Thursday, September 10, 2009

An obligatory look at Syracuse

About the University

Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York. It was founded as a university in 1870, but its roots can be traced back to a seminary founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1832 which eventually became Genesee College.

Beer and Methodists, woo hoo!!

Since 1920, the university has identified itself as nonsectarian.[8] Syracuse was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1966.
Cool Fact

In July, 2008, Syracuse University became the owner of the second largest collection of 78 rpm records in the United States after the Library of Congress after a donation of more than 200,000 records. The donation is valued at $1 million and more than doubles the University's collection of 78 rpm records to about 400,000.

So yeah, if you like miss that Gramophone recording of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite stop by Syracuse, they probably have it.

Football related datum

Current Record: 0 – 1
Lost at home to Minnesota 23-20
Last year's Record: 3 – 9
Beat Notre Dame *snicker* and lost to Akron 42-28 (food for thought)

The scary side of things

Check out Greg Paulus' stats:

Paulus led the Atlantic Coast Conference in assist to turnover ratio during the 2007–08 season, and shot over 42 percent from beyond the arc on his way to making 82 three point field goals.

Oh wait, this is football. Never mind.

Seriously, Paulus had a decent start to the season completing 19 of 31 passes for 167 yards with 1 touchdown. Not bad for a guy that hasn't played football since 2004. In fact Paulus led the Orange to 20 first half points taking advantage of a shell shocked Minnesota defense. To put that in perspective, the Orange scored 20 or more points only 8 times in the last four years.

The running backs are deep with erstwhile Ohio Mr. Football Delone Carter leading the way. Antwon Bailey gives the orange a very solid second option. You may remember Bailey from such games as Notre Dame 2008 where he rushed for 126 yards in the upset of the Irish. Bailey averaged 6.2 yards per carry in the Minnesota loss while Carter racked up 88 yards with a touchdown.

This may sound weird but Syracuse actually has a wide receiver talented enough to draw double teams, just ask the Gophers who were torched by Mike Williams for 94 yards and a touchdown. In fact seven different receivers caught passes with four catching at least 2 or more in the first game.

Also worth mentioning is running back Michael Jones who returned 5 kickoffs for an average of just over 30 with a 79 yarder. Speaking of special teams, punter Rob Long averaged 45.9 yards over 8 punts against the Gophers and 43.9 over the 2008 season (and you know he was punting a LOT).

The not-so-scary side of things

While the offense looked menacing in the first half against the Gophers they disappeared in the second half not converting one third down or scoring any points. The offensive line is rebuilt worse than a 69 Dodge Dart although they kept things together against the Gophers. Paulus' had a fine debut but it was soiled by the back-breaking interception in OT that led to the Orange's demise.

The defense is, well pathetic.

While the offense may have some weapons of the frightening sort the defense is 'retooling'. That's a nice word for saying Craptacular. How you retool a defense that was ranked 100 or worse in rushing, scoring, and total defense and sacks is beyond me.

Game Outlook

Look for the no-huddle offense to give fits to the rebuilt Penn State secondary but the defensive coaches will make the adjustments. The thing about a no-huddle offense is, they can score quick but the can also turn the ball over quick and put a "retooled" defense back on the field in a hurry. The offensive line, which seems to be an eternal problem with Syracuse, will probably show its true colors against the likes of Ogbu and Odrick. The Syracuse defense, which is supposed to be more aggressive under the new staff, will probably take a page out of Akron's book and force Clark to throw by loading up and blitzing. Clark will probably have a big day again but I think we will see the running game take shape this week as the coaches will probably try to wear down the Cuse D.

TNL's Prediction

Penn State 38
Syracuse 10