Doug Marrone, always the thinker. When the players entered the locker room this week, they were greeted to a very ominous sight. A multitude of mousetraps hanging from the ceiling. One of two things was happening. No. 1, there was a bat in the locker room. Or No. 2, by God, this was a metaphor!
This was just head coach Doug Marrone's way of telling his team not to overlook Syracuse's next opponent. The mousetraps were a clever, albeit bizarre, metaphor for the cliché "trap game." With South Florida on tap next week, Marrone doesn't want his team overlooking Maine, a Division I-AA opponent.
Though, if we could step back a second to discuss something related to the bat idea. Delone Carter shared up this nugget with Tyler Dunne of the D.O. as his first thought when he stepped into the room and saw the traps.
"I was like, 'Do we have a flying mouse? What's going on?'"
I know what you're thinking. A bat can be referred to as a "flying mouse." But if you're like me, you're going to stick with the basic premise that Delone was worried about little gray mice that had sprouted wings, ready to duck under the nearest Pec Deck for safety.
The trap game reminder is extremely prescient given one extremely disturbing note in the article. Apparently, despite any evidence as to why they should have felt this way, Syracuse players actually went into last year's Akron game looking ahead. As if we had the right. Of course, leave it to Greggers to get his team's mindset and preparation in tune:
In the week of practice leading up to that game, intensity was lacking.
Players expected to coast. They were wrong.
"You could sense the team was lax," Carter said. "Guys weren't taking it serious, saying it was just Akron. You can't do that."
Nico Scott even admitted that the Orange had been so lax in the past, they would make up arbitrary New England-based opponents in their mind just so they could overlook them.
"We did a lot of that in the past, taking opponents lightly," Scott said. "You get a Maine or a Vermont or something like that, and you think it's a cupcake walk.
Don't make me think about that time we played Vermont in football. I can't do it!
But at the end of the day, the Orange are in the hands of the right person for this task. Marrone knows the team is in absolutely no position to rest on its laurels. I don't think anyone expects them to.