Week 9 Fizz Five: Crunching the Numbers on Syracuse’s Loss in Cincy

Doug Marrone’s preaching on eliminating penalties isn’t trending well.

David Kohl/AP Photo

Despite coming off its biggest comeback in school history against USF, Syracuse dropped a winnable game to Cincinnati 35-24. SU misses a golden opportunity to come in and steal one from the Bearcats, having led the game going into halftime. So much for nabbing the first three-game winning streak in the Doug Marrone era. The road to the post season just got even tougher. For the postseason, SU now has to win two of its next three to even be considered. Here’s this week’s Fizz 5, the biggest takeaways from the Orange loss to the Bearcats.

  • Stats don’t always tell the story.

Syracuse finished the day with 479 total yards on the day (9 more than Cincy), and committed just two turnovers compared to the Bearcats’ three. But it’s all about timing with the Orange. The afternoon started poorly when Jeremiah Kobena fumbled the opening kickoff. Cincinnati scored four plays later and was up 7-0 in a heartbeat. Lack of protection for Ryan Nassib was a problem all day long. Nassib fumbled in Orange territory late in the 3rd quarter, which enabled Cincy to gain control and post the go-ahead score. Sometimes the numbers do lie.

  • Munchie was Legauxed to the bench. Hello, run defense?

Just pitiful. The SU defense should’ve been all over the run attack from the Bearcats. Instead, it allowed 263 yards on the ground and let George Winn put together a career day with 3 TD runs and a fancy trick passing play to embarrass the D. Dual-threat Munchie Leagaux was benched after throwing an interception in the 3rd quarter. Leagaux wasn’t getting it done through the air, but rushed for 39 yards on six carries. What’s been going on with this run defense lately? Durrell Eskridge told The Fizz this week that this defense looks to stop the run first. Durrell, not lately bro. Let’s back track a little bit. The Orange shut down Pitt’s Ray Graham, limited Rutgers’ Jawan Jamison, and blew out UConn. But the last two games, Syracuse has given up over 600 rushing yards.

  • Ryan Nassib and Jerome Smith again consistent standouts.

These two upperclassmen continue to get it done. Nassib rounded up the troops down in Florida, and against on Saturday he was very good. He did his job, throwing for just one touchdown but orchestrating the offensive attack.  He managed to lead the offense to 24 points against a worthy Cincinnati defense. Smith quietly rushed for 133 yards last week, and was at it again with 116 yards on the day. Clearly, the offensive playbook is still unfolding and working. Marrone has found his comfort zone with who wants getting more playing time. Nassib found almost every receiver, but those guys had careless drops and penalties (looking at you, Jarrod West). Smith is THE guy in the backfield. He finally got in the end zone for the first time this season. Orange postseason hopes remain alive unless Nassib and Smith fall off completely. The duo is just playing very well.

  • Marrone’s preaching isn’t trending positively.

Twelve penalties for 104 yards doesn’t get it done. Syracuse keeps having careless and unacceptable penalties. You can excuse missed field goals, because those things happen. But penalties are totally preventable. Of course some will happen throughout the course of a game, but the amount over the last three weeks are staggering. The Orange committed 10 penalties for 89 yards vs. South Florida and eight penalties for 73 yards against UConn. SU had 7 penalties against Rutgers as well. The trend isn’t really improving despite Marrone’s words of accountability. The penalty issue and spotty special teams may make for some difficult changes to the coaching staff. It’ s a problem that needs to be fixed because they’re killing the Orange.

  • The Louisville showdown becomes a must-win… kind of.

The Orange plays the best team in the Big East Saturday at noon in the Dome. Let’s hope the stadium is close to packed, because the Orange needs a similar effort to the wins over Pitt and UConn. SU will need all its firepower for 4 quarters against the Cardinals. Syracuse has to win two of its next three games to be considered for a bowl game. If we pencil in a win at Temple (no guarantee), the Orange must beat either Louisville or Mizzou on the road. Most consider victory on the road in the SEC an impossible task, leaving this weekend as a must win. It may not be wise to chalk up a loss in Columbia. The Tigers are only 4-5, and have lost games at home to Georgia, Vanderbilt and Alabama. Obviously, it’s no easy task for SU in two weeks, so it behooves the Orange to take care of business Saturday.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen

31 Comments on this Post

  1. Fumbles…D line gives up over 260 yards on the ground…12 penalties for 102 yards! Nassib continues to play well…
    The story doesn’t change..More of the same.. The opposition are second and third level teams.. We keep making silly mistakes and showing poor discipline. Mistake free football wins games.
    DM has failed to produce a culture that wins games. Nice guy, good character, well intended. He was a good experiment . Part of the Northeast football fraternity. He has failed.
    Time to move on…

  2. Steve Leahy

    My take on the high number of penalties is that the SU players do not possess enough intelligence to be D1 football players. That is why they (the players) were only 2-3 star rated. In addition, if the players continue with the same mistakes it totally reflects on the coaching staff. Lets face it, Morrone is not head coaching material, hell he can’t even coach the special team to respectability.

