USC 42 - Syracuse 29: The Best 0-2 Team In The Nation

Sept. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Jerome Smith (45) scores a touchdown (center) as players celebrate during the third quarter against the USC Trojans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Here's what I told Conquest Chronicles is my pre-game Q&A answers last week about how I thought the game between the Syracuse Orange and USC Trojans:

I'm not gonna sit here and tell you I think Syracuse can win the game. I'll certainly be hoping for it. If nothing else, I'd like to see the Orange at least keep it competitive for 2 and a half quarters. I'm going with 38-24 as the Orange show big improvements across the board from last year, USC doesn't cover and the Orange can take the title of "Best 0-2 Team In The Nation" with them into next week.

We can debate the value of moral victories and the mental mistakes made during the game all week but there are two undeniable truths about Syracuse football in 2012.

  • We are 0-2.
  • We are pretty good.

The fact of the matter is that this team fought back from a 22-point deficit in the 2nd half and probably would have won if not for a shady penalty call and then went out and hung with of the best three teams in the nation into the fourth quarter. On paper, given their five-star talent and Heisman hopefuls, the Trojans should have won by 50 and, honestly, they should be kinda embarrassed that they didn't. Of course, it's a credit to this SU team for how tough they are and how much improved they are that they made this much more of a game than the final score implies.

The Big East looks terrible so six wins is entirely doable but considering SU has to go 6-4 from here on out isn't a sure thing. We all know how hard it can be to get just one win.

Somehow, despite the fact that we're 0-2, I'm less worried now about Stony Brook than I was before the season started. All of the moral victories from the past two weeks mean nothing if the Orange don't deliver where it counts. This team should be 2-2 by the time Big East play begins. They're doing everything else right, now they just need to start winning the games...

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