The Syracuse Orange opened the season with two losses that felt about as good as losses could. The Northwestern game was an offense revelation and was one penalty away from being a win. The USC game showed that SU had the ability to hang around against one of the best team's in the nation.
The third game of the season, a 28-17 win over Stony Brook, finally brought a much-needed W to the board. So why does it feel like the most depressing outcome of all three?
Platitudes will be given. Stony Brook will be lauded for their effort. People will tell us that a win is a win. But in this moment, this doesn't feel like a win worth getting too excited about. Stony Brook didn't just hang around in this one, they flat-out controlled the entire first half, one that ended with a 17-14 Seawolves lead.
The Orange finally remembered who they were in the second half but only just barely. A few flashes of excellence were overshadowed by many more moments of WTF.
Kudos to Ryan Nassib, Ashton Broyld and Marcus Sales for great performances and stat-sheet stuffer numbers. But overall? I mean, the entire special teams unit needs a gigantic overhaul. The secondary just got torn up by a quarterback who completed 15 passes before this game (against an FCS and DII school). Tackling and technique seemed to go out the window at times. Marrone decisions and Hackett's game-calling were questionable at best.
I'm not quite sure how I felt better about an 0-2 team than I do about a 1-2 team, but, here we are. This morning, I said that this Syracuse team could hang with any Big East team this year. I actually meant the 0-2 SU squad. I'm not entirely sure about this 1-2 one.
We did get to hear Coach Mac be a lunatic during the broadcast, though, so there was that I suppose.