EZCUSE recap

From my vantage point in section 319.... that's four straight openers for me, folks.  And I live 600 miles from Syracuse. 

#1... the student section was full, the rest of the Dome was not.  And the team started by proving the empty seats were correct to be that way.  I expected the defense to struggle, but they kept us in the game in the first half.  The defense did give up a few big plays, but that is about what you would expect for a team that lost 7 starters. The offense was putrid... dropped passes... poor blocking... rather timid playcalling.  Special teams was OK.

#2... I have to say... at 29-14, I did not give us much chance of winning.  But people left at 26-14.  And then more people left after the Bailey fumble.  And then more people left at 29-14.  A couple in front of me left when overtime started.  Really?  I'm going to say that we have no business playing at home on a Thursday.  At the same time, unlike some games, it was hard to blame the fans for leaving.  The offense was G-Rob esque.  The defense was G-Rob esque.  The score was slightly better than G-Rob esque... but it looked like a team whose offense was a mirage and caused the defense to be ill prepared for a truly competent offensive team.

#3... But... for those of who follow the 'Cuse with our hearts rather than our brains... we stayed and it doesn't get any better than that.  That was a comeback for the ages.  Not only did we capitalize on Wake Forest's mistakes... we even continued to make some of our own.  We could have won that game in regulation.  So the overtime aspect of it was less cheap.  Wake was fortunate just to get to OT.

#4... I do have to say that Marrone's decision to try for the FG was not very popular with me.  Really?  And if you are going to do that, how can you not have the FG unit ready to go out on time?  Sooner or later, our NFL-approach to the college football game is going to burn us.  You play to destroy the other team.. not barely win.  A TD there and Wake is really reeling.  Maybe we get another TD and end up with an impressive 14-point victory in regulation that looks much more impressive than an OT victory.  OT is a toss-up.  

#5... the end of the day, a win is a win.  1-0 is better than 0-1.  Narrowly beating Wake is better than losing to Iowa despite playing tough.  And I guess that is the real deal.  The G-Rob teams never looked better within a game.  Our best case scenario was getting 10 points early and then giving up 40.  HCDM and the staff have the ability to go to Plan B and Plan C.  That is the true value. This win was not any less dominating than USF or WVU (remember WVU's interception thrown at the 2 yard line?).  The goal is to win... not look pretty.  And we got the win!!! 

#6... The way we looked in the last 20 minutes is enough to think that maybe we can put together a nice season.  I still think 8 victories is our upside.  Not enough talent yet to think bigger thoughts.  But we saw some glimpses of how good our offense can be.  Not every team starts out hot.  Va Tech lost to James Madison last year.  UConn lost to Temple.  Beating any AQ-conference team is a feather in your cap.  Especially week 1... with the jitters.  And they say that the biggest team improvement is from Week 1 to Week 2.  We have something to build on.

#7... We went 6-2 with Sales hardly contributing last year.  He had that great play against Rutgers.  And was great in the Pinstripe Bowl.  But we were 2-3 down the stretch without Chew and Lemon being healthy.  When they were healthy, we were 6-2.  Sales' talent is not going to matter if the OL can't give Nassib time. 

I don't know what this game suggests for the rest of the year... but it is better to have a win that a loss.  That's all I know.  One week at a time...

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