Syracuse vs. Washington: Hangin' Gruff

Gruff-and-tough.  That's how the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta describes Doug Marrone.  I think we'll take that.  I'm still trying to confirm whether or not Bob described Greg Robinson as "sweet and cuddly" before the 2007 game.

Dave Rahme says tomorrow's Syracuse-Washington game doesn't make any sense.  What do the Orange have to gain from playing in a place they do not recruit and on a Coast they do not win very often on.  Fair point.  But Dave also shows us through Doug Marrone how important a game like this can be to a program like ours.

"Looking toward the next game, Washington, obviously it’s a great test," Marrone said. "We’re 1-11-1 on road games in the West since 1964. On the flip side, Washington is 23-2 in their home games since 1970 when they’re facing an East Coast team."

It's a program-changer.  I know Washington isn't 1997 Washington, but they're still a solid program in a BCS conference.  Syracuse fans can count on one hand how many wins we have over one of those in the last ten years.

The key to winning?  It begins and ends with stopping Jake Locker.

"If you look at last year there were a lot of plays made by the quarterback where he was able to break contain, keep his eyes down the field and make big plays," SU coach Doug Marrone said. "This quarterback has a big-time arm and is a big-time playmaker, so you want to keep him in the pocket, because this quarterback can hurt you every which way. He can run it like a running back and he can throw it like the best quarterback in the country, which he may be."

Of course, eliminating turnovers can't hurt either.  The Orange had three last week.  Thankfully for them, Akron wasn't up to the challenge of taking advantage.  Washington will be. As Bud Poliquin points out, this isn't the same kind of team we faced last week.  This is a team that plays near "verdant hills."

The Syracuse squad, then, will be confident . . . and as its offense, defense and special teams did some nice things in Ohio, it should be. But those won’t be the Zips in this marvelous city with its verdant hills and shimmering waters, and that will be Jake Locker standing over the opposing center. And so, we shall see.

Totally forgot to mention, for those of you coming to the game, make some time for the verdant hills.  Can't miss'm.

On the injury-side, it looks like Kevyn Scott isn't 100% after all.  He and Ryan Gillum will not suit for the game tomorrow.

Scott, a senior who has battled hamstring injuries throughout preseason camp, was thought to be ready to rejoin the Orange earlier this week. Gillum, a junior who lost his outside linebacker job to freshman Marquis Spruill during preseason camp, is listed as being out with an 'upper body' injury.

Check out Syracuse.com's video preview below, see what the UW Dawg Pound has to say about the game and know that no one in Seattle expects to lose this game.

A Huskie, not a Zip
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