Fizz 5: QB Duel, Dome Sweet Dome & What to Watch for in Syracuse/Wagner

Attention Syracuse fans: there is no need to panic.

The Orange also lost its first two games last year and still finished last season 8-5. SU dropped games against two very tough opponents in Northwestern and USC. This year is off to the exact same start, unfortunately the conference foes are much tougher in the ACC. Perhaps the biggest issue right now is the quarterback situation. Drew Allen has not been impressive. He completed 16 of his 37 passes and threw two interceptions without a touchdown against Penn State. The 48-27 loss in Week 2 against Northwestern didn’t go any better. In fact, it was worse. Allen was 27-for-41 passing but threw four interceptions. Ryan Nassib only threw 10 total picks last season. Now is the time to try Terrel Hunt. He was 2-for-4 passing and he rushed for a touchdown against Northwestern. Syracuse takes on Wagner on Saturday in its first official game at the Dome of 2013 and Hunt and Allen will split time under center. Here are five things to watch for.

1) Who plays better? Allen and Hunt will both get time. Allen’s picks have led to scoring opportunities for the opponent. Perhaps the home field advantage helps, but it takes more than limiting interceptions to win. He also needs to complete his passes. He has just a 55 percent completion percentage and the lack of depth at wide receiver is a concern. If Hunt plays better than Allen and shows potential, the Allen era may be over. Allen’s job is on the line and his performance Saturday may be the real indicator of his talent because he should be playing his heart out.

2) Can Jerome Smith carry this team? Syracuse is weak at the wide receiver position right now. The loss of Adrian Flemming hurts. Syracuse has just one receiving touchdown and five rushing scores. The offensive responsibilities need to be divided up and shared. Also, the offensive line hasn’t been able to create as many lanes for the running backs. If the QBs have trouble completing passes, Scott Shafer may call for more plays on the ground. If that becomes the case, can Smith still be the guy to push for yardage and score?

3) Dome field advantage? The Orange was 4-1 in the Dome last year, that only loss was the first week against Northwestern. Syracuse needs some love right now. The team is struggling and it hasn’t been a fun start to the season for players or coaches. The energy will be high and the Dome will hopefully be loud. Being back at home should be a confidence booster for Syracuse. Wagner isn’t a strong team, and if the Orange can’t win this game it’ll be time to hit the panic button.

4) Ryan Norton is kicking. He has never attempted a field goal in his college career, but he was the primary kickoff guy last year and so far this season. The sophomore takes over for Ross Krautman who is out with an undisclosed injury. Norton will surely have a few opportunities to get SU on the board. Let’s see what he’s got.

5) Will Syracuse finally get Shafer his first win? It’s tough for a coach to try to fix all of the problems at one time. A game against Wagner at the friendly confines of the Dome should be much needed feel-good afternoon. Shafer has to pick up a win in this game to keep the vultures from circling.

Posted: Austin Pollack


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  1. bk su fb fan says:

    While I think this Wagner game is important for this group in terms of having a positive mindset..I don’t see it as a true indicator of how the team will trend. Competition gets significantly steeer in terms couple of weeks. The Orange just have to use this game to get into the win column and for Drew Allen to summon the abilities that made him a scholarship qb(albeiit backup) at a major program. This is also a chance for receivers and backs to use get theemselves going and T Hunt to get some additional game action

    I just hope that the gameplanning takes into account the real strengths of each qb and the true strength of the offense. Drew Allen at the end of the day cant continue to make poor decisions, but atleast try to feature Rome, and PTG more so they can hopefuully open thinggs up for the passing game.

  2. Wagner game should just be exercize but Tulane will tell us more!I’ll be happy to hang 35/40 on Tulane but even a 10/15 point W against the Green Wave should be acceptable(there pretty decent)and get us ready/confidence for Clemson!

  3. Ron says:

    @Russell Stugots;

    If I remember right,the last time we played Tulane,they damn near beat us in a high scoring game.

