Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kion Wilson is Tough

According to the the Bulls Report at Tampa Bay Online (thumbs down to still using the word 'online' in the moniker, this isn't 1997) South Florida linebacker Kion Wilson suffered a cut in the first half of the Florida State game that required 25 stitches to close up. However, Wilson had the thing taped up and played the second half. That's impressive in our book.

It's not as impressive as coming back to play after the injury below, but it's still impressive nonetheless.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Mike Locksley Era Off to a Fighting Start

First year University of New Mexico head football coach Mike Locksley interviewed last year for the head job at Syracuse University. We all know he didn't get the job. Instead, he landed the head gig at the University of New Mexico. Last week he landed something else - a punch to the mouth of his wide receivers coach.

The action, known as Tom Cable-ing your assistant has lead to Locksley being reprimanded by his school. The slap on the wrist included a "letter in his personnel file." If he gets in trouble again I''m guessing he's looking at two weeks of detention, or maybe even the dreaded in-school suspension. In all seriousness, I have no idea what the offensive coaches meetings will be like from here on out, but I have to imagine it would be on par with a dinner date between Kanye West and Taylor Swift.

Sean at TNIAAM profiled Locksley last year - he is known as a bright young coach and an excellent recruiter, but so far this year he's also known as a guy that's 0-4. While it's stupid and impossible to judge college football coaches after 4 games, the T3I collective man-crush on Doug Marrone grows stronger by the day, so we're happy the brain trust on the hill snagged Marrone - he's tremendous. Besides, Jaime Elizondo looks like he could take a punch. Doug knows better than to mess with that guy.

Citrus TV Breaks Down Greg Paulus and Delone Carter

Citrus TV does a nice job discussing Greg Paulus' performance against Maine.



And in this clip they break down Delone Carter's performance - although I have to take off a couple of points for the "Pennsylvania State" reference. Technically it may be correct but.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Syracuse - Maine Observations


The Syracuse Orange football team is at .500 after a less than pretty win over the Maine Black Bears yesterday. While we will gladly take any win after 4 years of putridity, this game wasn't pretty. The hope and enthusiasm that were injected into the fan base after last week's thrilling win over Northwestern have certainly been tempered - and with a potent South Florida team heading north this upcoming weekend, the Orange have a lot of work do to. Let's get to the observations:

The Good

Greg Paulus is getting better every week - and he started the season strong. After 4 games he's completing nearly 70 percent of his passes and he's had a ton of passes dropped. He looked very good against Maine, and maybe I'm seeing things, but his arm looks like its getting stronger as the season goes on. This kid is the real deal.

I say it every week, but Delone Carter runs hard on every time he touches the ball. He's extremely tough to bring down and usually doesn't have much room to operate.

In an effort to say something nice about the offensive line, I'll say this, they didn't give up any sacks yesterday.

Mike Williams had a nice, but not spectacular game.

Marcus Sales caught a TD. I'm a huge Sales fan, and maybe he stinks in practice or something, but I don't understand why he's not on the field more. He's got the size and hands to be a real weapon.

Derrell Smith hits people - hard. I like watching him play football.

Doug Hogue had an interception and looked good returning the ball - we won't mention that the QB tackled him, it is good to see him making plays.

The Bad

By letting Maine hang around for so long, Syracuse wasted an opportunity to get reserves valuable playing time. If they had jumped on them early, Ryan Nassib could have got some snaps, along with lesser used tailbacks like Averin Collier and Mike Jones.

Coming into the game Maine averaged a little more than a 100 yards passing per game. SU gave up 340 yards passing to this team. That's horrific. Greg Robinson style horrific. Perry Paterson could have a field day if he was playing against the SU secondary.

Mike Williams has dropped passes in every game this season. Right now he's T.O. without the attitude. He's got all the tools and can make plays to break your back, but he drops waaaaay too many footballs.

I think the referees were being paid based on the number of flags they threw, because there was yellow on the field all night. It made the game tough to watch and Maine was called for a lot of tough penalties. The refs made Maine coach Jack Cosgrove a little nuts.

The offensive line was really poor in the run game. The middle of the line was getting beat physically. In a game against a 1-AA school, you have to do a better job up front. This is going to be a problem all year.

The Ugly

The not so special teams. Maine recovered 2 on-side kicks and successfully executed 2 fake punts. Are you f-ing kidding me? They were so bad they made the Buffalo Bills special teams unit from January 2000 look competent.

Conclusion

Doug Marrone said it best, "We haven’t won a lot of games, so I’m going to enjoy this," Big Doug told the gathered media afterwards. "Hey, we won a game. It’s hard to win a football game. You guys should know that. You’ve seen what’s gone on here the past four years."

So a win is a win - but the Orange get no style points for this one. South Florida represents a huge challenge this Saturday.

We feel your pain Michigan fans


"Does the hunt to replace defensive coordinator Greg Robinson begin Sunday?"

~Pete Thamel, NY Times on Michigan's "limp" and "porous" effort Saturday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Tiki Trouble


Former Orange recruit and now former BU Bearcat Tiki Maybe is at it again.

All Things Maine

Let's preview this week's matchup Idiot-style. Here's a look at all things Maine and Bear.

Kenny Mayne: Big thumbs up. We at T3I are fans of Kenny's work. If you are looking for a great quick read, Kenny's foray into the world of literature comes highly recommended from this Idiot.

Who else would make a better "Big Buddy"





Saturday Night's Main Event: Thumbs up to this '80s wrestling special. These things were taped like a month in advance and no one knew the results....life before the internet. Tremendous viewing. Don't take my word for it, just ask Mr. T:





Maniac: Thumbs up to Tommy Boy's version:




Barefoot Contessa: Thumbs down. The Food Channel has much better offerings.

Go Cuse, beat Maine.

The Captain's Fantasy - Week 3




More exciting than the Redskins vs Rams on Sunday, the Captain's Fantasy is back for week 3.

Did anyone see any highlights from that stinker on Sunday? Those two teams should be ashamed of themselves for that performance. Hopefully you followed a bit of the Captain's advice and played some of his picks from Week 2, let's see how things panned out:

PUT 'EM IN PICKS FROM WEEK 2

RB - Fred Jackson - BUF - If you plugged Fred Jackson into your line up this week, you were handsomely rewarded with a 163 yd rushing and 25 yd rec. day out of " my first name ain't baby. it's Fred, Mr. Jackson if you're nasty ". Tough decision awaiting BUF when Lynch gets off of his suspension.

WR - Steve Smith - NYG - In the idiots inner sanctum, we refer to Carolina's S. Smith as the black Boss. This year, the NY Giant's S. Smith would be called the Black Boss's boss. He had 134 yards receiving and 1 td. His year is only going to get better. If you don't have him or Manningham yet and they are available, stop reading this now and go pick them up. Then please come back and keep reading.

TE - Chris Cooley - WAS - Snoozer of a game aside, Cooley had 83 yds receiving. He didn't catch a TD, but then again no one in a Redskins uniform got one. I would take 8 pts from a TE any day of the week.