  3. I think intelligence is a rough statement. I watch interviews with 4/5 start kids at Florida/Alabama/Oklahoma.. They can’t put a sentence together. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen of our kids. Well spoken for Colloge kids.
    Tough for Syracuse to get the real stars but every year we get a few and there is a sprinkle of them in the NFL. The problem is coaching. A team of mid level talent playing good well discilined smart football with limited mistakes win games against greater talent!
    DM has failed on that front. Lots of talk..lots of sloppy, mistake driven, undisciplined poor play

  4. OrangeCrush27

    Wow! what a grueling 4 hours to be a ‘Cuse fan Saturday. Way too many up and downs for me. Overall, ‘Cuse is better then Cincy in my opinion. Just like they are better then NW, Minnesota eh? and Rutgirls (i’d even say USC in some aspects). But unfortunately, turnover and missed opportunities plague a team that has had one winning season in what, 8 years? Pretty much was given the “Death Penalty” in Grob (sorry for saying that name). But while reading others comments and opinions on any game this year, i’m irritated with most fan posts.

    1) Recruiting. Do people honestly think that 4-5 star players are easy to recruit and pick up? Seriously? What 4-5 star player is going to look at ‘Cuse past a Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, USC, etc?? I’m sorry but none. I bring this up all the time, but do you see the Utah’s, TCU’s, Boise St.’s, Toledo’s, Kent St.’s La Tech’s recruiting 4-5 star players every year? No not at all…which leads to my next point.

    2) Coaching. Our coaches ahve to take these 2-3 start recruits and mold them to be better. I am a DM fan. He does things the right way and even though he is not getting the results he is preaching this team is better then any ‘Cuse team we’ve seen in awhile. Recruiting wise, he is offering underclassmen in high school way before the big boys do. But these kids arent interested. The otherside of the coaching spectrum is the play calling. DM def needs a special teams coach and….

    3)A better offensive coordinator. Hackett is not good. To predictable. Do you honestly think Boise St. wins consistently with the talent level they recruit without mis-direction or trick plays on offense once every so often? Cincy’s tebow pass on 4th and 2 was a brillant call. I think i applauded the play. Very smart play, but the reason it happened is because it’s something that hasn’t been seen. Besides on the previous play a ‘Cuse D-back, on 3rd and long missed a wide open tackle on the TE who rumbled down close to the marker. He makes the tackle that play and score doesnt happen.

    Changes need to be made at the OC and special teams position, facilities need to continue to be upgraded and ‘Cuse is finally going to a better conference which will make recruits take a second look. I see improvements, but it has nothing to do with DM or not getting 4-5 star plays year in and out.

    Unfortunately, we need to stay patient and support our team. Things can’t get any worse.

  5. Look you do not fire the stock-boy at your local grocery store if profits are lacking(unless your the Mittster).You fire the store manager!! Trolls and the media both have this problem of only blaming the players!! That’s why SU must fire HCDM/dougie if he loses out. And it looks likely that might happen with his history!! Only Temple might be a win!! Come on save this program from some more embarrassing moments next year and fire HCDM/dougie!!!

    PS Ronnette needs serious counselling!!LOL!!

  6. Xcuseme96

    Wow! This is chicken little territory! The sky is falling! Let’s get some perspective.
    I am pretty satisfied with the progress that has been made. It is better to have loved and lost then to never loved at all. What hurts the most is that we see what has been created and we have hope. Hope cuts both ways. When it is not realized the pain can be greater than if we didn’t have hope. Under Robinson we didn’t have hope. I think the frustration now is not that we can’t win but we can but haven’t. I’d say that is miles beyond where we have been in the last 10 years. A couple bounces and dropped passes have kept this team from where it should be. It takes a lot to learn to win. I think Marrone has done a quality job. He doesn’t put the helmet on. The kids have to make the plays.

  7. I read a pretty interesting article in the Syracuse Post-Standard a week or two ago regarding Kansas St’s rise to prominence. Two years ago Syracuse beats Kansas St in the Pinstripe bowl (aided on a questionable unsportsmanlike call against a K State receiver after scoring a late TD – I’m sure you guys recall). Anyways, look at the direction of the two programs since…. One is talking BCS National Championship game; the other is talking about getting bowl eligible. Last I checked, Kansas State is not pulling in 4/5 stars kids or a top 20 ranked class every year. They bring in kids plenty similar to Syracuse recruits. The difference is coaching and execution. As the Fizz calls them – KYPs; we’ve got to be near the top of the list nationally (not a good thing).

