If Syracuse football has spent the last four years as a nerdy, Jewish sleepaway camp counselor crying in a field, unable to find a way to tell the girl of his dreams that he loves her, then Doug Marrone is the odd-yet-lovable, former-veteran, mess-hall cook with a way to help them build up the confidence to do it. A...new way.
Today, Syracuse proudly wears its cut-off shirt and short-shorts and walks the campgrounds freely, with the knowledge it can accomplish anything it puts its mind to. These are strange days indeed.
Dave Rahme says it was a total team effort that got the win on Saturday. The offense was multifaceted, the defense made big plays and special teams stepped up when needed.
The first two games of the Doug Marrone era prompted the usual response of searching for a silver lining of hope in the dark cloud of defeat that had hung over the Syracuse University football team for four-plus seasons. Saturday, the silver lining was surrounded by a silver cloud.
The Orange won a football game. Not just won, but rallied again and again and yet again to win 37-34 after blowing a 17-point first-quarter lead to Northwestern. In the process the players made prophets of themselves. They swore they were getting close, a pledge often made but seldom kept since the start of the 2005 season, a 49-game span in which SU’s number of victories against fellow BCS teams could be counted on one hand – Illinois and Connecticut in 2006, Louisville in 2007 and Louisville and Notre Dame in 2008.
Just in case you needed a reminder on just how back-and-forth the game was and how impressive it was to watch the Orange battle back each time, Bud Poliquin reminds you.
A crowd of 40,251 had witnessed the scrum, and when it was over another 40,251 (and more) probably wished they’d done the same. And why not? The Orange had demonstrated some serious spine by taking a lead (17-0) and then falling behind (21-17) . . . by taking two other leads (24-21 and 27-21) and then falling behind again (28-27) and again (34-27) . . . by tying the visitors (34-34) and then finally beating them (37-34).
Bud also threw in a "holy schnikeys" reference, which should please Chris Farley enthusiasts to no end.
For their efforts in the game, Mike Williams and Ryan Lichtenstein were honored by the Big East as players of the week, on offense and special teams, respectively. Middle linebacker Derrell Smith was selected to the league's weekly honor roll as well.