BONUS PLAY - Joe Flacco - BAL - I had a feeling he would be productive on Sunday against the Chargers. I think he did rather well considering the SD defense was owned in 75% of Yahoo! leagues. He had 190yards passing and 2TDs. This was close to a 20 pt fantasy day in some leagues.

TAKE 'EM OUT PICKS FROM WEEK 2

RB - Matt Forte - CHI - Anyone know where his avg draft pick was this year? Most leagues he went TOP 5. So my question is, how do you Forte owners feel with a 29 yd rushing/33 yard receiving day from your #1 pick..... P.S. more fumbles than TD = Epic Fail.....YUCK!

PHILADELPHIA RECEIVERS - Well, I was wrong. 2 receivers had over 100 yds. I will say in my defense, that the majority of these yards were in junk time in the 4th quarter. The game was way out of reach and Kolb was just chucking and ducking. Can't get 'em all right huh...

QB - Jake Delhomme - CAR - Will the real Jake Delhomme please stand up??? 308 yds passing, 1 TD, 1 INT. He was playable, however, I still won't endorse him anytime soon. He needs to string several of these back to back in order to be deemed serviceable.

Looks like a 5 out of 7 week for the Capt, and the 2 that were wrong.....well, I still don't feel bad for the advice I gave. On to the week 3 picks...

WEEK 3 PLAYS

RB - Tim Hightower - ARI - There will be a lot more questions on weather or not to start Hightower this week. DONT ASK THE QUESTION, DO IT!!! Hightower has the most receptions of any running back in the league this year (15) and outside of a pass rush by Dwight Freeney ('CUSE IN THE HOUSE), Indy's defense leaves a little to be desired. The way you stop a quick blitzing team is to cram it down their throats. Hightower will do that this week. I say you're looking at 75-100 yds rushing and 1 TD and an extra 35 yds in the air.

WR - Santonio Holmes - PIT - Santonio Holmes owns the Bengals....very blunt, however, to back up this very blunt statement is the fact that in the last 4 meetings against CIN, Holmes has 384 yds receiving. He is clearly BIG BEN's favorite target thus far, and his breakaway speed always makes him a threat whenever the ball comes his way. I'd say he's looking at 110 yds receiving and 1 or maybe 2TDS.

TE - Tony Gonzalez - ATL - Tony Gonzalez is a smart, smart man. Not to mention one of the most prolific TE's of this era of football. Does anyone else think he saw what was going down in KC??? He leads the Dirty Birds in receiving yards and TD's this year ....not to mention the PATS have given up scores to TEs in each of the first two games. Do you think the Jets or Bills TEs were even half as good as GONZO??? I'd estimate another 80 yards an a TD for GONZO this week folks.

BONUS PLAY - WR - Mike Sims Walker - JAC - Outside of the obvious threat of MoJo Drew in Jac, the rest of the offense is quite muddled. Tory Holt as a #1 receiver, really...He is the possession guy for David Garrard, Mike Sims-Walker is the deep threat. M.S-W ( let's see if that catches on) has only 6 receptions for the year, at 106 total yards, but he does have a TD and Holt doesn't. He is quicker than Holt and is avg nearly 18 YDS/REC. Thats impressive.

WEEK 3 AVOID "LIKE A CHICK WITH VD" PICKS:

RB - Jamal Lewis - CLE - Remember the good ole days when Jamal Lewis was with the Ravens and whenever they played the Browns he would just start running, and run, and run, and run, all day long. Well it doesnt really work in reverse. Heres the deal, IF YOUR #1 RUNNING BACK IS FACING THE RAVENS THIS WEEK, OR ANY WEEK, DO NOT EXPECT GOOD THINGS. The Ravens give up a paltry 41 yds per game. Look elsewhere lads and lassies. Oh, that and the fact he is the leading rusher on the team with 95 yards and 0 TDs this year. Nothing else to see here folks....move on.

WR - Kenny Britt - TEN - The NY Jets pass defense has been decent thus far. Anyone notice how many yds receiving Randy Moss had last week??? Think someone in TEN's recieving corps has "MOSS LIKE" talent? Me either. While Britt will have some great weeks, I don't see this as being one of them. Look for the Jets to chase Collins around this week and force him to beat them with his arm. TEN would rather do that on the ground. Be wary of starting any TEN recievers this week.

RANDOM CAPTAIN-LIKE THOUGHTS

*Anyone else notice PIT's lack of any running presence? Parker's owners have to be vomiting in their mouths after the performance thus far.

* Is it just me, or is it really tough not to root for Dallas Clark? He leads the Colts in receiving yards this year. He is fundamentally sound in all aspects of his game.

* Anyone who thought Ray Lewis may be on a decline should be forced to watch the Sproles hit from Sunday.

* My son, Joe, turns 7 on Friday. So Happy Birthday JOE!

* If you have the opportunity to try Middlesworth BBQ potato chips at sometime in your life, do so, and then thank me later.

Good luck in your leagues this week.

The Captain

Eagles Rewind

I haven't been writing much about the Eagles so far this season. Between life interfering with blogging and the fact that I'm sick of reading about Mike Vick and Donovan McNabb's ribs, I haven't had the time or inspiration to rant about Philly.

Luckily there are plenty of other sources to pick up the slack, and one of the best is Iggles Blog. The level of detail and analysis you get other there is superior to almost anything on the net. If you don't believe me, check out this post recapping the distance and hang time of every Sav Rocca punt for the last three years. That last line is not a typo.

Every week the site does a video rewind of the previous week's game. While it's masochistic, this week's Saints rewind is up, and while it's not pretty, it is informative. It details things that lead to the loss like the fact that new defensive coordinator Sean McDermott decided to abandon the blitz and let Drew Brees have all day to throw the ball (not the best idea - video is below).

Seriously, check out the post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ebay Item of the Week: Maine-a-mania


We offer up the prestigious T3I Ebay Item of the Week item to this week's opponent in the Dome. For a bargain bid of $115 you can own a game used Black Bears football jersey.

Looking to learn a little bit about the Black Bears? Well I'm not either. However here's your 2008 Maine Football Review:


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lee Sterling, Just as Good as a Coin Flip

Lee Sterling first came to my attention the week before the Syracuse-Minnesota game. As you may remember, Lee picked the Gophers to cover the spread in the season opener, which ultimately did not happen. While I can't blame Lee for that pick (no one knew how tremendous Coach Doug Marrone would turn out to be) there was something about Lee that captivated me.

Maybe it was the slicked back hair. Or the cheap make-shift, Kige Ramsey style set. Or his claim that he's had 17 straight winning seasons in "the college and pro football," but I knew I had to follow Lee as the season progressed. Maybe it's my natural skepticism, or the fact that professional handicappers are step below psychics when it comes to scamming the public, but I quickly realized if Lee was going to document his picks for the world to see, I'd be there to count.
Every week Lee posts videos breaking down a few select college and pro football games and concludes by picking the game. Apparently the concept is to show the world how insightful Lee is and thereby entice degenerate gamblers to pay him for knowledge on games he hasn't publicly talked about.