    Watching news clips of Tulane football,I noticed that the starting QB is the son of the Great Joe Montana,arguably one of the best that’s ever played the game. Look for another high scoring affair in this one.

  4. Chris says:

    Ron, you do know that just cause hes the son of a great that doesnt make him a great player right? Michael Jordans kid is no Michael Jordan and i can gurantee you if montana’s kid was like joe he wouldnt be playing on lowly tulane.

  5. Ron says:

    Chris,yes I know the history. Great genes are not always passed on to the children. I thought I would just mention the fact that Montana’s son was the QB.

    I might add that he didn’t look bad in the highlights I watched of him.

  6. Frank says:

    I watched most of the Tulane game and when I left it in the 3rd qtr it was 10-9 Tulane. QB Montana started out ok but gets flustered with a rush. The team they played mostly rushed 4 all night. Watch Texas Tech as I believe that is the offense GMcD is trying to install at SU.

  7. Montana’s kid was a 3 or 4* i believe out of HS and went to a P5 school but transfered out to Tulane and he looked good on TV but had no blocking or time to throw but when he did he looked pretty good!His dad goes to most of his games so look to see him here next week!Remember Tulane was in the Sunbelt and they upset some SEC schools in the last couple years!LLM upset Arky at Arky last year in OT!

  8. chris says:

    When a QB has the ball in his hands and spots aWR running free down the field,the QB’s name is irrelevant be it Unitas, Namath Montana or Tiebow the point on the board don’t reflect the names.The offense has been tagged as poor but our defense thus far is nothing to get excited about.

  9. Malone says:

    Yeah but Russ, Rutgers beat Arkansas at Arkansas too, so that doesn’t hold much water. Lol. Tulane is a team that should be respected and not looked past, especially when we’re 0-2

  10. Malone says:

    Terry, still holding to my prediction of a shovel in the ground on Sunday for the IPF. Haven’t heard otherwise from an insider.

  11. BigDipster says:

    Nick Montana… was good west coastish QB! Any year outside of Nassib, he wouldve been a high recruit for SU. Still give SU the edge in the next two games, need 45+ rushing plays, and let Hunt tear’em up with playaction, if that isn’t the game plan….”we may have the wrong coordinator?”

    * ” the Drew Allen experience” is puking on HCDMs & OCNHs hardworking from the past four seasons…. its embarrassing!

  12. Terry says:

    SU 36 Wagner 10!!

    Thanks Malone!! When the dirt flies I’ll believe it! LOL!!

  13. Cuse17 says:

    Who would believe it would come to this……Wagner!
    When no one shows up today they’ll claim there is something wrong with the Dome.
    It’s not the Dome…. Syracuse vs Wagner
    I’d rather watch paint dry……
    Imagine if Cuse looses…could happen.. You have to score to win. This Offensive staff could put a game plan together to beat a Pop Warner team let alone a Pop Wagner team.

  14. Ron says:

    @Russell Stugots;

    Russell got home from working lastnight and turned on the tv and stumbled onto the St. Thomas Aqunis vs John Curtis game.

    STA beat JC 27-13.

  15. Dr. bill says:

    I think many fans out there are forgetting something. HCDM and OC- Nat Hacket’s offense was nothing special going into the last few weeks prior to last season…until Hacket hit on something and it clicked…the hurry up offense…Ryan Nassib was great at it….and it made a huge difference…prior to that neither the QB nor OC was anything special. So, Schafer and McDonald need to hit on the right offense/or Qb to click!!!..Go cuse….

