The victory over West Virginia not only brought national attention to the ‘Cuse because seemingly all of the SportsCenter staff are alum, but also because it was on ESPN2. The headline is “SU upsets #20 WVU.” But behind the headline is the work that went into the win.
The Syracuse defense shut down a big time passer in Geno Smith. Coming into that game, West Virginia had put together 31 200+ yard passing games since 2001. Five of them had been this year with Smith. But defensive coordinator Scott Shafer devised one heck of a game plan according to Ted Conroy:
“Shafer is one of the most firey guys that you will see. He will drop f-bomb after f-bomb in practice. If the players do what he wants them to do, if they succeed in practice, you know he’s going to be proud of them. It’s so interesting that after watching a Syracuse team for the last however many years, you wondered how are they going to screw this up – it’s fun to watch three linebackers and a safety go to the ling and wonder ‘Who’s going to be there.’ It makes it a lot more fun. And it works!”
A 5-2 record, 2-1 in the Big East and a win over a ranked opponent? That has equaled Syracuse: RV/RV. What? Oh yeah. SU is receiving votes in the AP poll. Like eight of them. Which is essentially good for a #30 ranking right now. D.A. weighs in:
“At this point it’s a little premature to call Syracuse the best team in the Big East. It’s littered with underachieving squads. It’s not really a talent thing at this point in the conference, it’s a coaching thing. Look how many of these teams should be better than they are. What Marrone has done, I think, is that they’re just not going to beat themselves. As long as you don’t beat yourself in this conference, it’s a winnable conference. The two (conference) wins they’ve had, it’s come down to being the smarter team.”
This past week The Fizz broke news by talking to Othello Henderson, who was one of the players named for taking money from agents in the Sports Illustrated article by Josh Luchs.
“I love this. I thought Othello was really honest and really sincere. It’s not like Othello doesn’t also want his voice out there, but this is great for college football that people are talking about it. We’re seeing it happen at so many different programs and so many different schools. I love the interview with Henderson and how he shed some light on that, because if you read the article you’d think that Luchs is the next Drew Rosenhaus.
The newest member of Team Fizz, Andrew Kannell looked at the win from a recruiting perspective:
“You don’t know what to think about what they’re saying. Are they coming here for the academics or not? When Rob Trudo said the reason he was coming here, it was all about the academics. He said he talked to the assistant dean of the engineering school. There’s no doubt if you’re talking to the guys who want to come here for the victories, the West Virginia game certainly helped that cause.”
Posted: Mike Couzens