This is it. The Syracuse Orange kick off the 2011 football season tonight against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
You ready? Here's the final pieces of the puzzle to get you all caught up.
Expectations are high for the Syracuse offense this season. Offensive coordinator Nate Hackett isn't going to rely of fancy trickery or anything like that. He's all about the system and how well the Orange can master it.
Don’t look for fancy new plays or formations, Hackett said. But while the playbook is the same, the players are a year older and more experienced, and they’ve had time to grasp the nuances of a complicated offense that’s been a hit in the NFL.
"Right now, Drew Brees and Aaron Rogers run this exact system," Hackett said of the quarterbacks at New Orleans and Green Bay, winners and MVPs of the lat two Super Bowls. "The system that we have can be devastating. That’s why it’s the number one system in the NFL. The problem is it takes a little time. Once it starts clicking, it’s exciting."
QB Ryan Nassib is ready and he knows his margin for error is slimmer than ever before.
"We do have high expectations," Nassib said. "There is no room for excuses this year. Mental mistakes, mental errors, stuff like that, that’s not tolerated. We can’t have that, game in and game out, like we did last year."
A lot of folks out there doubt Antwon Bailey's ability to carry the Syracuse running game. That's no problem for 'Twon...
"I know I can play with these guys, for one," Bailey said. "But just proving everybody wrong and being in the underdog role, it's something I've been in my whole life."
Don't forget about the defense, however. Not while Scott Shafer is in charge. Or should we call him...The Guru?
"That's why I call him a guru, that's why I call him a mad scientist," Lewis said. "Anybody who can take an intricate game like football and turn it into something simple and be successful off of it, got to be some type of guru, right?"
'We've got to protect this house': Season opener in Dome gives SU chance to set tone for 2011...Daily Orange
Opposite ends: Jones and Marinovich work together to form unique tandem on Syracuse's defensive line...Daily Orange
Hot route: Suspension of Sales broadens roles of other SU wide receivers...Daily Orange
Line 'em up: Unproven linebackers must make up for loss of Hogue, Smith...Daily Orange
Syracuse Vs. Wake Forest: Orange Begin New Season...SB Nation NY
Syracuse vs. Wake Forest: Scouting The Demon Deacons...SB Nation NY
The Syracuse football season begins tonight in the Dome . . . and all looks pretty good...Bud Poliquin
Syracuse Orange football team charges into the Carrier Dome for the 2011 opener...Mike Borkowski
Prediction: Syracuse 21, Wake Forest 17...Andrea Adelson
Wake Forest-Syracuse Preview...Blogger So Dear
Doug Marrone talks about SU's season opener against Wake Forest.
On the Beat | September 1, 2011 from dophoto on Vimeo.