So, after three weeks, you'll be interested to know that Lee has correctly predicted 10 of 21 games against the spread. That's right, pigskin prognosticator Lee Sterling wants you to give him money so he can tell you who to bet on when he's a robust 10-11 on the year. Basically if you flip a coin on each game, you'll do just as well as Lee. If you don't believe me, you can watch his videos here, and cross check them against the actual scores, but trust me, the results aren't pretty.

I'll be keep an eye on Lee throughout the year and providing you with updates. Maybe he'll turn it around, most likely he won't. Either way, I'll be here. So to celebrate Lee's excellence, here's his big miss from last week - when he picked BYU to cover the 7 point spread against Florida State. The actual score - Florida State 54 BYU 28.

Syracuse Fans - Retire the Wave

Saturday night was a thoroughly enjoyable fan experience in the Dome. The Orange won a thrilling game, the crowd was loud, properly sauced, and provided Syracuse with emotional lift. It was a great time, with one notable exception - certain fans insist on doing the wave.

To those Syracuse fans who will not give up this absurd ritual, I have a simple message -- enough with the f*cking wave already. I can't take it any more. It's not 1984. It's not new. It's not fun. And half the time you don't even do it right. I can't tell you how many times you wave starting jackasses have started the damn thing when Syracuse has the ball.

Hey geniuses, you never do the damn wave when Syracuse has the ball, because the offense can't hear the quarterback - and the last time I checked, playing at home was supposed to be a freaking advantage.

What's the point of the wave? Are you proud you can stand up and put your hands in the air? Is it fun to try and get your gut to hang out of the bottom of your shirt? Are you frustrated you never made the drill team or synchronized swimming team in high school and are just trying to show your real talent? I don't get it - talk to me wave starters, I want answers.

Look, I love going to Syracuse games, getting loud, and screaming when the opponent has the ball. I'm the guy standing up and yelling every time there's a great play. I make noise when the opposing team is at the line scrimmage. I high five everyone around me. I'm not suggesting we all sit on on our hands. We need to create a hostile environment for Syracuse opponents - and doing a synchronized dance move isn't going to get it done.

You know who still does the wave? 90,000 Madonna fans.....that's who.




Do you really want to do something that Madonna fans do better than you??? Does that make you feel better?

Besides, the sad fact of the matter is that some people clearly do not have the mental capacity and physical coordination to actually pull off the wave. Case in point, Saturday night when the wave was rolling through my section, some drunk meatball seated behind me got so excited he forgot to put his beer down as he stood and vigorously tossed his hands in the air - spraying beer all over everyone, including me, who was in his vicinity. It's only a matter of time before some mental midget falls over an upper deck railing while "waving." Then how will you feel wave starters? You don't want moron blood on your hands. You really don't.

So let's make a deal - let's go to the games, be loud as hell, scream at opposing players and make the Dome a brutal place for opponents to play. But let's leave the wave at home, because really, if you're doing the wave, you're no better than these guys.


Photo from Joe Sports Fan.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sports Fixing


I was a guest today on Matt Mc's Sports Fix, you can listen the whole show by clicking here (my segment starts at about the 28 minute mark). Matt and I discuss Syracuse's big win versus Northwestern,the atmosphere at the dome, drunk guys, and the wave among other things.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sweet Victory Indeed

Photo: Kevin Rivoli, AP

The Russianator is dead on with his recap of last night's thrilling Syracuse victory. After attending the festivities as well, here's another idiot's observations on last night's goings-on.

* My section was out of control last night. I had copious amounts of beer spilled on me, people jostling me on their way in and out of our row, and was surrounded by over-the-top screaming Orange fans. And you know what? I loved every minute of it. For the first time in years, our section had some genuine life to it. And the row of silverheads behind us who constantly asked us to sit down on 3rd down last year have apparently turned in their season tickets for a time shares in Del Boca Vista, Florida. Great job Cuse fans.

* Nothing new here on this rant-- however Dome operations have to seriously re-think the amounts of piped-in music in between plays. This isn't the NBA, it's college football.

* What else can you say about this defense? Yards allowed aside, this group is a helluva treat to watch. The hitting and energy they are bringing to the field is truly refreshing.

* While still plagued by the dropsies....the WR's did a nice job with downfield blocking. Kudos to Donte Davis, I thought he played a solid game. And yes, Mike Williams is still a HR threat. Big East foes, you are warned.

* Great call by Northwestern on the throwback to the QB play.

* You have to love the feel of night games in the Dome. Last night's energy brought back great after-dark memories of battles against Va Tech, Miami, and Michigan. Good job SU Athletic Department with that kickoff team.

* Another Dome rant--- the volume really needs to be turned up on the killer entrance video before the team takes the field.

* Delone Carter runs hard every time. I honored DC with some hard runs of my own to the concession stand and bathroom.

* Subway Sub Race: your winner this week....white. For the entire GRob era, this was the most exciting part of the game. No more.

* What a perfect day for tailgating. Let's hope the weather is as cooperative next week for Maine.

* Why does the Dome expect us to check under our seats for the free Garmin GPS giveaway when the winners are already standing on the field?

Hey, when my biggest gripes are stupid things like the entrance video volume and Dome giveaways, you know it was a good week.

Bring on Maine.


Sweet Victory


It's been nearly 24 hours since Ryan Litchenstein nailed a game winning field goal to seal Syracuse's first win of the 2009 season over Northwestern. If you're like me, although you watched the game, you've already scoured the web and read as much coverage as possible anyway, so I'll keep this brief and offer a few observations.

General Observations

I'm just starting to get my voice back. While the announced attendance was 40,000, the 35-37,000 people that showed up were vocal and into the game. The Dome has new life in it again. It feels great. Thank you Doug Marrone.

Likewise, the volume of Orange shirts seems to increase by the week - it probably has something to do with the fact that the University is selling 2 of them for $5.00 outside the Dome, but it's working. Except for the one jackass I saw in a Phish shirt, it was a sea of Orange.

If you look up the term "gets it" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Doug Marrone. He gave the game ball to the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce as a thank you to the fans for supporting the team. This outreach to a fickle fan base is as impressive as the attitude change we've seen with the team. Since he's been hired, I have not seen one thing that makes me think he won't succeed as the head coach of this team. There are very, very bright days ahead for Syracuse football.

The Good

37-34 - it's a win. That's always good. It's also nice to get a win over a BCS school. While the early schedule has been daunting, this team is one of the most battle tested in the country already.

Greg Paulus was obviously very good. 24-35 for 340 plus yards exceeds all expectations. The one area where he's very good and it hasn't been talked about much is in the area of ball skills. Greg's ball fakes on play action passes are light years ahead of most quarterbacks with his level of experience. It makes a big difference in freeing guys up down the field.

Delone Carter is running like Walter Payton right now. He's so physical and tough to bring down, if he ever gets some real running lanes, watch out.

Mike Williams played like the stud he can be. Northwestern didn't give the corners a lot of help over the top on him and he made them pay. Likewise, Donte Davis played well. He's a very good slot receiver. The team needs to find one more playmaker opposite Williams and they'll really be in business.

Kudos to Rob Spence for opening up the offense and stretching the field. The play calling, which was conservative and horizontal the first two weeks, was excellent.

