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JoePa Thinks Syracuse Sucks A Little Less This Year

Last year, Joe Paterno was cordial in discussing the Syracuse football team after his Nittany Lions dismantled it 55-13 and racked up 560 yards of offense.  ""They played hard" was all he could muster.  This year, Joe's coming clean about what he say last year in order to talk about how much better his opponent looks this season:

"Last year they didn't play with a lot of enthusiasm," he said. "They didn't have that excitement about them."

"Syracuse looks like a pretty darn good football team to me," he said after looking at SU's 23-20 overtime loss to Minnesota. "Maybe they weren't so good last year, but this is a different year. This is a different kind of football team. They hustled and made some plays."

For his part, Doug Marrone would consider it a great honor if he could bring a win over the Nittany Lions back to Syracuse.  It's something he never got to accomplish as a player here:

"It's something that I look back at my career and I apologize to our fans and to Coach (Dick MacPherson) that they put in so much effort and I was never able to be a part of a team that beat Penn State," said Marrone, a former Orange offensive tackle. "I know everyone who played with me feels that way."

In preparation for the upcoming game on the grass in Happy Valley, the SU kickers took to the grassy fields yesterday.  After kicking two field goals last week, it would seem that Ryan Lichtenstein has a firm grasp on his starting spot.  For now.

Two videos to wrap things up.  First up, LB Brandon Sharpe who had a very solid game on defense and special teams as the official "wedge-buster" on kickoffs.  As Marrone puts it, Sharpe is the perfect guy for the role as he's the type to have "a total disregard for their body."

SU Freshman Defensive End Brandon Sharpe

Finally, Greg Paulus talks about the previous game and what's in the works as he prepares for the Lions.

SU Quarterback Greg Paulus Talks Minnesota and Penn State