    Chew on this stat: Kansas State points off opponent turnovers this season: 111, Opponents points off K-State turnovers 0

  8. OrangeCrush27

    i agree with Xcuseme96 and Mike.

    Terry i have no idea what your talking about. Comparing apples to SU Oranges there bub. Obviously if your store isnt doing well then it goes under as a whole. Not due to the manager.

    DM is doing his best on the recruiting front with what he has to offer in terms of facilities, conference, location, history, etc. And i like the fact that he has NFL history and connections in the city as well as creating a pipeline down south. That takes time.

    The players make the plays. That’s DM’s fault that Kobena fumbled the opening kickoff? Or that Krautman pulled a field goal? C’mon.

    And here’s another tidbit..KSU QB Collin Klein was rated a 2/3 star prospect from by Scouts/Rivals out of high school. G

  9. Babb-leers again. OC27 are you that lame!! Lowly stock boys don’t make the decisions for a grocery store. Management does. The boys just put cans and stuff on the selves themselves and go on to the next shelf to fill. They have no decision at all on how the grocery store is run. It has been that way for centuries!! Management is the decision maker here. If successful they get raises or promotions. If the store loses profits no matter how, they are fired. That’s all and its that simple. Players play-Coaches coach. SUs players play their hearts out while HCDM/dougie(I have never said all coaches) can’t coach them up at all. History shows that clearly. OK!!!

  10. I think everyone is so frustrated, because it is clear we have the players with the skill and ability to be winning games that we are instead losing. I agree Doug is doing a good job (relative to the SU program) recruiting. I still question the play calling (Hackett) and special teams are just awful (Marrone). Coaching really does make all the difference in the world at this level. Something is just not clicking; you can see the visible frustration in HCDM on the sidelines when we make a bad mistake…… But like Xcuseme96 said – he’s not putting a helmet on; his guys need to step up and make plays for him.

    Tough to sugar coat these stats:
    Syracuse is T-91 is turnover margin (out of 120)
    Syracuse is T-114 in penalties (120)

  11. You can keep sugar coating it but the stats don’t lie. I agree , we aren’t going to get the best high school players in the country, but we can make the best of what we get. DM is not doing that. Just because Coach P and Robinson were worse is no reason to settle. K State is a good example. They built a program on good football fundamentals. They play hard..they play smart and they force the other guy to screw up.
    DM is not doing a good job and neither is his staff!
    We need a change…good fundamental football, mistake free football wins games and builds a program. We have to many penalties, turnovers and just plain sloppy play. It’s not the kids!

  12. I think that everyone is forgetting one key thing is that the officiating has been terrible in the B.E. this year many questionable calls against Su on drive saving plays or momentum plays. Take a look at the first Su game the “late hate against NW” that wasn’t, the fumble that happened but never happened against Cincy, the phantom holds on Su that you cant find. The Fact is that SU is averaging 4-5 penalties more game than there opponents something is wrong with that Picture.

  13. Yea! Poor coaching and undiscilined play….
    It’s true at all levels.. Good teams..winning teams don’t have more penalties..more turnovers…than their competition. Penalties and turnovers have nothing to do with talent..it has to do with coaching!

  14. Russell MacEachern

    Cuse17 and Terry leading the anti-Marrone parade,what a joke…..”the sky is falling brigade”!!This was fun watching the negative tone the board would take left to tweedle dee and tweedle dum!!At least Terry is consistent and honest,more than I can say for some!!Mr All the answers C17!!Before the season started we all said if HCDM won 6/7 games and made a bowl we’d be lucky and 5 and his job would be safe….he’s delivered so now what?Remember guys were not Alabama!!

  15. Russell MacEachern

    I see “Cuse17” spent morning till night crying about HCDM on this board instead of having a normal life while Marrone is working hard for the “Cuse”!!Ya wanna help C17?Go help the storm victims instead of calling for a decent mans job!!

  16. Russell MacEachern

    And one more thing,the trouble with Marrone is he’s not a part of the Northeast coaching fraternity or he would’nt have had to work so hard to build recruiting relationships right here in NY/NJ!!Thats exactly what we DO need,an AL Golden or Addazio type but for now he’s what we have and making progress so lose him and wait 5 or 6 more years to build for “groundhog day” because every time u hire a new coach ur at the back of the line for recruits!!Or does “Cuse17” suggest we reach out for another G-Rob?Or Dr Gross,someone outside the loop?isn’t that where our problems started?

  17. Oh no …their back..more conversation about sandwiches and stupid names for the defensive line….

  18. @Terrie,Cuse17;PS Ronnette needs serious counselling!!LOL!!