Give credit where credit is due, Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka was very, very good yesterday.

The defense gave up a million yards, but they also delivered a ton of hard hits and forced a turnovers when they were most needed. This team is more physical and aggressive than we've seen in years. And teams cannot run the football against SU.

Derrell Smith is developing into an excellent middle linebacker.

The Bad

Syracuse couldn't handle Northwestern's no huddle offense, especially in the second half. The Wildcats were often snapping ball and SU wasn't even lined up.

The team gave up over 400 yards passing - the back 7 is thin and there's work to be done stopping the pass. This will most likely be an issue all season.

Similarly, I would have liked to have seen the corners up on the ball more in the second half, it was tough watching Northwestern kill SU with underneath stuff all game.

Center Jim McKenzie did not have a good game. In addition to multiple bad snaps, he was very ineffective blocking. He needs to play better for the run game to be more effective.

Overall

After four years of dreck, it was great to attend an exciting, and ultimately satisfying college football game in Syracuse NY. Given the uncertain nature of the Big East, there's no reason to believe that this Syracuse team won't compete in every game left on the schedule - and to quote Doug Marrone, that's tremendous.

Go Orange.
Photo - SU Athletics

Friday, September 18, 2009

Midnight Madness - October 16th - Hide the Backboards

The Syracuse men's basketball team kicks off its season with a Midnight Madness event on October 16th and for the first time ever, it will be held in the Carrier Dome. Although Midnight is now apparently 8 pm (does this mean the bars close at 10pm?) the announcement gives us an excuse to put up this clip from 2007 again. Send it home Arinze - and get the extra back boards ready.

Wildcats Then and Now

Syracuse and Northwestern play tomorrow night at 7 pm and the Orange are fighting to get their first win of the season against the Wildcats.

However, growing up in the 80s, I associate the Wildcats with something completely different from Northwestern football. And can you blame me? Northwestern was terrible back them. I associate it with the 1986 classic film Wildcats staring Goldie Hawn.

Why you may ask? I grew up with a younger sister who I love dearly. However, as children, and to a lesser extent as an adult, my sister is what you would call "strong willed." And for whatever reason, she LOVED this movie. I mean loved it like Doug Marrone loves the word tremendous.

You know who else loved this movie? HBO. Because I swear the damn thing was on everyday and without fail, whenever it was on, she was watching it. God love the person who tried to change the channel, because my sister would take your head off. She still can, and if you don't believe me, I can arrange a meeting. You will lose, I promise.

So, how does Wildcats stand up today? The answer - not well. Let's head over to YouTube and check out a few epic scenes.

Here are the closing credits with the Worst. Rap Song. Ever. You can thank me later when you're humming this thing all day.



You have to love the commercial promoting the film though. I wonder if the SU cheerleaders will break out a "you momma says you ugly" cheer tomorrow night?



And something tells me Pat Fitzgerald and Goldie Hawn run distinctly different practices.


Kige Picks the Wildcats

Readers of this blog know we LOVE Kige Ramsey, the intrepid YouTube Sports reporter. We can't get enough of his work - however, this week Kige let's Orange Nation down as his picks Northwestern to beat SU as part of his weekly college prognostications.

Damn you Ramsey - tread carefully, you don't want to head into Pat Forde territory.



Bonus Kige clip of the week - check out the guy behind Kige in Walmart as he talks about cookies - claaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasic.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ebay Item of the Week: 1982 Rewind

Happy Friday! Let's role back the time machine to 1982, and relive the magic that was the 1982 Empire State Games with your very own authentic jacket.

And to our good buddy, The Axeman, here's your #1 hits of 1982:

The Captain's Fantasy - Week 2


AHOY MATIES! It's the Captain coming back at you with "The Captain's Fantasy version 2.0." Personally, I think its douchey when people do the version X.X thing so, ah.....yeah...let's move on. To start, lets see if the Captain sank or swam last week, let's review:

LAST WEEKS PLAYS:

RB: RAY RICE - 108 yds rushing 12 yrds receiving. I think that kind of production is fantasy worthy. He had more fantasy value than names like Brandon Jacobs, Steve Slaton, LT, and Larry Johnson.

WR: KEVIN WALTER - not active. So I had to get the report out by Tuesday evening for the Thursday night game and when I wrote last week's post he was listed as probable. The fantasy Gods givith, Kevin Walter taketh away.

TE: VISANTHE SHINACOE - 26 yrds receiving. I was really shocked by the lack of looks his way but when Peterson ran for TDs, passing became an after thought. Don't give up on this guy, Favre will get him looks this year.

LAST WEEK'S STAY AWAYS

RB: DARREN MCFADDEN - Owners of McFadden should have found Michael Bush and gotten him. This platoon will continue through the year. I thought Bush looked better than Mc Fadden personally.

DEF: KC CHIEFS - Gave up 38 pts, 29o yds rushing, 159 yds receiving and 11 first downs. I think I got this one right.

So 3 of 5 right, not too bad for wk 1......On to week 2

WEEK 2 PLAYS

RB: FRED JACKSON, Buffalo - I was really impressed by the way this guy played against the Patriots on Monday night. Given, the Pats D isn't what it once was, but it still is decent. Jackson has 140 yds combined offense and a TD in week 1. I don't see Tampa Bay stopping him this week either. The TB defense, which once was feared, is so ho-hum its not even funny. I see him getting 85 yds rushing 50 yds rec 1 TD.

WR: STEVE SMITH, New York Giants - Did it surprise you that I didn't say Carolina? The G-Men need a #1 and this guy is it. I think the Dallas defense is going to be down this year. Tom Coughlin is not an idiot. He knows the way to get the Giants running game going is to get Dallas to get 7-8 guys out of the box. The Giants do that by a steady dose of Steve Smith. He will have a decent WR2 kind of day with 75-90 yds 1 td.

TE: CHRIS COOLEY, Washington - Last week , John Carlson (SEA - TE) absolutely destroyed the Rams. I see no reason why Cooley won't do the same. He scored against the G-men last week and I think their D is way better than the Rams. I'm going big on this 100 yds receiving and 1 (or possibly 2) tds.

****** BONUS PLAY ******

Keep an eye on JOE FLACCO this week. The San Diego defense wasn't overly impressive and they gave up big plays to rookie wr's down the stretch last Monday. Both of Flacco's wrs get a boost up this week.

WEEK 2 : SWINE FLU PICKS -- I.E. STAY THE "F" AWAY PICKS

RB: MATT FORTE, Chicago - This will be one of the rare weeks where I will say DON'T EXPECT LOTS OF ANYTHING FROM FORTE. He gets to follow up his stinker of a week 1 with Pittsburgh in week 2. If Cutler can pull things together, then all will be well...... but do you seriously think that's gonna be the case against Pittsburgh defense? Me either.

PHILADELPHIA's RECEIVERS - This pains me because I am a Birds fan. Even though they have what I would classify as a decent receiver corps when McNabb is healthy, the prospect of Kevin Kolb or Donovan McRibb trying to duck and chuck aren't promising. Now they are playing the Saints who have an amazing offense, If Philly gets down early, they will have to pass, but its going to go to Westbrook or Celek. If this was week 3, I don't think I would write this.

