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Syracuse 37 - Tulane 34: Survive And Advance

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

There was a point during the second quarter of the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Tulane Green Wave when I actually uttered out loud, "This is exactly the kind of game we needed."

As Donald Rumsfeld might say, you don't always get the game you want, you get the game you have. And from the point in which I said those fateful words, the game became everything we've come to expect from a Syracuse football game in 2011.

About the only part that didn't happen was the whole "must go into overtime" thing. Instead, "Das Boot" Ross Krautman kicked a field goal as time expired and the Orange survived the Green Wave in every sense of the word.

After the field goal, Krautman didn't jump in the air. The lineman didn't pick him up and run around. The Syracuse players didn't storm the field with glee (or the cast of Glee for that matter).

The celebration that usually comes with a last-second field goal was missing. And with good reason.

By all means Syracuse should have won this game 56-21. That it was so close at the half was disturbing. That it was so close by the end of the third was ominous. That it was so close to going down as a loss was downright shocking.

And yet, once again, the Orange end up in the win column. When the bowls come a-knockin', that's the only thing that matters. Survive and advance isn't just for basketball teams anymore. It's the Syracuse Orange football team motto.

Whatever happens, win the football game. It's what they did against Wake Forest (who has turned into a pretty good team, BTW). It's what they did against Rhode Island. It's what they did against Toledo. It's what they almost did against Rutgers. And it's what they did against Tulane.

I would say that college football isn't a beauty contest but, considering the way the BCS works, it kinda is. That said, if you're not trying to win a National Title, then it isn't. It's about cold, hard wins and losses. Say what you want about SU, and you could say A LOT, but we have four wins in six games.

You can complain about the secondary or the offensive lapses or the play-calling or this team's inability to put space between them and an opponent, and by God you have the right to, but UConn (2-4) and Louisville (2-3) would kill for those problems right now.

And last time I checked, both of those guys are on our impending schedule. As well as the most erratic Pittsburgh team ever (and that's saying something). And a USF team that ain't that special.

Six games left. Two wins needed.

You might not feel good about the way Syracuse wins football games, but somehow, and I'm still not sure how, they win football games.

  • I tell you what, I know they're Tulane and we're Syracuse but, OH MY GOD, the attendance, you guys! That was unbelievable. The Syracuse-Hobart lacrosse game was better attended than that. And Tulane wants to join a BCS conference?
  • I don't care what announced attendance they come back with, there were no more than 1,000 people in those stands. You can't convince me otherwise (and 800 of them were Syracuse fans).
  • The third quarter. My God. Fourteen yards of offense. No first downs. Just a horror to watch. I liked the first half a lot better. Let's do that more.
  • Jeremiah Kobena. Hello! We've been waiting for you to breakout on those kick returns. Glad to see we weren't crazy.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, hope you enjoyed the Dorian Graham Show. Hopefully not a one-night engagement. Graham had a career day with 55 yards receiving on four catches for two TDs. He also ran twice for 22 yards on some trickeration.
  • Tulane called every trick play in the book short of the Fumblerooski. And I'm pretty sure they were saving that for overtime.
  • Ryan Nassib (19/34, 186 yards, 2 TDs) had a bad case of the underthrows all night. I know he was feeling the pressure but, you know. Our receivers have a hard enough time holding on to the ball.
  • 111 yards and a TD for Antwon Bailey, who bounced back from FumblePalooza quite well. Ameen-Moore and Rene looked fine in their showcase. Did what they could.
  • Two catches for Alec Lemon and one for Van Chew. In a week in which Doug Marrone challenged his players to show up...not so much. Nick Provo looked great when he got the ball but it looked like Tulane clamped down on him in the second half. Problem was, the Orange didn't seem to have an adjustment ready.
  • Kevyn Scott...dude, let us never speak of that play again. Or the other one.
  • Keon Lyn, same thing.
  • Safeties, your job is in your title. Please help these guys out.
  • Jon Fisher seemed to wrap up the punting battle tonight. His 37.6 average doesn't sound great...until you put it up against Shane Raupers (21).
  • Last-second field goal gives Syracuse football team a 37-34 win over
  • Ryan Nassib and the Streaky Syracuse Orange Avoid Scare Against Tulane...Andrew Pregler
  • Instant Juice: Syracuse 37, Tulane 34...The Juice
  • Syracuse blows lead, makes field goal as time expires to defeat Tulane...Daily Orange
  • Dorian Graham Strong Performance In Orange Victory...SB Nation NY
  • Antwon Bailey gets a helmet sticker...ESPN