Ah, math. In one game, we went from having 1/4 the season completed to having 1/3 the season completed. I guess this is the wisdom of 12 game schedules... such neat fractions. HCDM was asked to comment on the State of the Union. He declined, I'll do it.
#1. The goal was 4-0, the need was 3-1. 2-2 was a disaster. 1-3 was a "look for the ledge to jump off of." 0-4 was impossible. We fell short of the 4-0, but got to 3-1. For once, this team avoided the disaster. We hadn't done that in a long time. Baby steps.
#2. Finally... the rest of the Big East (sans Rutgers) got to taste what it is like to have a Syracuse without the toughest OOC schedule. And look who is back at the top of the standings. Yep. Us. What does it matter? Well... now the pressure is on the other teams to have to perform EVERY week. Syracuse can go .500 down the stretch and qualify for a bowl. Cincy has to go 5-3. Pitt has to go 5-4. Heck, it is possible that Syracuse can go 3-5 and qualify for a bowl. If Syracuse can beat BC... it can win 2 conference games and go to a bowl under that same scenario. But to be able to lose 4 conference games and still go bowling is pretty nice.
#3. Injuries have been tough, but not drastic yet. Not so sure the rest of the Big East shares that. Devine was dinged up yesterday. Romeus, etc.
#4. The offense knows now that it can run and pass. The o-line needs to continue to improve each week for us to win any more games. But if the o-line improves, we can win games. That is nice.
#5. The defense has been disappointing, but they did limit Akron, Colgate, and Maine to 8 PPG. If we can keep 6 of our remaining 8 opponents under 28 pts, we do have an offense that CAN score 30. They don't need to be perfect for us to win. Our LBs continue to be the best segment. No shocker there. I thought that the d-line would be better. I thought Suter and Holmes would tackle better.
#6. Special teams continues to be a mixed bag. Not sure why we cannot kickoff to the goalline That will continue to hurt us. A 20-yard return from the 12 yard line has teams 3 first downs from FG range. Meanwhile, a 3 and out gives us the ball inside our 30--we lose field position. PR getting better. KR getting better. Coverages have been OK.
#7. Coaching has been fine, really. We have got a lot of young players PT. Our offense can be stopped--but we look 1,000 times more competent than any G-Rob era offense. The talent isn't any better... it's the coaching/schemes.
We can nitpick, but we are what we hoped we would be.