QB: Jake Delh(oh my god another pick)mme, Carolina - Something is in this guys head, big time. John Abraham will be coming off the corner all day to disrupt him. I predict he gets pulled early, and, Steve Smith (not the one listed above) will instead punch him in the face and kick him in the balls. Here are 2 scary stats: 1) In the last 2 games Delhomme has 9 INTS and 2 fumbles lost. 2) John Abraham has 86 sacks since 2000, the 2nd most among active players.

RANDOM CAPTAIN THOUGHTS:

* Last week I spoke about handcuffing - LT owners, hoped you listened.

* CHI defense gets kicked down a bit - when you lose 1 starting LB during a game, it hurts, but Urlacher as well ...... let's just say there are long days ahead of CHI's Def.

* How long is TO going to stay quiet in BUF getting only 3 rec....

* Last season SEA sacked SF 13 times in 2 meetings, did anyone hear of any significant SF off. line signing this year? if I was using Shawn Hill, I'd be nervous as well.

That's all for this week, GO 'CUSE and good luck this week in your leagues!

The Captain

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tremendous - Explained


It wasn't long after Doug Marrone became the head coach of Syracuse University football team that his favorite word was identified, and that word is tremendous. Tremendous is a Marrone staple, it's the first adjective he reaches for when any one or any thing does something positive. He uses it more than a fat people use ranch dressing at the salad bar at Ponderosa.

And you know what? After listening to Greg Robinson say "I don't know" for the last four years, we're fine with tremendous. Actually all three idiots think tremendous is a tremendous word. In fact, I used to to slip it into press releases I wrote at a former job.

However, today's story on Syracuse.com about how Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and Marrone are both coaching at their alma maters revealed something interesting. In talking about the importance of coaching at a school you graduated from, Fitzgerald said:

"It's tremendous. I think when you have an (alumni) in the leadership position of the football program, you have someone who buys into everything the university stands for."

Clearly that explains it. When you get hired to coach at your alma mater, they give you a handbook, and page one of that handbook almost certainly demands that the coach use the word tremendous in every interview - because that's just tremendous.

Be sure to check in with T3I daily, we're your only source for this kind of hard hitting investigative blogging..............and stuff. This post is clearly tremendous.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Greg Paulus Experience Gets Weird

Greg Paulus is many things to many people. To some he's a flopping point guard who played for the hated Duke Blue Devils. For others he's a hard worker and good kid who is making a dramatic return to football to help the home town team. And for the guy below, well let's just say Greg inspires weirdness.....with a touch of creepy mixed in for good measure.

Plenty of Good Seats Available

According to Donnie Webb, only 30,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday night's Syracuse - Northwestern game. Memo to to SU fans - buy some f*cking tickets already!! If you need more convincing, here's a handy list of reasons to attend the game:


1,) It's a 7PM start. You can drink your face off in the parking lot for hours and not feel like an alcoholic because you started after 12:00 pm.

2.) This team is close to turning it around - if they'd played Howard like Rutgers did last week, or whatever crappy team Louisville opened their season with, the Orange would be .500 right now. It's not the team's fault the administration decided to schedule the entire Big Ten conference right out of the gate.

3.) It's supposed to be nice on Saturday - which makes point number one more enjoyable.

4.) Tickets are cheap - stop being a tight wad. You can afford it - if you can't then how are you paying for your internet service to read this post? If the answer is - I'm reading it at work, then go find the petty cash drawer - or a better paying job.

5.) Greg Robinson is gone - bitching about him is fine, taking your anger out on Doug Marrone and his team is not.

6.) Have I mentioned point number 1 yet?

7.) Who ever is broadcasting the game for Time Warner Cable will make your ears bleed. This is a given. You're sure to get someone that makes Pam Ward seem like Al Michaels.

8.) For the love of God, let's avoid crowds like the photo below, which I took last year. Now that we understand each other, I'll see you all on Saturday, I'll be the loud guy in section 319.

Monday, September 14, 2009

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze

News tonight is that Patrick Swayze lots his battle tonight with pancreatic cancer. Here's to the man behind one of the finest films in western civilization. When you combine the action of Roadhouse with the music of Rocky IV...the result is pure gold:




The Double Deuce will never be the same.

Penn State - Final Thoughts

After the Syracuse - Penn State game ended, Kevin McGuire and I wrapped up the game with a few more questions and answers. I answered his questions here.

Q. The passing game was really clicking today - is Penn State becoming a pass first team?

KM: It would sure seem like it. Not only was the passing game working against Syracuse but it was dominant the previous week against Akron. With the offensive line still trying to gel into their new positions the Nittany Lions may have to be a pass first team, but if they are going to be any kind of a legitimate contender in the Big Ten or national championship picture they will need to get the rnning game going.

Q: Are you concerned over the ability to run the ball?

KM: Deeply concerned. Evan Royster is a very good running back but after two games you may find it hard to believe. The offensive line is clearly a problem in the running game and if the fans know it then I guarantee you that Joe Paterno and his guys know it. I think it will come together soon, but it was alarming to see such little production yesterday.

Q: From a Penn State perspective, what good can Orange fans take from this game?

KM: There is definitely a new attitude in your program. The proof you need is on their goal line stand against Penn State, which ended with a 4th and goal recovered fumble by the Orange. To me it seemed as though Syracuse never gave up in the game, as may have been the case in last year's game up at Syracuse. It would seem that Syracuse may be the best 0-2 team in the country. This may not make too many fans feel better, but it is clearly a step in the right direction. Whether it is Doug Marrone or the winning mentality Greg Paulus brings from his days in the Duke basketball program, something is working.

Q: What the best thing Penn State did out there on Saturday?

KM: As good as Daryll Clark was, I have to say the defense once again was dominant. The Penn State defense allowed just 200 yards of offense, which is a terrific stat no matter who you play. When the offense struggles for Penn State they can always rely on their defense to get the job done. They kept their opponent off the score board in the first half for the second straight week.

Q: Temple next week - is there any concern Penn State may look past them and towards the Iowa game in two weeks?

KM: The Iowa game is pretty important for Penn State's sake, to redeem themselves a bit for last year's devastating loss, but I do not think they will be looking past Temple. Even if Penn State plays poorly against Temple, they should still win. Will we see another sloppy game? It's possible. But Temple has failed to score a touchdown against Penn State in their previous three meetings, so I think it should be safe to say that Penn State will take care of business against the Owls, who are coming off an awful loss to Villanova to start the year.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's Lonely Being OJ

As seen today, September 13, 2009 in Albany NY. In addition to celebrating the first full Sunday of NFL games, OJ was alone in his quest to find the real killers.



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Syracuse - Penn State Observations

Syracuse v Penn State


Syracuse went into Happy Valley today and came out with a 28-7 loss to the number 5 ranked Nittany Lions. While the Penn State victory was described by some as uninspired, I felt like Penn State gave a good effort. Here are my post game observations.

General Observations

This was not a game anyone expected Syracuse to win, so the loss wasn't surprising.