  16. cusefan75 says:

    Why does everyone keep saying “conference foes are much tougher in the ACC”? I don’t think that there are facts to back that the ACC was better than the big east in a convincing sense, let alone throwing superfluous words in such as “much”. I’m a science and math guy and feel that Sagarin does a solid job with his algorithm for ranking teams. There is clearly room to quibble, but not by more than 5-7 places in his ranking. It is very tight by the end of the year. Guess how many ACC teams finished in front of Cuse in the final rankings last year……2. Yep, just Florida State at 11 and Clemson at 14. Those two heavies were clearly better than the rest of the ACC and old BE. However, after that it is a relative mish-mosh. The Ville was 27th (due to poor schedule), Cincy rolls in at 36 and da Cuse at 38. Third highest team in ACC was UNC, followed by G Tech at 46, Canes at 49, (Ratgirls at 53), Va Tech 54,(Shitsburgh at 59), NC State 64, Duke 73, (south florida 86),Virginia 87, (Poo-conn at 89), (Temple 100), Maryland 101, Wake 109, BC 113.

    So, I fail to see how the ACC provides “much” better competition than the Big East did outside of FSU and Clemson. there seems to be a logjam glutton of Cuse-like teams in the league. In fact, there were 3 ACC teams worse than Temple! This league is the BE all over again with a couple top heavy teams and better name familiarity in my mind.

    Sure, Cuse is NOT the same team as last year and neither are the rest of the teams obviously, for better or worse. I’m not saying Cuse should finish third in the league, just that they should be highly competitive if they can prove to be decent and gel.

    Finally, in regards to recruiting the ACC teams have for the most part “out recruited” Cuse and many of the old BE teams. Yet you see the results. Do we need to recruit better? Sure! However that’s because we’d like to compete with the top 2-4 teams in the league. This is solid evidence in my mind that high 2 star kids aren’t that different from low 4 star kids due to all of the inherent rating biases (infrequent live evals, catering to particular fan bases that pay the bills etc)

    Anyways….off my soap box here. Go Cuse. Just tired of journalists that study English predominately instead of taking a course or two that require analytical skills.

  17. cusefan75 says:

    Ugh. Just saw expected attendance is 18k butts in seats today. Horrible fan base man.

  18. Boston Jay says:

    The problem with the ACC for us is that we’ll have virtually no shot in games with FSU, Clemson, and Miami (whey they inevitably re-emerge as a titan). And teams like BC and Pitt have had stretches where they’ve been far superior to Cuse. So if we don’t put out a product that’s at least as good as last year’s squad, we have lots of 3-9 seasons in our future. Especially if we insist on continuing to play overly difficult non-conf schedules.

  19. Terry,I just saw “our boy” Tyler Rouse scored a 29yd TD run for BC against USC in Calif!Maybe you were onto something?…Yea Malone but LLM only got in the Arky game when Tyler Wilson was concussed and couldn’t finish.. they were a very different team with him in the game but RU wooped em with Tyler Wilson playing the whole game…whole different scenario? @cusefan75,I agree not much difference in ACC or BE FB w/o the FSU/Clem equasion recently!

  20. BigDipster says:

    Today proved the “Drew Allen experience” is in the past. Hunt sat for 3 games, now let’em loose!!! The team responded to Hunt’s play… a win was expected,not a route? Go ‘Cuse…. wins a win!

  21. Ron says:

    SYRACUSE 54—-WAGNER 0

    QB issue is put to rest. Terrell Hunt leads team on 6 different scoring drives. Drew Allen led the team to a field goal and a TD.

    The team was a completely different team today than what they showed in the first two weeks. We’ll never know if the message the team was sending to the coaches the first two weeks(was recieved and acted on)was the reason for the change in their attitudes.

    The defense played zone coverage that smothered Wager. Defensive backs swarmed to the ball when necessary.

    Syracuse won the turn over battle again,impressive.

    I liked the new look of the Navy Blue uniforms trimmed in white with the orange helmets.

    The question/rumors about Terrell Hunt not being able to throw the deep ball,was put to rest tonight. Passes of 45,75 yards setting the team up fao a score and another hitting the WR in full stride for a touchdown was impressive.

    The WR’s were running their routes like they were designed and faster. The offense looked like they are starting to jell as a unit. Like I said earlie,the defense for me was super.

    Stupid penalities were at “0″.

    Passing yards 359,Rushing yards 236 for a total of 595 yards for the game.

    We see the future at the RB position as Georg Morris II and Devante McFarlane looked impressive.

