September 8, 2008

Syracuse suffers major setback

Syracuse almost found a way to get their first victory of the season, but in the end they could not stop the Akron Zips. Let's take a closer look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Saturday's game at the Carrier Dome.

The Good:

Cameron Dantley - Cameron was thrown into the starting role after a poor performance last week by Andrew Robinson. He played very well, going 13-20 passes for 135 and three touchdowns. His mobility helped Syracuse out in certain situations as well. He will likely get the starting job next week. The question is: can he perform the same way against the Penn State defense?

The Tight Ends - This position showed signs of life for the first time in the young season. Mike Owen caught two touchdown passes and Nick Provo had his first career reception on a 15 yard touchdown pass to tie the game in the 4th quarter. This gives the Syracuse offense a threat that will force defenses to account for them, which will help the running game.

Curtis Brinkley and Delone Carter - Syracuse fans can take some solace in watching these two play. They are putting up decent numbers behind a very young offensive line. Curtis Brinkley had 21 carries, 143 yards and one touchdown. Delone Carter had 13 carries for 77 yards, all in the second half.

The Bad:

Game Management - There were some puzzling personnel decisions yesterday. Grant Mayes lost his redshirt to come in for one play at the end of the first half. It also seems as if the staff has had trouble deciding who will start at certain positions. Hopefully this will be resolved by the start of Big East Play.

The Ugly:

The Defense - The defense could not stop Akron. Fans hoped that with Greg Robinson could help the defense after going back to be the defensive coordinator. So far this has not been the case. Syracuse gave up 478 total yards to Akron. 218 of them were on the ground. They allowed Akron quarterback Chris Jacquemain to go 20-26 passing. After playing alright in the first half of the Northwestern game last week, it seems as if the defense has regressed.

What's Next? - Syracuse is opening up as a 26 point underdog at home to Penn State. It is hard to imagine that Syracuse has fallen so low to being that big of an underdog at home. Crazier things have happened in college football, but the Orange will need a lot of breaks to stop themselves from ending up 0-3.

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