    I hope the two of you get together and decide to team up and become the person you so desperately want me to see. Because when I walk into the room I would like nothing better than to stick my size 12 shoes up both of your asses. Get my drift here fools.

    @Cuse17;who was talking about sandwiches? I’ve never tried a ‘BOILED HAM AND CABBAGE SANDWHICH”. Have you Russell?

  19. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,looks to me like “Cuse17” is trying to help rivals recruiting in the heart of recruiting season?Maybe he’s really “Scarlet17” or “Husky17” as they also hope we fire Marrone!!Who would take advice from a guy who blames us for Fizz’s request to the readers to have some fun and think up some front 7 names?Why don’t u send that message to Fitz?Ron and I as good “Cuse” fans just join in with the spirit of this excellent site b4 this clown “Cuse17” decided he knew it all!!Go back to ur beloved Fla!!

  20. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,this guy is unbelievable……we lose a close game to a good team with help from the officials on the road and he blames Marrone?8 in the morning till 8 at night?I could’nt believe my eye’s!!Now I wake up and there he is again this time 6am calling people names on the same thread!!btw Ham or Corned beef and cabbage is an old traditional Irish and American dish…not sandwich!!I know u prefer [email protected] did u work the Shenendehowa/Shaker HS playoff game last weekend?

  21. @Russell MacEachern;
    Last weekend was the Section 3 Championships that determined the teams going to the State Championships. The State Championships will be played Nov. 23rd & 24th at the Dome and I will be working those days also. I believe that after the States are played the Federation Championships are played down state somewhere.
    Russ the Shenendehowa/Shaker HS playoff game must have been a sectional playoff game,with the winner coming to the dome for a chance of a State Championship.

  22. Russell MacEachern

    Yeah their in the Albany area and were on TWer this weekend!!”Go Cuse”…Ron,Im glad the majority of Fizz readers are reasonable cause 1 or 2 must have slipped in from Fla Steves SU.com a very negative bunch!!…or the sky is falling.com..

  23. @Russell MacEachern;I believe that some people are born into and never escape “misery” and reading different posts by Cuse17 and Terrie just proves the point.
    They’re never going to change Russell,never.

  24. I’m sick of thinking about this game

    Let’s talk Louisville upset! It would be nice to have an impressive showing on a SATURDAY! Friday seems to be our preferred day to whip butts (when all the HS recruits are busy playing their own games…)

  25. Russell MacEachern

    Mike,it would’nt surprise me if we gave the “ville” a major league butt whipping Friday night if we can avoid turnovers!You know our Def is gonna bring da PAIN!!

  26. HedgeHog

    I agree with AJ. A few blown calls by the refs have made a huge, huge impact on our season. Everyone says don’t blame the refs – screw that. When it comes down to 1 or 2 plays determining the outcome of a game and a bad call gives the other team an extra possession or in our case leads to 7 (Northwestern) or 14 its (Cinncy), yes that is an issue. We are not good enough yet to play a good team head to head and still overcome bad officiating and phantom fouls and penalties. It’s the difference in this team being 5-4 or even 6-3 as opposed to 4-5.

  27. Section 129 Smitty

    I agree with MIKE, I’m happy with the direction Marrone is taking the program and the progress he has made. The only thing he hasnt been able to do is get that 5 stat recruit yet. Coaching wise some of the calls on the field are questionable but he is starting to show some frustration and emotion on the sidelines and I like that he’s showing some emotion on the sidelines. He needs to hire a special team coach and continue to recruit, recruit and recruit. Marrone will figure this out and beat Louisville this week.

  28. Russell MacEachern

    Yeah we’ve gotten more than our share of bad call’s but its obvious were getting better team play,depth and recruits and the wins are starting to come with more frequency!!SU was’nt a quick fix and HCDM is working hard to get us back where we belong (top25-relevant)!!Keep ur chins up the wins are starting to come!Hopefully we’ll knock off the “Ville” Friday and shake off some of this negativity!!”Go Cuse”

  29. Hello guys!Hey Cuse17 and Terrie this is for the two of you and too the guy who posted,he felt the players being 2 & 3 star recruits weren’t smart enough to play the game of football. How ridiculous was that?

    Syracuse football team’s leaky run defense aside, it is No. 9 in the nation in tackles for a loss. Not to bad for a bunch of no nothing stupid football players.

  30. Zo controversieel berichten waar meer mensen het oneens zijn het meest waarschijnlijk de meeste reacties genereren. Overwegende dat de meest gemotiveerde en volledig doordacht stuk misschien weinig anders verlaten om te zeggen behalve “goede post”.

  31. I have always wanted to say these things and you have been my voice and have said it for me. In fact, I think that you have said it even louder!

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