    I REALLY LIKED THE NAVY BLUE UNIFORMES.

    We’ll see if this is the game that set the fire under the players feet.

  22. Terry says:

    My Take:

    Some good comments even though they are crazy ones. Russ/cusefan 75 your nuts!! The Big Least was a failure in the long run let alone a laughing stack to the nation in CFB. Other than the McNabb, Miami and VT times the Big Least was $hit!! The ACC programs are far better than the Big Least now by far. SU, WF,BC,PITT and Duke in ACCFB are the weak boys. But the others are qualified national programs. For christ sake UConn represented the Big Least once nationally on New Years eve. You(anti-ACC) all still have that BB mind and refuse to give it up for something far more better for SU FB program. STOP! SU is far better off now. It will take time to build but still better than that sewer of the Big Least!!

    Great show yesterday. But its still Wagner. Hunt is #1 now-no doubt. Didn’t like the 54 point spread. Surprised in HCSS. SU has been blow out many times so we know how a beat down feels. Class would have slowed down at 40+. If its Rutgirls/PSU/ND then score 60 on them. Its Wagner they are not a monster HCSS!!

    Was at the game and I said 23,000 would show. Attendence stated as 33,000=BS and a shame. It was acually around 23,000. 35,000 is realistic since its Wagner!! SUBB playing a Wagner type game would do percentage wise better.

    The new Uni’s are ok, but still need work!! Too dark not enough orange!! But still better than all orange!!

    Malone your right on if reports are right, that facilities are dug up today(9/15/13)!! But still waiting for it to happen!

    Russ= Rouse has talent that SU could of used. I don’t like Morris on ST’s at all. Mainly because of injuries. Rouse would of fit there great. Also Rouse would of fit in nicely on a rotating “O” scheme for Coach McD. I’m telling you right now in his career he will haunt SU someday. If you were him you want to prove SU was wrong on him. SU just might of blew this one big time for many reasons. We’ll see!!!

    Great win=team and coaches!! Where’s the fans at the DOME???????????????????????????

  23. Terry says:

    Can some one out there please find out what really was the first real Orange program!! In the ACC orange is on other teams. Just trying to complele a debate with others!!

  24. Cuse Don't Luse says:

    princeton was the first D1 orange football followed by UT Cuse actually started out with Pink but Clemson and Miami aren’t the first to incorporate orange in respect to us if thats what ur asking nothing needs to be said about Hunt what does need to be said is Morris and Mcfarlane impressed me especially on just a second down and 8 mcfarlane got popped at the line by both DT’s and broke both tackles then went straight back in the same hole and met a DE and the strong side linebacker and get his momentum forward for a gain of 6 yards… with any of the other running backs that would have been a 2 yard loss. I think Gulley thinks he is more shifty and elusive than he really is he got lucky in the Penn State game when he switched the grain of the field and picked up a first down after a poor tackle and when he did it against wagner he only lost 2 yards but against clemson we are going to lose 15 yards with shit like that. Also Wr needs to get figured out every week we have had a new leading receiver we need to find our go to guy and Jerome Smith needs to get on track people said he would leave for the NFL after this year yea right 61 yards against wagner and he hasn’t broken 75 on the season also kirkland is a good LB but he gets a special teams penalty every single game its ridiculous

  25. Dr. bill says:

    I sure hope Hunt’s performance puts this QB question to rest. How could it not? The team clearly moved better under Hunt. Hunt was going through his progressions and moving the ball down field. I never saw Allen do that……it was a huge weakness for him. He now should be fixed in the # 2 QB seat from here on out.
    It brings into question what these coaches were looking at in Pre Season! If they were so close…….for me…I would always go with the younger player that has two more seasons left after this vs. a 5th year Sr transfer from another program. I never understood this move after seeing Allen play in the first game. I was expecting to see Payton Manning!!!! Anyone else feel duped like me?

  26. Ron says:

    Terry,what are you asking? Are you asking about the name Orangemen or are you asking when they started wearing the color orange?