Vegas had Penn State as 28.5 point favorite, which means the Orange covered. Not that we encourage gambling, but SU is 2-0 against the spread this year.

The Big 10 network had Charrisa Thompson working the sideline. I'd never heard of her before, but I must say, I'm now a fan. I agree that she stacks up favorably against Erin Andrews.

At least we're not Colorado.

The Good

For the second week in a row, the defense played well. Especially against the run, holding Penn State to 78 yards rushing.

Likewise, the goal line stand in the first half was impressive. It's been a long time since Syracuse has been on the right side of one of those.

Delone Carter had no running room at all, but he ran hard, he ran with purpose and he was tough to bring down.

While they were never really in the game, SU went on the road only lost by 21 to a team that very well could end up in the national championship game. Compared to last year, this is progress.

Kevyn Scott's interception was a thing of beauty.

The Bad

The offense was dominated by the Penn State defense for most of the game. Along the lines, Penn State was clearly superior.

Similarly, the offensive line couldn't open any running lanes and Greg Paulus was constantly under duress. The offensive line got their asses kicked today.

I don't know if this is bad, but I don't understand rotating quarterbacks in the middle of a series. Seems really odd to me. QBs need to get into a rhythm. I've got no problem using Nassib, but swapping them out mid-series like Steve Spurrier in the mid 90s never seems to work.

Greg Paulus needs to show a little more poise in the pocket. He was skittish back there today - although he didn't have much time to do anything.

While Paulus wasn't great, there are already some rumblings Nassib should play more. For now I think that's foolish. Greg wasn't great and he still needs to show he can complete passes down the field, but any of that talk is premature. Syracuse won't face a team as good as Penn State again this year. Let's see how he does with a little playing time under his belt.

The play calling today wasn't to my liking. There's far too much east and west and not enough north and south going on in this offense.

Rob Long was awful - he had a really bad shank when SU needed him to reverse field position and then failed to pin Penn State deep when he had the chance.

The Ugly

The clock management at the end of the first half was Andy Reid-esque. If you don't watch the Eagles, that's not a compliment.

The Mike Williams and Alec Lemon drops. Hideous - both of them. In William's case, that's 2 weeks in a row he's let the ball get into his body instead of catching it with his hands. This team isn't good enough to make up for errors like that.

Overall

Syracuse's schedule has not done them any favors - they walked into a hostile environment against one of the best teams in the country and got beat. However, they again played hard, the defense showed us they aren't going to back down and I do think the offense can get back on track. If they played Howard (like Rutgers did today) instead of Penn State they'd be 1-1. Northwestern represents a chance next Saturday to get that first win, and I saw nothing in this game to make me believe they can't win - and be successful under Doug Marrone.

#BeatPennState Chat

The BeatPennState Chat begins here live at noon eastern. In an effort to marry the worlds of live chat and twitter, I've attempted to set the chat up so that any twitter post that has the hash tag #BeatPennState will appear in the chat. Whether it will work or not, I have no idea.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Scheduling Note and Penn State Hate

Tomorrow, at high noon, for those so inclined, please join us for a live chat of the Syracuse - Penn State game right here in this space. For those out at bars or who just prefer twitter, I'll be on there as well - you can follow me at @idiotsonsports. This means I'll probably see about 12 plays of the entire game, but hey, that's what I do for you people.

Finally, for some afternoon fun, the Glaude has been eviscerating Penn State on Twitter. Enjoy and you're welcome.

Talk to you losers tomorrow - and Go SU.

Coach Mac's Still Got it



If you haven't had a chance to do so you yet, head over to the Axeman's blog and check out his interview with former Coach Dick MacPherson from On the Block yesterday. It's a classic I tell ya, a damn classic. Coach Mac was in rare damn form. You damn well bet he was. Damn I enjoyed that interview. I especially enjoyed the damn fact that he wouldn't even say Greg Robinson's damned name.

Good stuff as always Axe.

Penn State Podcasts

9/11

Godspeed "D,"

Syracuse - Penn State Official Idiotic Prediction


Another week, another round of predictions that we're sure will be wrong. Check back later, last week Boss shocked us by chiming in late, he's sneaky like that.

Rush

Earlier this week in my Q and A with Kevin McGuire I predicted a 34-20 Penn State victory, so I'll stick with that. Looking into my magical 8 ball, here's how I think the game will play out. Buoyed by a strong performance versus Minnesota, the Orange come out and go toe to toe early with the Nittany Lions. The fans in Happy Valley are wearing goofy tie-dye shirts and the Nittany Lion team isn't particularly fired up to play a team they pasted by 40 last year.

The Orange and Lions trade touchdowns in the first quarter, with SU gaining great field position on a long Mike Jones kick return. For the rest of the half, the SU defense rises to the occasion, denying the Penn State offense of the opportunity to score on numerous drives. Right before the half, the damn breaks and PSU scores on a long Daryll Clark touchdown pass to lead 14-7.

Inspired by Joe Paterno halftime speech that ended with the old guy nearly crapping his pants, Penn State puts up 2 quick TDs up in the third quarter to take a 28-7 lead going into the fourth. The Orange add a couple of late TDs, complete with a missed PAT by Ryan Lichtenstein, but it's too little too late, as PSU tacks on a couple of field goals to win it 34-20.

Final: Penn State 34 - SU 20.

Champ
Hard to believe it's been almost 20 years since the Orangemen invaded State College, PA. Last year, Joe Pa's boys came up to the Dome and put a typical GRob-like whooping on the Orange. The final results may very well be the same, however their will be one noticeable difference from last year's fiasco. You'll see some fight out of the good guys today.

Can Syracuse pull off the upset in Happy Valley? Don't hold your breath. Joe Pa is throwing up 55 points on the board this year. However the talent and depth of PSU will prove to be way too much for the Orange.

Final: Penn State 31- SU 10

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All Things Penn State




It's Friday of a Syracuse football game-week, and that means one thing. A preview of this weekend's opponent Idiot style. So here's a quick look at all things Penn, pencil, and Pennsylvania.

Penn & Teller: Thumbs down. I never really got the whole magician thing....Chris Angel, David Blaine and these guys included. Minimal redeeming idiot points awarded for a cameo in a great song's music video.

Mechanical pencils: Thumbs down. I want to meet the guy who made a fortune with this scam. Remember these things? You'd get one days worth of good writing before the lead starting breaking into little pieces. Was getting up to sharpen the good old fasioned yellow#2 really that much work? In case you haven't noticed, I'm very particular about my school supplies.

Sean Penn: Thumbs up. Helluva actor. We'll give him a mulligan on the whole Madonna thing.

Penn Hotel, NYC: Thumbs, fingers, toes DOWN. I'm sure many of you in Idiot Nation have stayed at this dump located right across from MSG. You won't find this place highly rated in your AAA Travel Guide.

Scoonie Penn: Thumbs down. You played at BC. Enough said.

"Pencil Neck Geek": Thumbs up to this insult made famous by '80s WWF manager Classy Freddie Blassie.

Penn Relays: Thumbs neutral. As a sports fan, I should probably know more about this track event. Never mind.

