I've been saying this for weeks but expectations are a funny thing.
Tell a Syracuse fan back in August that the Orange are going to finish 7-5 and they will do backflips across the Quad.
Tell a Syracuse fan four weeks ago that the Orange are going to finish 7-5 and they will sigh defeatedly, mumbling something about what could have been.
Make no mistake, it is fantastic that Syracuse football is going to play in a bowl game for the first time since 2005 and finish a season with a winning record for the first time since 2001. We should all be proud that our players, and our senior class, was able to accomplish so much.
However it's hard to look back on the last month and wonder how much more they could have done. Syracuse's 16-7 loss to Boston College to end the regular season epitomized that frustration.
Doug Marrone said he broke the season down into three mini-seasons. The first four games, the second four and the final four. The Orange passed with flying colors in the first two mini-seasons, going 3-1 in both of them. It's the final mini-season that's so troubling. A 1-3 finish with losses to Louisville, UConn and Boston College. I think all three of those teams are worthy of their victories, but I also think the Orange were capable of winning all those contests.
One instant sums up not only the BC loss but also the final third of the year. Dave Rahme explains...
The situation was this: The Eagles were leading Syracuse 13-7 midway through the third quarter. They were facing a third-and-seven call from the SU 35-yard line. The situation screamed pass. The call from the sideline and relayed by quarterback Chase Rettig was for an off-tackle run.
"I remember after he called the play in the huddle everybody was like, ‘Wait! What? What?’ We thought we heard wrong," Castonzo, a 6-foot-7. 308-pound giant, said. "Everyone was asking, ‘Wait, what was that play?’
[Andre] Williams took the handoff from Rettig, cut outside a block thrown by Castonzo and burst 11 yards to the SU 24 for a first down. Two plays later, on a third-and-eight call from the 22, Williams did it again, bulling nine yards to the SU 13.
Out-physicaled. It's a nonsense phrase. And yet, it's the phrase that Doug Marrone will have in his head all off-season. The Orange got out-phyiscaled on offense and defense at the end of the season by bigger and stronger teams. It will be priority one for Marrone and his staff this recruiting year and in the coming ones to make sure this doesn't happen anymore.
One pretty drive not enough, as Syracuse University drops Dome finale, 16-7, to Boston College...Nolan Weidner
Senior Delone Carter makes early exit for Syracuse University after first-half injury...Nolan Weidner
Bowl game could ease sting of season-ending losses for Syracuse University...Nolan Weidner
SU-Boston College Recap: The Sunny Side...Brent Axe
SU-Boston College Recap: The Dark Side...Brent Axe
SU-Boston College Recap: This, That, and The Other Thing...Brent Axe
Boston College 16, Syracuse 7: Let's Go Fight Hunger...BC Interruption
Orange special teams falters, provides struggling offense with poor field position...Daily Orange
SU needs to fix offensive ineptitude, inconsistency heading into bowl game...Daily Orange
Bailey shines in second half filling in for Carter...Daily Orange
Smith Leads Orange in Loss to BC...SUAthletics