    I know clemson wears orange and I hope they wear a different color when they come here to play. I don’t like the whole orange outfit of the Cuse,but damn when we play clemson in 3 weeks I hope the people who attend the game wear orange and the team comes out completely orange.

    I was told this morning that the game has been sold out. I hope it’s true,the third ranked Clemson team coming to the dome to get their a$$es kicked.

    I’ll try to get you an answer on your question.

  27. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    I hope this answers your questions.

    Orange is the official school color, adopted as such in 1890. Prior to that time, the school’s colors were rose pink and pea green. Orange, blue, and white are traditionally used for athletic uniforms.[9]

    The athletic nickname derives from the official color. Prior to 2004, the official nicknames of the athletic teams were the “Orangemen” and “Orangewomen.” These former nicknames are still affectionately used by some fans. However, beginning with the 2004–2005 school year, the official nickname was changed to the “Orange.” This revision is gender-neutral, concise, and reflects the basis of the nickname as being the school color, as opposed to being derived from the Irish and Scottish Protestant fraternal organization.[10] Other nicknames over the years have included the “Hilltoppers,” for the school’s location on a hill, and the “Saltine Warriors,” for a former mascot.

    This information was taken from the History of the Syracuse Orangemen Football website.

  28. Ron,I won’t explain here the anti Catholic connatations that started the Orange society going back to William of Orange but no body wants to know how many Irish Catholics see it as an affront!Lets just enjoy it!The Orange Society made it their business to harrass Irish immigrants in the early/mid 19th century!”Green and Orange” “protestant and catholic”!!

  29. Princeton U was founded by the Protestant Scots-Irish too!

  30. Malone says:

    @Russ – Funny stuff on the Irish Protestant facts. I had real trouble with it on the hill in March, or on Tip hill for that matter.

    Terry, the key to your arguement is that Syracuse is the first and only school to have Orange and ONLY orange as its color. All the other schools have Orange and something else, like blue for UVA or purple for Clemson. Other teams are burnt orange, or pumpkin orange. I think that is the case with Texas and Tennesee. As for the IPF, I have seen the pics of the ceremony. Like I said, I have solid inside info. Ask Russ what my twitter handle is, I think he knows.

  31. Yeah Malone,thats old water under the bridge to the more americanized Irish but you’d be surprised at the anger some old stock Irish Catholics in my family/friends circle are still suspicious of Masons/OrangeOrder as though the Molly Maguires are still being abused!LoL,but who are we(our generation) to tell them its long gone(the hate/fear/jealousy)?

  32. Terry says:

    Malone the shovel is in the pile of historic dirt for the facilities. Personally, these facilities are adequate, but by far not the best. But still needed to compete with the mid-range and upper programs. Finally!!

    Ron/Russ and any other SU fan out there in cyber space who thinks 2 stars/NR talent is accepted for DIV-1 college FB look at Wagner and what SU did to them. I bet ya a majority of Wagners players were of this ranking!! Let alone what a top 25 would do to them. No Thank You!!

    With the Orange colors thing its just a pride thing. With SU its ORANGE all the way. But “OTHERS” still seem to stick that color in every now and then. We have to stick to the Orange CUSE guns on this issue because others are claiming that famed color to.

    I watched the replay of Thursdays nights game where Howard played.

  33. Terry says:

    Sorry I just did a 16 hour shift!! Yes 16 hours!! Personal emergency for other staff. For the team! LOL! Time for the old folks home. Hit the submit button to early. Don’t ask why??? Just that 60′s thing reaction and just plain tired!! I’m retired, but just refuse to admit it at times!!

    Anyway I re watched the replay of Howard of W. Genesee playing Thursday night!! Not really impressed. He had many yards on the ground, but his abilities/moves were not sharp. At DB he was there,but hardly spoken of. That could be because they threw/ran away from him, but I didn’t feel that!! Still feel Rouse was far better so far that Howard. Yet they turned him away!! Its early and Howard can improve, but a 3 star is a stretch!! The soph for FM(# 1, good sized kid) might be noteworthy down the road!! I’ll keep an eye on him!!