Penn Trafic Company: Thumbs down. My local P&C always only has one register open. Wegman's....the #1 seed of local grocery stores for a reason.

Pennsylvania Railroad, Monopoly: Thumbs up. Most people have their eyes set on Park Place and Boardwalk. Myself I was always a Monopoly slumloard. The railroads were always a nice way to diversify my bargain basement real estate investments.

Go Orange!

Bring Zack Dumas to SU

Another day and another weak side linebacker is down for SU. It is a position where Syracuse is paper thin, so keeping every linebacker on the team healthy is a major priority. True freshman E.J. Carter will step in and start. I thought he looked good in limited action last week, but this will be a huge test for the young man.

Things are so bad it might be time to see if former Ohio State player Zack Dumas has any eligibility left, ala Greg Paulus. Sure, he's got to be about 40 right now, but the man can deliver a hit.


Syracuse - Penn State Video Preview

Yesterday Kevin and I exchanged questions and answers about the Syracuse - Penn State game on Saturday. Here he is breaking down the game in the video below. At this point we may have to make him an honorary idiot with all the ink he's getting around here.


The Captain's Fantasy

Welcome to the Captain's Fantasy


With the NFL set to kick off tonight, that means one thing -- Fantasy Football. Like many, many, many Americans, all the idiots participate in fantasy football. We are all in the same league together, and many of us participate in more than one (because we're cool like that).

However, lifelong friend and honorary idiot the Captain studies the fantasy game like a fat kid studies cake. He's been kind enough to agree to write a weekly fantasy football column for our loyal readers, giving his insight into selected match ups each week. If we're lucky, at some point, he'll give us tips on how to do shots of gravy and not puke - but that might be asking too much. Without further delay, I bring you week one of the Captain's fantasy.

-----------------------------------------------------

Hello Idiot nation. It's your fellow Idiot, the Captain here with a new, weekly feature on T3I, we're gonna call "The Captain's Fantasy." Typically, this would involve various meats and fried items on a tray next to a bevy of video gaming devices. However, during this time of the year, there is a change, a metamorphosis if you will. This is Fantasy Football season....

Everyone has their strategies and thoughts on fantasy football. I prefer to work with facts, and my gut (which is sizable and usually filled with one pound of red meat at all times). I'm going to give you a couple of guys each week which who are my plays of the week and you'll get a few "stay away like they have VD" picks as well. I will also review my previous week's plays if time/space allows. Plus I'll toss in a random thought or two.

WEEK 1 PLAYS

RB
When you think of dominant running games, the Giants, Vikings, and Carolina, come to mind. Here's a team you may not think about -- Baltimore. Consider this, the Ravens had the 4th best team rushing stats last year.

RAY RICE vs KC is VERY TEMPTING. Rice has been named the starter ahead of McGahee and Le' Ron McClain has been put back into his true position as a fullback. The Ravens had 150 yds rushing per game last year and a averaged bit over 4 yds per carry. He's young, quick, and facing a team in trouble in every aspect of their game. I think he will be a top 10 back by the end of the year.

WR
Houston has been the darlings of the fantasy world for the last several years. They are like the seemingly ordinary looking girl in high school who puts out, but ends up getting knocked up by a member of the wrestling team and doesn't make it to the prom. Well this year, she keeps her legs closed and makes it to graduation.

KEVIN WALTER vs JETS is a good play. The Jets will be double teaming Andre Johnson more than Jenna Jameson and they have to because AJ is a superior WR, but, if you look at RED ZONE TARGETS last year, Kevin Walter was targeted as much as AJ was and he paid off with 900 yds and 8 td. This year Kevin Walter will go over a 1,000 yds and gets 10 TDs. If Matt Schaub stays healthy you can BOOK IT. If you need a WR2/3 or a flex player and you have K.Walter, use him.

TE
VISANTHE SHIANCOE - Man that is a great name. I wonder if its something foreign meaning a baby's arm holding an apple? This guy is going to have a huge year in my opinion. He finished last year with 600 yds and 7 TDS this year who throwing him the ball? Well rumor has it there is a new sheriff in purple and gold, and the sheriff has always LOVED throwing to his safety valve. If Favre stays healthy, VS's stock goes up, if Favre doesn't stay healthy, he'll do as good as last year. Look , if you are drafting a TE named GATES, WITTEN, GONZO, even D CLARK, you have expectations. This guy came at a good draft value this year, use him or pick him up. You'll be presently surprised.

WEEK 1 - AVOID LIKE THEY HAVE SWINE FLU

Anyone know who gave up the least rushing yds per game this preseason? Nope not Baltimore. The NY Giants? Think again. PIT? You'd be wrong.

The answer is SAN DIEGO....I know it's only preseason, I know Merriman is "allegedly" smacking around Asian Bisexual women. But, the Chargers team speed is awesome. There have been a lot of people on the Darren Mcfadden bandwagon this year. He's a great player, he'll get his points for sure. Just don't expect a 20 pt outing this week. Name me an even decent WR on the Raiders?? SD will stack the box and their speed will keep McFadden in check, stay away from him if you can.

Lets imagine for a moment your starting QB is dinged, your starting WR is disgruntled, your RB position is marginal at best, your head coach is new and your offensive coordinator just got canned. Well, if you are a fan of the KC CHEFS (I spelled it wrong intentionally) you have this little gem of a season to look forward to. How bad do you feel when people are talking more about the positives in Detroit than in your team?

Oh, by the way, they get Baltimore and their #2 ranked pass defense and#3 run defense the first week of the year. Stay away from anything CHIEFS related this week, (I may change this to year after a few weeks).

RANDOM CAPTAIN THOUGHTS

- I think TJ Housh -azxnbdgejlincfsda - zada is going to have a great year in Seattle. No one is talking about him, they will be.

- I participated in several drafts this year, and it seems the word handcuffing is a popularly used, but isn't practiced much. I have several handcuffs on my roster this year and some of them are mine, if there was a position called trade bait, they'd be there.

- Here's a little something to think about, your league playoffs are going on during the last quarter of the season. It's a time that playoff bound teams start resting their stars so be sure to pick up a couple 2nd string rb/wr's at the end of the year and watch the dividends pay off.

Good luck during week 1. Don't forget, Thursday is the first game, if you have any PIT/TEN players, get em ready.

The Captain

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You lost me at hello, Charlie.


"He's a very good week-to-week gameplan coach....That's his M.O. and he's good at it. He's not afraid to make changes...to put his team in the best position."

Penn State Q & A With Kevin McGuire



With Syracuse facing the daunting task of traveling to Penn State to play at noon on Saturday, we thought it would be nice to get a Penn State fan's perspective on the game. To do this, I traded questions and answers with Kevin McGuire who writes about the Nittany Lions over at the Examiner and also at Nittany White Out.

My answers are Kevin's questions can be found here. Let's get started.

Q: Coming into the season expectations for Penn State were high. They are currently 5th in the coaches poll and 7th in the AP poll. How good are the Nittany Lions?

