Sep 1, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange wide receiver Marcus Sales (5) runs up field past Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo (44) during the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome. Northwestern defeated Syracuse 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
You may have heard about the USC Trojans and their quarterback, Matt Barkley, already. I won't bore you with the details but they're the No. 1 team in all the land according to some and he's the leader for the Heisman Trophy at the moment (even though Ryan Nassib is clearly better than him).
The Trojans kicked off their season with a butt-kicking of Hawaii that was as expected as it was impressive. The standout of the game was Marqise Lee, who caught ten balls for 191 yards and a TD. After the game, Lane Kiffin said, "He’ll be the best ever (one day)." Let's hope it's another day.
Unfortunately for us, Silas Redd seems to have adjusted quite well to his new surroundings. The Penn St. transfer ran for a 31-yard touchdown. However, his backfield mate, Curtis McNeal, was basically a non-factor. Of course they didn't really need a strong running game but, it's something worth noting. The Syracuse defense revealed itself to be very strong against the run and very susceptible against the pass. Unfortunately, that works just fine for this USC offense.
The good news for us is that their defensive secondary looked iffy as well. I mean, as iffy as you can look in a 49-10 win. Ryan Nassib has plenty of experience against this team and in general. If he can get Sir Alec Lemon back, our wide recievers could have the ability to carve them up and put points on the board. My guess is that, like this past weekend, we won't see much out of our RBs.
As for that aforementioned Trojans quarterback, a lot of Syracuse folks were hoping he went pro after last season. Doug Marrone was one of them:
"I’ve watched him quite a bit," Marrone told reporters on the weekly Big East coaches’ teleconference this morning. "Obviously, I was one of a couple of people that was hoping that he would go on and go to the NFL. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m happy he came back."
Barkley was 26-for-39 passing for 324 yards and five TDs last year against the Orange and this year he's got even more weapons at his disposal. Gulp.
This being USC, it wouldn't be a football season if they weren't embroiled in some kind of potential scandal. This time, reports have surfaced that a USC booster gave cash to former RB Joe McKnight, amongst other SC athletes. This won't affect the Trojans on the field and they're not worrying about it (it must be like when most people look down and realize they've given themselves a papercut).
Of course that doesn't matter to SU this weekend. The Orange have a daunting challenge ahead. All this team can do it keep fighting. They did it in the second half against Northwestern but they'll to do it for the whole game (and then some). Doug Marrone laid it all out there in his teleconference Monday morning...
"I was proud of the way they fought back. Fortunately, I haven’t been part of a lot of teams that have been down by 20somethng points and didn’t fight back. Does anybody in this room expect us not to fight back? I don’t think any of you guys expect us not to fight back because, you know, you’ve seen it before from this team.
"It’s a credit to this team. It’s a credit to the people in this community. That’s why these kids fight out there. They fight for themselves. They fight for the community. They fight for the university. They fight for the alumni. They fight for everybody else. When this football team doesn’t fight, there’s a problem. And right now, they’ll fight. They believe in what we’re doing."