  34. Ron says:

    @Russell Stugots;

    Thanks for the history lesson Russell. I never realized that the higher ups at Syracuse University,the city,county or what have you discriminated against the Irish Catholics. Never heard anything about/like that before.

    I will do some research on the subject and become more informed.

  35. cusefan75 says:

    Terry. Thanks for answering with your typical reply, absent fact or coherence. You sir would make one hell of an attorney.

  36. Ron,Im not saying SU purposely took that road but that its just 1 version and remember this was a much different,90% white country back then but remember what CDL said…we originaly had PINK as our color and Orange was a nice Scots-Irish All american conservative color back then!They(Orange Society) were the 1st St Patricks day parade except for ScotsIrish protestants in NYC/Boston/Chicago until the Irish Catholics countered with the massive one you see in modern times!In N.Irelands citys like Belfast and Derry they (the Orange)still march down Shankill RD antagonizing Catholics!

  37. Don’t be surprised Ron at what people like the Orange Order/Society will do!Remember the KKK?Started by the same people and even proudly ran for the highest offices under there banner!If you see the comedy”O Brother where Art Thou?”See it,its history done in a humourous fictional style/format!Tell the truth and shame the Devil!

  38. Ron says:

    Russell,I’m not taking anything that you have to say on this matter the wrong way.

    it appears to me frfom your comments that your family and friends have lived it and that you now are explaining to me something I knew nothing about. I assure you thou,I will look into it and read about the problems that the Irish endured while in Syracuse.

    I do know that there is a large Irish population within the city limits of Syracuse,and I also know the place to be on St Pat’s,is at Coleman’s Tavern.

    The following was taken from Coleman’s website;
    Since the early 1820’s the hilly neighborhood west of downtown Syracuse has been known as Tipperary Hill. Settled primarily by Irish immigrants who made up a large part of the labor force on the Erie Canal the area received the name Tipperary Hill because most of settlers were originally from County Tipperary in Ireland.

    I make a promise Russell,I will do some research on the Irish population in Syracuse.

  39. My mothers side came to Wyoming County,Pa on the same boat directly from Tipperary and County Mayo in the 1880s following relatives who came earlier to work on the Erie Canal and on the railroad and married a cousin of Stonewall Jackson(prot/Scot-Irish)Marion S Jackson in 1893 on the condition the kids were raised Catholic!My dad was a Scot-Canadian protestant but my mom married him anyway and her maiden name was Ann M Jackson.

  40. Malone says:

    Ron – Colemans is the Tip Hill joint I am referring to above. I cannot say that I ever faced any problems as an Irish Catholic, just that the Orange (or gold) in the Irish flag represents the Protestant, or Church of England part of Ireland. It is they that the IRA among others fought with for so long. St. Patrick is a catholic saint, so to wear Orange on St.Pats is seen by Irish Catholics as the ultimate insult, making it hard to be an SU fan on that day. Tip Hill is very Irish. I think it is the only place in the US where the traffic lights are “upside down” because the local Irish insisted the green should be on top. Makes things hard for the color blind I assume.

  41. Ron says:

    @Malone;

    The stories that both you and Russell are talking about is very interesting to say the least. Talking about you family history makes the pride both of you share just about jump off of this website.

    Russell back when you and I were talking about the things that we did,working on the farm and trying to do the right things,you mentioned that you were a bouncer in ‘HELLS KITCHEN”. Doesn’t the Irish control that part of the city?

    @Malone;

    In a earlier post,I asked if your were dating Nancy Cantor? I just want you to know that I have a wierd sense of humor and that I was joking around there

    I just want to mention guy’s that I think the both of you are interesting individuals. I really would like to set around a campfire on a summers night talking to the both of you. I think we could have some fun doing it.

    Thanks to both of you for sharing. It’s Priceless,just plain PRICELESS.

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