the realignment news I can find!!I just now got back to the Fizz site Im so worried about this garbage oing on!!I hope I didnt miss much?Did my school New Rochelle HS win?

  10. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,I cant believe ND can cause such an uproar on the college scene!!Shows just how much juice the “Irish” have in CFB!!They’re also not gonna do anything to help us cause now NBC will give them whatever they want??Cant blame them I guess cause thats what we did or thought we did coming to this ACC which I always thought was a curse!!By the time we get there it’ll just be the new BE!! …has Carlton or Dip been around?

  11. Terry says:

    BABBLing again!! Ronette how many times did Smith fumble. Yes ONCE but that was a bone head play not a juggling play or by waving the ball around!!. Most fans feel yes PTG is decent, but they want more of Smith for that reason of PYG is shaky at times. Plus the power of Smith. PS a number of times he has laid the ball down at the time of a whistle and I know that doesn’t count but it shows poor ball handling. HE WILL BREAK OUR HEARTS SOME TIME!!
    OrangeCrush: I disagree with you!! Great year is no way near 7-5!! SU should have gotten to 8/9 this year!! 7-5 is a GOOD year yes!! Great year is 9/10 wins!! Magical is 10/11 wins. 12-0 and I always hope for that EVERY YEAR at least once in 10 years is dreamy. Yes I’m happy about this year and it was a real good one. BUT not great. Thanks Ryan and The Shark for your play. Memories for ever. But great still has a way to go!! Coming next year 9 wins would be great with Ryan and Shark graduated. Or I still dream of that 12-0 season. No harm huh!! Sorry about the babbling. I’ll wash my hands next time. LOL!!

  12. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,I hear VT is the only loyal ACC team as UV,GT, and a NC school have sent app’s to the B1G?A couple to B12 and SEC!!not sure about all but some Chi-town and Charlotte news sourses have tweeted that info!!

  13. Russell MacEachern says:

    Terry,I hate to admit it but u make a lot of sense and Nassib,Lemon and Sales saved our season!!With out Nassib Dougie would be gone and I hope he never forgets it!!

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,after ties (5-2) teams are judged on head to head!!L’ville wins is our worst nightmare!Then we fall to the bottom of 5-2s on losing to Cinncy and RU!!That would put us at the bottom of the ties!!RU wins and sincewe beat “ville” were automatically ahead of them ?At least that the way I understand it?I know thats how the bowls see it!Then go to rankings!

  15. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    Russell,I never said that I didn’t want Syracuse to finish in second place. Let’s see if we agree on what is about to happen here in order for them to do so.

    The Louisville vs Rutgers game is for the league championship. If Rutgers wins,they win the championship outright sending Louisville into 3rd place with a 5-3 league record and placing Syracuse in 2nd place with a 5-2 overall record. If Louisville wins then Syracuse will be in 3rd place because of the head to head with Rutgers,BUT all three would share the league championship at that point.

    Now Pittsburgh and Connecticut come into play on Saturday. Which one plays Cincinnati? Lets say it’s Pittsburgh and Pitt. beats them. That will knock Cincinnati out of the picture with a 5-3 overall league record. If both Pittsburgh and Connecticut win they will become bowl eligible with 6-6 overall records.

    Russell the cards have to fall correctly here in order for Syracuse to come in 2nd in the league standings. I’m hoping that they do finish that high,that would be fantastic. I hope that I’ve said everything correctly,I wouldn’t want to get anyone upset so early in the day.

    Let’s all face it Russell,coming in 2nd or 3rd place at the end of the year with a share of the League Championship is far far better than what the league coaches predicted would happen during the Big East Media Day. I think they all predicted Syracuse to finish 7th just ahead of Temple this year.

    It really doesn’t matter to me,Syracuse had a good season. It would have been great if they hadn’t committed all of those mistakes during the early part of the season. Finishing 11-1 would have been super.

  16. [...] How did Syracuse turn around its season? [...]

  17. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    I hope Russell that it’s only a rumor as far as those ACC teams applying for membership in other conferences.

    I mean after all,the ACC was the darlings in the eyes of the media all these years for of all college athletics. Nothing else mattered it was all ACC. Let’s all hope that they have the courage and sense to realize that they have a real good conference and staying together would be the best thing for them to do.

  18. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    You might get what you wished for Terrie!!

    Doug Marrone to the NFL? I only hope and pray that it isn’t true and it doesn’t happen.

  19. cuse17 says:

    I’d be surprised… DM looks like a college coach.
    A lot of good college coaches just can’t make
    the transition to the bigs. If I where him another
    year or two at Cuse running your own show would
    be a better call than an assistant in the Pro’s. No one
    can believe he is being considered for a top Pro job.
    I too worry about the ACC break up. Have read only
    Maryland and FSU voted against the $50m breakup
    charge. The Underarmour guy reportedly paid the
    Maryland $50m. Sold $65m in stock week before
    the announcement. If everyone was bailing they
    won’t have voted for the $50m.
    I hope!

  20. Ron says:

    @cuse17;
    Some good points made,thanks. I really don’t see Coach Marrone going to the pros. He left New Orleans,for his dream job,to become the head coach at Syracuse University. I just don’t see him leaving.

  21. Terry says:

    HCDM/dougie to NFL=JOKE!!!

  22. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    Just found out that Connecticut will be playing Cincinnati this weekend. So I guess I will be rooting for UCONN to win the game. And everyone is predicting Rutgers to beat Louisville. If both UCONN and Rutgers win their games,Syracuse will end up second in the Big East.

  23. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron,all these tiebreakers have my head spinning?I think u got it right!Todays twitter big rumors are Navy to ACC,..wow its unbelieveable whats really happening Ron?Im worried about all this realignment talk!Ron,one thing is for sure,..its a good thing were winning again and I think were in a”safe” spot or as safe as any,look at UConn and Cinncy!

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,more “news”…Empire State Blgd Scarlet Thursday….again!

  25. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    I mentioned on the other thread about turning on the radio to listen to the Score 1260 sports radio station hosted by Mike Lindsey on the way to work yesterday.

    He had as a guest Jay Bilas on talking about basketball and asked him his thoughts about Syracuse going to the ACC and what he thought about the current atmosphere in college athletics.

    His reply was,there will be no more conferences left as we now know them. College Athletics is shrinking and becoming more like the NBA and NFL. There are a few people that really want these super-conferences and that’s how it’s going to be and it doesn’t matter what people like you and I think about it.

  26. Posas says:

    a lot of wonderful info on here, : D.

  27. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,I was thinking I heard Dougie earlier in the year was worried about getting canned…lf so why now that he’s safe would he leave?I think maybe he’s lobbying for a payraise!

  28. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    I think what he was saying in that interview was in his profession if you don’t produce/win you get fired. The pressure for any coach is to win. If they don’t they’re let go.

    I’m willing to let Doug Marrone have his 5 years(under contract)to turn Syracuse into a winning program.
    If people are patient enough,I believe the 6th year is where we’re going to see dramatic improvement.

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