Even during the bye week, the Syracuse Orange can't make it easy for us.
Down 21-7 at the half, Ryan Nassib led a furious comeback and propelled the Orange to victory over Bye Week, 34-31 in double overtime.
Nassib recovered from a rough start in the first half. He opened the game with six consecutive incompletions, compounded by the fact that favorite target Dorian Graham ran a deep route through the endzone, out the tunnel, outside of the Carrier Dome and across town. He was found running the corridors of the Carousel Center, trying to get the Auntie Anne pretzel girl to hit him with a sour cream-dusted pretzel stick in the flat.
Nassib came alive in the second half, hitting Alec Lemon and Van Chew for touchdowns, evening the score at 21 apiece. Bye Week responded when QB #14 accidentally told the Syracuse defensive secondary the play, pointed at Kevyn Scott and letting him know that he was going to throw in Scott's direction and then throwing a ball up for grabs in Scott's direction, where the ball was caught by the Bye Week receiver for a 80-yard touchdown as Scott looked on ten yards away. 28-21 with 3:22 left in the game.
Antwon Bailey took over on the final drive of regulation. He ran, caught balls in the flat, completed a pass to Van Chew and completed a high-risk self-flea-flicker in which he flipped the ball back to himself before throwing it forward to himself and running in for the score. 28-28 as time expired.
Overtime for Syracuse football. Here we go again.
In the first overtime, Bye Week was held without a first down and forced to kick a 38-yard field goal courtesy of K #19. 31-28 Bye Week. The Orange almost gave the game away when Antwon Bailey fumbled the first snap but recovered the ball five yards down the field.
This happened five more times.
The Orange ran out of fumbles just short of the goalline and kicked a tying field goal, 31-31. Second OT, here we come...
The Orange immediately came out in the 2OT with a fire in their belly. Offensive coordinator Nate Hackett put his patented "Two Yard Gains of Glory" offense into effect and SU was able to inch their way forward six yards before needing to kick a field goal again. Das Boot Ross Krautman kicked it true, 34-31.
Bye Week had their next chance to tie or even win the game. QB #14 drove the Fightin' Byes down the field quickly with a series of precision strikes. At the SU 9, the Orange defense clamped down. Mikhail Marinovich gave his mustache a twirl and then twirled around Bye lineman to record two consecutive sacks, forcing Bye Week to go for it in third and long. Somehow, every Bye receiver was wide open in the endzone but QB #14 overthrew them all.
K #19 came in to kick the game-tying field goal. The kick went up and...it looked good...but the referees called in no-good. The Bye Week sidelines erupted in shock. Doug Marrone rolled his eyes as if to say, "not again." The refs took a look at the review where, to be honest, it looked like the kick curled just inside the uprights. All it took was one close look and anyone could see that the only logical conclusion was that the kick was good, the score was 34-34 and the game was moving on to triple overtime.
The call stood. Syracuse won.
Ryan Nassib finished the game 14-of-26 for 197 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT and 3 mini-outbursts in the general direction of Macky MacPherson.
QB #14, who didn't have more than 34 yards passing in any game this season and hadn't thrown a touchdown in his entire four-year career, finished with 513 yards and 4 TDs.
After the game, Doug Marrone lamented yet another close win over an inferior opponent that was marred by controversy.
"From the standpoint of winning games, we won the game in a way that, from the standpoint of the referees making strange calls, saw a strange call and I'm not sure what actually happened but, from the standpoint of moving forward, that's what we're going to do."
And so, Syracuse moves on to play the West Virginia Mountaineers this week. The Orange had their issues once again and their latest victory might have been another controversial one...but this team just continues to win football games. And that's what it's all about.
Note: Thoughts and prayers go out to back-up QB Charley Loeb, who was mauled by a Bengal Tiger during the third quarter. The Tiger seemed drawn to the ridiculously-good-looking rogue's scent and it took four security guards to pull the tiger from his carcass. He is currently recovering and undergoing treatment but his face and hair are expected to make a full recovery...Condolences to the 175-pound Bye Week cornerback that Syracuse TE Nick Provo flattened and killed during the 2nd quarter. He will be missed.
Like Sisyphus, Harriet Tubman and Howdy Doody before them, these Orange of Syracuse find a way to win...even if it's not always pretty...plus there is a light at the end of the tunnel...I think...sometimes it would probably make sense for someone to edit these headlines...Bud Poliquin
Is Doug Marrone about to get fired? We suppose it's possible (Plus, FIZZCAST!)...Orange Fizz
Syracuse football should be ashamed of themselves for their play. Syracuse fans should be ashamed for not caring. Everyone should be ashamed of everything...Daily Orange editorial
Syracuse wins but, you know, karma...Andrea Adelson
Syracuse football? Moar lik Stinkacuse Poopball! Heerz pikturez uv gurlz naow...Pat Forde
Don't read anyone else's article on this Syracuse game because they aren't qualified. Read mine because I have a journalism degree so my opinion is important...Dana O'Neil