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Syracuse vs. Maine: The Day of Atonement

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In case you forgot why the Syracuse-Maine game was scheduled for so late tomorrow, the Jewish High Holy Day or Yom Kippur begins at sundown tonight and ends at sundown tomorrow...just in time for kick-off, as Abraham intended.

If you're not familiar with it, Yom Kippur's big. It's like Easter big. Except instead of bunnies leaving you little chocolate eggs, God waits all day for you apologize for all the horrible things you did in the past year before signing off on your fate for the next year. Do they make Yearly Fate chocolate eggs?  Cause they should. Mmmm...predeterminism.

This is the part where I shoehorn the theme of Yom Kippur into the Syracuse-Maine game, so let me see how I can finagle this...

The word 'Kippur' comes from a root that means to cover or hide. A secondary meaning is to obliterate (sin). That seems like something SU might want to focus on this weekend. The Orange will need to cover themselves against trick plays and an overzealous Maine offense. If they fail to do so, they better go run and hide before God (Doug Marrone) finds them. And of course, the Maine game is about obliterating the memory of last week's sins as well as that of last year's way-too-close Maine game.

A quality win here and the Orange confirm that they are truly letting go of the past and grabbing the upcoming season by the horns. They will have sealed the verdict on their fate for the rest of the compete for a bowl bid.

Shoehorning complete.

It would be, well, what's the word I'm thinking of to describe how bad a choice it would be to look past Maine?

"I think it would be stupid (to look past Maine)," safety Mike Holmes said.

That's it!

Sure Maine's offense looks one-dimensional coming into the game today.  But guess what, it looked that way last year as well.  Remember what happened?

The Black Bears entered last season’s contest in the Dome with a one-dimensional rushing offense. Coach Jack Cosgrove put in a new quarterback, Warren Smith, for the Orange and he passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Further putting SU on its heels was a liberal display of fake punts and onsides kicks. Maine led 17-14 at the half before Syracuse settled down and pulled away.

The terrible news about Aaron Weaver's injury has a silver lining for a couple SU receivers waiting in the wings. The question is, which one will answer the call? Sorry Marcus Sales, it looks like it might be Dorian Graham.

"We’ve got to start preparing Dorian Graham to play," Marrone said. "He has been doing a nice job on special teams. He’s the only guy with speed, and that’s the key to the offense."

Maine is excited about the opportunity to get the upset win again, especially since that seems to be going around this year:

"It's a very, very important game on our schedule," said Maine coach Jack Cosgrove, who has faced BCS teams in each of the previous six seasons. "Syracuse is certainly a daunting task for us. There are (FBS) teams that have been humbled by FCS teams. It's certainly been amped up. You can never take anything for granted in this game.

Syracuse University defensive tackle Anthony Perkins is excited about Saturday's home football opener against Maine in the Carrier Dome.

Dome Field Advantage