Sweet mercy, where does one begin?
As for the spring game itself, it was what a spring game usually should contain. Proof that the team is capable of showing some "flashes" but still has a ways to go in terms of finding it's true identity. That's what summers are for. Right now, it' about getting dirty and getting used to the football field. Easier for some than others.
On the good side, some nice touchdown plays from the offense. Ryan Nassib hooked up with Mike Williams and Mike Owens on some pretty passes that showed off Nassib's arm as well as the receiver's ability to create after the catch. Marcus Sales came up with ten catches on the day as well, showcasing what we've heard all spring that he's a talent that can make plays. Conversly, the defense had some nice big plays as well, including a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown caused by Parker Cantey.
On the bad side, tons of penalties, not much out of the running game and some troubling red zone inefficiencies.
Oh and Coach Marrone cursed a lot. Whether that's good or bad...I leave it up to you.
Ryan Nassib had some moments but was inconsistent overall on the day.
In front of 5,184 fans at the Carrier Dome, Nassib was up and down in his debut as Syracuse's starting quarterback. He completed 17-of-25 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns and was tagged for sacks five times.
Surely part of the maturation process at quarterback is learning just how much time you have in the pocket and what to do under pressure. Doesn't sound like anything out of the ordinary for a young QB still learning. Nassib did show off the tools he does possess that can mask some of the deficiencies for a little while.
Mike Williams' aforementioned touchdown was the icing on the cake for the reciever. But Mike was just happy to be back out there, given everything that's happened in the last year:
"It opened up life for me," Williams said. "At first, I felt like I was Mike Williams and I can go out there and do anything. My mom always told me I could do anything. Being suspended helped me a lot. It made me realize that I'm just like anybody else."
Seriously, at what point in an athlete's life do they start with the third person stuff? Is it inevitable for all of them?
The theme of the day was "back to blue-collar" for SU football and it's a message that players and fans are glad to see back:
"That has been the tone since Coach Marrone stepped in the door," Smith said. "The first day he met all the players there was a tone set. This was just a sample. When the season comes they're going to get the main course."
"Every day we bring our lunch pail, you know what I'm saying?" Smith said. "But I think we're just starting off. I think we have a lot to build on. This is just the foundation."
Are we checking those lunch pails, by the way? I don't want to find out anyone's sneaking fiery habanero Cheetos in underneath their lean turkey sandwich and a bottle of Ovaltine.
One player missing from the spring game was defensive tackle Lavar Middleton, and with good reason. He's no longer with the team. As usual, no reasons were given and Middleton has ceased to exist on the SU Athletics page. Middleton is the 7th player to leave the team this spring but his departure is felt a little more than the others.
The Orange were already without star Arthur Jones who's recouping from a pec injury. The Orange also found out this weekend that DE Jared Kimmel would miss the spring game and possibly a lot more with a knee injury:
Defensive end Jared Kimmel will mis the game with with a knee injury. He reported discomfort and mild swelling in his left knee on April 15. An MRI performed on April 16 showed a tear of his medial meniscus and surgery will be performed next week.
Nico Scott also missed the spring game with a shoulder injury though it's not considered serious. Some more comments and videos on the spring game below. If you attended please share your thoughts with the class as well...
- Spring is in the Air...Superman Wears Rob Long Underoos
- Spring game recap...Brian Bennett
- Spring practice interview with the handsome and rugged incoming QB Charley Loeb (lots of focus on his chest, for some reason)...CNYCentral.com
Man of the people Ryan Miller gets up close and personal with the players and fans on the field:
|Syracuse football spring game recap|
Finally, the players talk about their emotions heading into and playing the game:
|Syracuse players' emotions for spring football game|