KM: Probably not quite as good as the rankings show right now. The AP poll is more on target with where the Nittany Lions are right now than the coaches poll in my opinion. There are some legitimate concerns surrounding Penn State that can keep them out of the BCS championship picture. Their secondary receives the most scrutiny and while the numbers show that they had a decent season opener against Akron, I tend to credit the field position and pressure being put on by the front seven. The running game should be strong this season but the offensive line needs to gel together. Each member of the offensive line is new to their respective starting positions this season. If they can get some form of consistency going the offense should once again be lethal.

Q: Given the high expectations, what results would make most Penn State fans call this year a success?

KM: At this stage it would seem that anything less than an appearance in the national championship game would be a let down. The schedule is set up for a possible undefeated season and many think it would be next to impossible to have an undefeated Penn State team not play for all the marbles. Whether or not a national championship chance is in the works remains to be seen, but if Penn State makes the Rose Bowl as Big Ten champs and wins against a team from the SEC, Big XII or USC, I think fans will be happy. The future looks bright for the program so this year (and last) could be another stepping stone.

Q: What did you learn from the 31-7 pasting of Akron?

KM: I learned two important things from Penn State's win over Akron. For starters, linebacker Sean Lee is back after missing the entire 2008 season with an ACL injury. Lee was a monster on the field and seemed to be involved with every other tackle. Seeing Lee back on the field is a terrific feel-good story.

Second is that the wide receivers may not be as poor as people thought (and that Derek Moye may be the new go-to guy). Quarterback Daryll Clark helped make a statement perhaps in his career passing day. Everybody had a concern about the wide receivers, but perhaps the offense put those worries to rest.

Q: Did anything concern you about the game?

KM: The running game was underwhelming. Akron's rush defense a season ago was nowhere near unstoppable so I figured Evan Royster would pick up 100+ yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the day the entire rushing offense totaled 136 yards. While it is not exactly chump yardage on paper, 37 of those yards came on a fake punt. Maybe it is the offensive line that needs to work on the run blocking, but it may be the biggest concern going into week two. Personally I would like to see the wide receivers perform well for one more game before I say that they will not be a weakness in 2009.

Q: While the series has been dormant for a long time until last year, Syracuse and Penn State had a long standing rivalry for a very long time. Does this game mean anything to Penn State fans, or is it just another team on the schedule like Akron or Temple?

KM: As one who appreciates the history of the sport I think I appreciate the meaning of the Penn State-Syracuse game more than most fans (perhaps the current students) may. Unfortunately with the current state of each program this game honestly comes off as more of "just another game" before the Big Ten season commences. I wish Penn State and Syracuse played every year, but with Penn State moving to the Big Ten the Syracuse game has lost some luster. Think about it this way. The freshmen at Penn State and Syracuse this year have only been alive for one or two games in this series. It is no wonder that this game is just another game to Penn State fans. How is it looked upon in the Syracuse fan base? ED NOTE: To answer Kevin's question: it isn't looked at like the heated rivalry it once was, due mainly to the disparity in the teams. Thanks Greg Robinson - thanks for nothing.

Q. Besides Daryll Clark, give Orange fans a couple of guys they should keep an eye on during the game.

KM: Derek Moye made a name for himself last week as a possible go-to receiver, so it will be interesting to see if he puts up the same kind of numbers in week two. Obviously the biggest name, aside from Clark, to watch is running back Evan Royster. The kid is a gifted athlete and can bounce out of piles and pick up some big yards, but last week his numbers were lacking. Look to see if he gets back on track this weekend. On special teams you will want to see what kicker Collin Wagner does. He is replacing Kevin Kelly, who was one of the better kickers in Penn State's history, and against Akron he missed a pair of field goals (one from 27 yards and another from 40 yards). Paterno has said he has a good leg but needs to work on accuracy. That was clear as day against Akron.

On defense the main man is Sean Lee and with Navorro Bowman sitting out this week you should also hear the name Josh Hull a bunch of times. Both linebackers have an instinct for the ball and always seem to b in the middle of the tackles on running plays.

Q: In your opinion, what would have to happen in order for the Orange to keep this game close?

KM: Keep the offense off the field. Is this easier said than done? Perhaps, but it can work. In Penn State's three closest games last year (Purdue, Ohio State, Iowa) and you will see that when Penn State wasn't scoring they were losing the time of possession battles. Purdue kept Penn State off the field for ten minutes in the first quarter, but in the second quarter Penn State controlled the ball for ten minutes and put up ten points. If Syracuse can keep the chains moving it will gradually take the fans out of the game and the Orange can keep it close. The flip side is that they need to limit the big plays from Penn State. You saw last year that the Nittany Lions stumbled out of the gates up at Syracuse but recovered with big plays. Fumble recoveries, deep passes, you name it.

Q: What is your prediction for the game?

KM: My official prediction sees Penn State winning 38-13. I saw Syracuse play some inspired football last week and it seems there is a new attitude there, so we'll see if that can carry over to week two on the road. But I think Penn State is built for a run at a championship and I do not see Syracuse standing in the way this time around. Regardless I wish the program the best of luck from this point forward and hopefully the two schools work out a schedule in the future.

Q: One last question, my nephew is 2 years old. When he graduates from high school in 16 years will Joe Paterno still be the head coach of Penn State?

KM: I have always said that Joe Paterno will be the coach at Penn State when my kids go to college, and I do not have any kids at this point. Realistically though I don't think even Paterno will be coaching when he is nearing 100 years old. But anyone could do it, it would be Paterno. Now Jay Paterno (offensive assistant coach) on the other hand...

I want to thank Kevin for taking the time to answer these questions and being a classy guy.

You can read his stuff at the Examiner, at Nittany White Out and follow him on Twitter @krmcguire.

Classic Day - the Video

By now, you've surely heard that Penn State has declared the Syracuse game on Saturday to be classic day. Well here's the video that explains it all. This seals it, Syracuse has to pull the upset. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to see 100,000 PSU fans dressed in bad 60s gear looking like they had just taken the brown acidon a continuous highlight loop on SportsCenter? The answer - really awesome.

Kenny Cannot Be Stopped

Kenny Haas + scary background music + slo mo breaking through paper + moobs = classic video.

Kenny is in rare form in the video below, with references to Manute Bol, Luxembourg, and Stroker Ace - all within the first few minutes. Enjoy.


Listen to an Idiot

Yesterday I was on Matt Mc's Sports Fix previewing the Philadelphia Eagles. If you're interested, the entire show can be heard here, or by clicking on the September 8th show in the archives in the right hand column of the Sports Fix web site. Thanks again to Matt for having me on.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pysched

Anyone in the stands at the Minnesota game last Saturday caught the awesome job by the SU Athletic Department (stop laughing, really) with the pre game video shown to the crowd prior to the Orange taking the field.

Well Sean at Nunes has the video up today, and we at T3I want to place this video alongside some for the other great "psych up" video clips out there.

Chills:



Inch by inch:


USA, USA, USA:


Mel Gibson, back when he made sense:






There's No Easy Way Out:


And The Greatest Motivational Video Ever (Speakers Down, NSFW):


That's it. After watching that collection.......WE ARE BEATING PENN STATE.*




*Idiot disclaimer: It's the videos talking.