Amid all of the unfortunate issues surrounding our basketball program, it is nice to have a football program that we can fall back on.
This has been the toughest year I've been through as a Syracuse fan. I came to SU in 2008 well aware of how bad the Greg Robinson tenure had been to that point, so when we only won three games, I wasn't overly shocked or let down. After we hired Doug Marrone, I felt that there was nowhere to go but up. More than anything, I wanted a bowl game before I graduated. That happened a year ahead of schedule.
Last season was incredible, but our team had a lot of issues, yet the fact that we overachieved and won a bowl game made the issues easy to look past in retrospect. Unfortunately, last season set the bar for this season that much higher, which seemed fine when we were sitting on top of the world at 5-2. However, the last four games have just been about as bad as you can get at every level.
Our offense has just been ineffective since the West Virginia game. I thought that Ryan Nassib's game against Cincinnati was one of his worst as a starter. I'm not sure if he's banged up, but I've never seen so many of his throws go so awry. Luckily, Antwon Bailey had his best game in a long time, and kept things going for us a bit, but it was not enough. Our offensive line played very poorly, Nassib felt pressure all day, and that was that, our offense would go on to struggle all day.
I thought we had a chance to upset Cincinnati because of the injury to Zach Collaros. Last season, we faced Chazz Anderson in Collaros' place, and took advantage. This season's backup quarterback, Munchie Lagaux, wasn't even as good as Anderson. Munchie is just a really poor passer, and because of that, a one dimensional player. And he beat us. We knew that halfback Isaiah Pead would be the focal point of the offense, and that we wanted to force the Bearcats to pass with Lagaux rather than letting he and Pead run on us. The gameplan should have been pretty clear. However, like our offense, we couldn't execute.
Special teams are just a mess on a whole other level.
Luckily, we have one last hurrah this weekend at Pittsburgh. The Panthers have been decimated this year by injuries to their running backs and having Tino Sunseri as a quarterback, so on paper, it should be a winnable game. However, I am not too optimistic.
Hopefully the team proves me wrong.
I will be at the game supporting the team as always. Hopefully this isn't the final football game during my time as a Syracuse student.
If you are an SU student and want to attend this weekend's game, Otto's Army has a deal for you. $35 for a ticket to the game and a round-trip bus to and from Pittsburgh. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, 11/30/11, at the Schine box office. For more information, here is our Facebook event for the trip. You can also find Otto's Army on Twitter, @OttosArmy.