Syracuse vs. Cincinnati: Next Up, The Bearcat Menace

The 2010 season has officially turned into the Syracuse Football Retribution Tour. We beat South Florida for the first time ever. We beat West Virginia for the first time since 2001. And now we have the chance to add Cincinnati to the pile.

The Orange beat the Bearcats as recently as 2004 but they've never beaten them since Cincy joined the Big East. And the most recent losses have been rather messy (52-31, 30-10, 28-7).

The Great Bearcat Menace that has dominated the Big East in recent season is over, but they're still a tough out. At 3-4, they might not look too good but don't be deceived. That includes a close loss to Oklahoma and keep in mind that the Bearcats have scored at least 29 points in their lat four games (29, 45, 38, 30). For the Orange, who haven't scored out of the teens in the last three games, that's cause for concern.

A big reason the Bearcats are putting up such gaudy numbers is QB Zach Collaros. We remember Zach from last year's game, when he subbed for an injured Tony Pike, throwing for 295 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. So far this season he's the highest-rated QB and has almost double the amount of touchdown passes (20) as the next guy on the list (12).

So while you never want to take too much pleasure in your opponent's injuries, Syracuse fans won't exactly shed a tear if the injury Collaros suffered against USF last week causes him to miss this weekend's game.

Jones said Collaros got hit in the knee on the play in which he fumbled. He said an MRI was done today and "it’s nothing right now that they can tell that needs surgery. If he is out, it would only be for a couple of weeks.

Sounds like we won't know for sure until the middle of the week. Junior Chazz Anderson would likely take Colloros' place in that case.

The inconsistent play by the Bearcats this season has its fans all mixed up. Cincy blog Down The Drive says its possible this team could beat us by 40...or we could beat them by 40.

The last two weeks have kind of galvanized my thought process on this team, and the program in general. This years team is capable of any performance. They can play as high or as low as they want to. I have been of the opinion recently that UC is talented enough to beat any team on the schedule, but they are also young enough and inconsistent enough to lose to any of them. It isn't to the point where they aren't really playing an opponent every week, where they are battling themselves to find a modicum of consistency, of identity, but that general idea is not too far wrong. Because of that my confidence interval in the team not only varies from week to week, but it also swings between high and low, on a play by play basis. That play to play variation is why this year has been a grind at times and a blast at others.

As for the Orange, the excitement that was palpable after the USF win is back. Bud Poliquin is pulling out his very finest Pirates of the Caribbean references for the moment. 

To get inside Doug Marrone's head and find out just how possible he thought a win over West Virginia was, Dave Rahme had to delve into the home life of Douggers and see what Helen was able to prod out of him:

"She asked me, ‘Do you really have a chance to beat these guys?’" Doug Marrone said, describing a conversation he had with his wife. "I told her, ‘Well, I really like the plan. She said, ‘And when do you ever not like the plan?’"

"We have an opportunity to beat this team," the second-year head coach of the Syracuse University football team had said. "The kids just have to make plays and believe in themselves. I like our plan. In the end, I don’t know if our Joes are better than their Joes, but I like our plan."

We have good Joes, Doug. We like our Joes. Go Joes!

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