If Doug Marrone wants something done right, Doug Marrone has to do it himself. That's why Doug Marrone spent a portion of yesterday personally working with patchwork center Ryan Bartholomew on his snaps.
Junior offensive lineman Ryan Bartholomew was the recipient of Marrone’s private tutoring session, which was conducted off to the side while the rest of the Orange worked on special teams.
For 10 minutes or so, Marrone gave Bartholomew instruction on how to snap the football in the shotgun formation.
Starting center Jim McKenzie continues to be unavailable to the Orange so Bartholomew will have to improve and improve quickly. We can't have a repeat of what happened in the Akron game. A team like Cincinnati won't let it slide.
At least a half-dozen snaps to Syracuse quarterbacks in the shotgun or tailbacks in the Stallion formations went flying into outer space. One snap in the shotgun banged against Bartholomew’s backside for a fumble. Another bad snap to tailback Antwon Bailey led to an Orange turnover that Akron converted into a quick touchdown.
The Bearcats do have issues of their own to deal with. Most notably the QB conundrum. Tony Pike continues to remain positive but as the week rolls on it's looking more and more like the Orange will see Zach Collaros lining up against them. In theory, it's a better match-up. The Orange have one of the best tun defenses in the nation. But of course, Collaros isn't just a runner. He can pass just fine. And we're not quite as good defensively in that category.
The SU defense will get a boost from knowing that Derrell Smith will be back in the MLB spot on Saturday. His injury is still unknown. He said it was cramps. He was seen clutching his knee. So...who knows.
Punter Rob Long, who missed practice Monday, will be in the game as well. Whew.
That brings us us to the kicking situation. Ryan Lichtenstein was benched during the Akron game based not only on his missed kick but also on what Coach Marrone perceived as a bad warm-up for young Ryan. All week its sounded like Jake Smith might get a chance to take the job from Lichtenstein. So far, Marrone says he hasn't made a decision one way or the other.