SU fans were nervous the entire day, and this game was a battle all afternoon. It shouldn’t have been. Stony Brook was a lesser opponent, but again the Orange found a way to keep an opponent in the game because of mistakes. But for the first time since the West Virginia game of last October, Syracuse gets a victory.
- Shameful tackling by Jermi Wilkes on Miguel Maysonet’s ridiculous 71-yard TD run. Wilkes drifted left toward Maysonet, but when the running back hurdled a tackler, Wilkes simply threw a shoulder into him (barely). Wrapping up and putting a hit on the ball carrier there is mandatory. It helped create the highlight run. Maysonet finished with 158 yards. Not okay.
- Dreadful blocking and owning of the trenches by the Orange on two goal line failures in the second half. Especially on Jerome Smith’s loss of a yard on 4th-and-goal from the 1. This is a worn down FCS team on the road in the 4th quarter. There’s simply no way you cannot own the line of scrimmage there.
- Doug Marrone’s guts to go for it in the second half to extend the lead is admirable. You’d hate for SU to coach/play scared or “not to lose” against an FCS team. But up 21-17, is 4th-and-goal the time to be going for it from the 3? And if so, should you take a shot with a passing play in such a condensed area?
- Prince Tyson-Gulley’s fumble under 2:00 at the end of the 1st H was unacceptable. Against better teams that’s the type of mistake that kills you. SU was around midfield, looking to put an exclamation point to end the half and PTG coughs it up. Can’t happen. Of course, he also scored the first TD of the day on the 61-yard reception in the first. So it wasn’t all bad for Prince.
- Nice drive by the Orange to come out of the locker room and take the lead. SU should’ve had that killer instinct all day. But at the very least, SU found that aggressive nature on the first drive of the 3rd quarter.
- Three offensive stars for the Orange: Ryan Nassib, Smith and Marcus Sales. Nassib once again went over 300 yards, didn’t throw a pick. Smith ran hard all day long (when he wasn’t running into his own blocker on the 4th-and-goal), and finished with 95. Sales caught the final score of the day, and had 5-117.
- Finally saw the Orange play calling target Ashton Broyld. He touched the ball a dozen times on offense, and scored on a beautiful 22-yard run up the middle. He showed his tackle-breaking ability and break away speed. Get the ball in his hands more. please.
- Coach Mac’s performance in the guest booth for SNY was the highlight of the day. He was fun, energetic, salty and homer-ific. Just Mac being Mac.
Final Word: It’s good to just see a win, been too long. But it should’ve never been that close. It could’ve been worse if Stony Brook didn’t overthrow a wide open receiver at the goal line in the first half. If this was an emotional let down after the USC game, it’s understandable. But the Orange is not good enough to play sloppy and still win against anyone else on the schedule.