We've been hearing it for weeks now from our opponents. "Syracuse plays hard." "They're really playing hard out there." "This is a different team, much more focused." Yeah, well you still beat us with 27 so take your compliments and shove'm up your ass.
"People say we’re a different team, we’re playing hard...I say hey, let’s be honest here. Of course they’re going to say that, they kicked the (stuffing) out of us. What you want them to do is to start saying bad things about you. When they start saying bad things about you, that means you’re beating them."
Dave Rahme takes a look at how the feisty 2-2 Syracuse Orange of last month became the worned-down 3-6 Syracuse Orange you see before you. Turnovers, explosive plays and personnel loss are the name of the game. Though what about the fact that we've also played some really good teams in that stretch, including two opponents in the top ten? Yeah we need to cut down on the interceptions, but when you're playing the No. 5 team in the nation and you barely have enough guys to form a roster, these things tend to happen.
Doug Marrone refuses to get discouraged. And he refuses to let his players get that way as well:
"We’ve asked a lot of these players. They’ve given us everything they have. It may be the first time they ever have. To be able to go out there and consistently have that mindset and that drive and that pride in the tradition, it takes a while. That’s why I know everything is going the right way even though the record may not indicate that. And that’s why no matter what people think we need to keep pushing to keep this program taking steps forward, knowing that the thing that’s going to turn last is the wins and losses."
For the first time in a while the Orange find a similar opponent staring back at them from across the field. The lowly Louisville Cardinals, basement-mates with SU in the Big East. Rahme breaks down what the Orange need to do in order to get their first Big East win of the season and their third straight over the Cardinals. Of course, some things, like big plays from wide receivers, might be hard to come by:
Want a chilling stat? Williams departed the team with 49 receptions. Despite playing two fewer games than the rest of SU’s receivers, he has a 30-catch gap on the rest of SU’s wideouts. None of them has caught a pass for more than 24 yards, evidence that the Orange can no longer stretch the field vertically.
Some other things to look for on Saturday...
- Delone Carter is going for his third 100-yard+ game in the last four tries. He for 723 yards on the season so far.
- Greg Paulus continues his assault on the SU passing efficiency mark. He has completed 144-of-221 passes (65.2 percent) through nine games, which is the best single-season performance in Syracuse history. Which sounds even crazier when you mention he's also not too far from the interception record as well.
- Mike Williams has the chance to start a new consecutive-games-with-catch streak. Let's see how he does...