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Syracuse Football Right Where It Wanted To Be

Four weeks in and the Syracuse Orange are two games over .500. Brian Bennett has the Orange in a tie for 3rd place in his Big East Power Rankings. The SB Nation Big East Power Rankings, Syracuse is a gaudy No. 2.

(Just to show how insane the conference is right now, both rankings have West Virginia No. 1 after they lost while  Cincinnati is No. 3 in one poll, No. 7 in another)

The Bey Week is upon us and so let's take one last moment to reflect on the weekend that was and then move forward in preparation for the South Florida Bulls.

First up, kudos all around to Delone Carter, who earned the Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors. Carter rushed for 172 yards and scored four touchdowns. He did all of that on 14 carries as well. He's third overall in the league in yards/game and first in rushing TDs with five. Carter also now ranks 11th on the SU career rushing list with 2,290 yards.

Defensive kudos have to go to Marquis Spruill. The freshman led the Orange with 12 tackles on the day. However, there was one negative reaction to Spruill's efforts. They momentarily turned Doug Marrone into Greg Robinson during the post-game interviews:

Any element of havoc that linebacker can provide for SU is welcome.

"I see flashes of it," Marrone said.

And so, looking back on the Colgate game as a whole, is there much to be learned from the experience? Apparently not, says Dave Rahme.

Simply, that Dome affair was one of convenience with the participants doing each other a neighborly favor. Syracuse needed a game to fill out its schedule . . . and Colgate dumped Dartmouth and obliged. The Raiders were eager to gain some exposure (and a nice payday, too) . . . and the Orange, happy to step in with an outfit that posed no threat, offered both.

This, then, was back-scratching at its finest. And it wasn’t a whole lot more than that. So to flog the Orange for its "grievous" misgivings across those 60 minutes is just as crazy as praising its "statement-making" successes.

Indeed, this one had the whiff of a company softball game, and little else.

Alrighty. He's right to a point, especially when you consider the game had no effect on our bowl eligibility whatsoever. Still, a win is a win is a win and we'll take it.

Andrew John at the Daily Orange wonders what questions still remain for the Orange. The answer...a lot of them.

Will this team collect double-digit penalties against Big East teams, as it did against Maine? Will this defense allow its conference opponents to gouge them for 230 yards on the ground, as Colgate did? If three relative cupcakes can exploit the Orange at times, what will happen in conference? Four weeks into the season, these are the questions that can still legitimately be asked.

The South Florida Bulls are up first. Dave Rahme says that Doug Marrone gave USF plenty to chew on for the next two weeks as they gameplan for the SU offense.

Saturday, in a 42-7 victory over Colgate, Marrone presented the no-huddle phase of Syracuse’s offense for the first time all season and also shifted the focus to its inside zone running game.

The option series was absent from the game plan. So, or nearly so, were power sweeps, inside traps and misdirection plays that had been a staple of the offense in the previous three games. The Orange passing game basically took the entire second half off, as starting quarterback Ryan Nassib attempted only three passes after intermission.

All of a sudden, that word "multiple" that kept coming up all off-season is starting to make sense. Depending on what you give them, the Orange can take it to the air, they can run over you, they can no-huddle or they can take their time and they can option if needed.

The Daily Orange beat writers Andrew L. John and Tony Olivero break down Syracuse football's 42-7 victory over Colgate