Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Syracuse Rhode Island: Delayed Observations
I couldn't make the SU game this weekend as I had a previously scheduled late season golf trip and once I saw the final score, I couldn't make myself watch the game immediately. However, I finally sucked it up and watched the game, all so I could write about it for free on the Internet, and then not have anyone read it. The sacrifices we make in life.....
Let's see what we learned this week.
What We Thought (going into the game): That Syracuse was at least 4 TDs better team than a .500 FCS Team.
What We Know (now - presumably): Oops. I also thought Ron Jaworski would never say "shit" on Monday Night Football. You never really know what's going to happen until a game is played.
We Thought: Ryan Nassib is developing into a very good QB and has carried the momentum from last year's Pinstripe Bowl into this season.
What We Know: Even though it was Rhode Island, Nassib took another step forward Saturday. The ball came out quick, he was very accurate, he was in command of the offense and didn't take any bad sacks. He recovered nicely from a poorly thrown interception on the first series and played another solid game. There were a couple of deep balls he'd like to have back, but through two games he's got 6 tds, only one interception and is completing 75% of his passes. That's nothing to sneeze at.
What We Thought: That the veteran offensive line that struggled against Wake Forest would get their act together.
What We Know: This line is to good football what the entire cast of Entourage is to acting.....they've both been around a while and neither has improved. SU rushed for less than 40 yards against Rhode Island. I don't care if the Rams put 11 guys in the box -- the offensive line has to be better. From what I could see on the DVR, there were too many missed assignments, Macky MacPherson is still a turnstile and Zach Chibane made Willie McGinnis look like Willie McGinnest.
What We Thought: Chandler Jones and Mikhail Marinovich are very good defensive ends.
What We Know: Jones is obviously out with an injury, but I watched Marinovich closely and really liked what I saw. I thought last year he got washed out at the point of attack quite a bit and didn't set the edge well all the time. I didn't see any of that this game. He collapsed the pocket well and Rhode Island couldn't move him at all. He's become stronger and is really turning into a beast.
What We Thought: That Steve Probst was an guy who has the same last name as the host of Survivor.
What We Know: Apparently SU can turn any QB into a college hall of famer. Give the kid credit, the Rhode Island signal caller was a gamer and the Orange couldn't contain him when he got out of the pocket. However, if SU is going to have the season it wants to have, they simply cannot have a replay of this performance. They made an FCS quarterback look like Ben Roethlisberger - minus all the rape accusations.
What We Thought: Van Chew and Alec Lemon are developing into solid, reliable weapons.
What We Know: Against inferior competition (the Wake pass defense isn't very good) they can be dominant. We don't know if these two will fade when the opponents get tougher, which is every week from now until the end of the season, but so far so good. We've got two sure handed, productive starting wide receivers. It's comforting.
What We Thought: Shamarko brings the lumber.
What We Know: When Shamarko hits you, even Chuck Norris feels pain. He is so much fun to watch on the field, especially in run support.
What We Thought: That SU would need a walk-on from Solvay to catch a TD pass late in the fourth quarter to beat Rhode Island.
What We Know: Even Miss Cleo wouldn't have predicted that -- but it happened ahd hey, a win is a win, not matter how ugly. Based on this game the chances of a win next week in LA look slim -- but we all would have said that about Rhode Island's chances. So let's close this out with a phrase Calvin Murphy has never said -- bring on the Trojans.