I know, it’s crazy and it’s early and it’s only one game and I’m running on late night Otto adrenaline. The Orange has been defined this season by inconsistency, so the phrase, “If they can play like this every week…” is like asking to stumble upon an open bank vault. But on Friday night at approximately 7:59p, West Virginia was the surest bet for the league’s BCS bid. The Mountaineers had throttled almost every team on their schedule, and had crushed Coach P’s Huskies by four touchdowns. WVU’s only loss came at the hands of the #1 team in the country, LSU. The ‘neers had Geno Smith and a fresh young coach, weapons galore and were a top 15 program with a beatable league in front of them.
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And then Orange happened. What was that? Ryan Nassib’s night was near perfect, going 21-of-29, 210, three TDs, no INTs and a passer rating of 14,000. The rushing attack was ruthless, piling up nearly 200 yards on the ground, and SU was coldly efficient on third down, converting 12-of-17 chances. The offense moved the ball at will, hit kill shot after kill shot, and it looked and felt like the Dome was home to to greatness again.
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No play was bigger than Dorian Graham’s run to daylight. WVU had closed the gap to four points and the Carrier faithful was waiting for the real Orange to show up. Just around the corner lurked the instant offense of the Mountaineers, combined with some lethargic SU play-calling, a swing in momentum and CNY would retire to its beds still waiting for that “turning point game” Syracuse football fans have been starved for.
But Graham blew the doors off the building, ripping apart the WVU special teams for 98-yards and you knew this night would be different.
The mojo has officially changed for SU football. It wasn’t that long ago we cursed and hurled things at the television when the Orange was manhandled by everyone including Akron. The Dougie now has it – his turning point game. No, there’s no guarantee SU wins the rest of its games or makes the BCS. Hell, the Orange probably won’t have another game in which it plays like that.
But Syracuse has a tipping point moment, where the fans can rush back and the recruits can see it on TV and Orange football rocks again. Right now SU is the best team in the Big East. Even if it’s for one night.