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Syracuse Football Looks Better, Just Not On Paper

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Doug Marrone likes that his team played hard on Saturday, but wanted to make sure we "don't ever confuse that with results." The results are still that SU lost a winnable game 23-20 in OT.  And as much as orange fans saw progress and there is some buzz amongst us that the ship is being righted, it's not showing up on paper just yet.

Prior to the games played on Monday, Syracuse was ranked 96th out of 110 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision in the first list of NCAA statistics.

It gained 257 yards in total offense against Minnesota, which is actually less than the 270 yards a game it averaged last season.

It's a familiar slot for the Syracuse offense, which was 114th last season in total offense, 114th in 2007 and 110th in 2006.

Stats don't tell the whole story the same was Greg Paulus' final pass doesn't tell the story of that game.  But it's a sobering reminder that the climb, Miley Cyrus can attest, is far from over.

Doug Marrone Labor Day Press Conference


Nick Provo, who was helped off the field early on and did not return will not play this weekend against Penn State.  It's unclear how long he'll be out though it doesn't seem to be long-term.

Marrone said he would not discuss specifics of Provo's injury, but in reading between the lines a bit, Marrone said something which confirms that it's not a season-ender. He said the only time he will go into injury detail is if a player will be out "for a long period of time."

Marrone again shared his enthusiasm for the crowd that showed up on Saturday.  Announced as 48,617 but more likely closer to the low 40's, they were loud and in the game in a way that reminded a lot of people how it used to be.  Despite the outcome, you got the sense most of them will be back in two weeks for the Northwestern game, hopefully not run off by the results this weekend.

Speaking of the upcoming weekend...and so it begins.  Expectations against Penn State are muted to say the least.  Predictions before this weekend usually resembled 42-17 or something therein.  Despite the good effort put forth by the Orange Saturday, it's probably still not far off for most.  Vegas currently has Penn State listed as a 28.5 point favorite and you won't find many to argue.  The Lions are coming off a 31-7 win over Akron that wasn't inspiring in the 2nd half but Penn State showed how quickly they could put a game out of reach, taking a 31-0 lead into the half. If the Orange aren't careful, they could find themselves in the same situation. has some starting points for you to get to know the Nittany.  I'll be adding some insight from PSU bloggers and others as well this week.  Let's do this.