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You're Da'Mon Now, Dog!

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Well, maybe not, but WR-turned-CB-turned-WR-turned-CB Da'Mon Merkerson certainly got a chance to show off his abilities on Saturday.  Starting CB Nico Scott was benched early in the third quarter after B.J. Daniels' 85-yard touchdown pass to Carlton Mitchell killed all of the momentum Syracuse took into the locker room.  Merkerson took Scott's place and although he didn't do anything spectacular, he didn't give up any more 85-yard touchdown passes if you know what I mean.

So first of all, why was WR Merkerson even in the game at CB in the first place?  Well, since he wasn't exactly going places on the WR depth chart, he asked to go back to corner.

Merkerson played the rest of the game at cornerback. On Sunday, Merkerson went into Marrone's office and asked if he could be moved from receiver to cornerback, a position he played some last year for the Orange.

But Marrone isn't about to give up on Nico just yet.  Far from it.  As a sign of validation, Marrone offered up the extremely rare "tremendous standpoint" stamp of approval.

"You know what I told Nico today?" Marrone said. "Nico Scott has done a tremendous job. From a standpoint, he's probably watched just as much film if not more film than anyone on defense in his spare time. I told Nico this - the people that play this game in real live situations are going to get beat. There's not a person that's played this game of football that hasn't gotten knocked on their butt or hasn't gotten beat.

"The true test of Nico, and the rest of our football team, is how do we respond to things. In other words, did we sulk on the sidelines? Are we down? Do we put our head down and sulk? Do we stop working? Or do we work harder to get better? And that's what we have to instill in all of our players, not only to become better football players, but to become winners. That's what we talked about."

In the meantime, Doug's doing his best to get over The South Florida Gameplan That Wasn't And The Seven Evil Turnovers. You hurt Doug, Turnovers.  You really did.  You hurt him in the heart.  And he'll never be able to mend that hurt.  At least until we play South Florida next year.

"It hurts me so much to feel that," Marrone said. "I loved the plan. I loved the plan. I loved the plan offensively. I loved the plan, obviously, not turning the ball over and the good decisions. That's all part of the plan - not doing that. It hurts. It hurts. I really felt we had an opportunity to win a football game against a very talented football team, a very good football team.

I wonder if he loved the plan.  And whether or not it hurt.