The expectation was that the Syracuse Orange would find themselves in a dogfight with the Bye Week Fightin' Byes on Saturday. They'd be in hangover-mode from the LSU game or looking ahead to the South Florida Bulls and the lowly Byes (0-5) would be able to sneak up on SU.
Perhaps that is what would have happened, if not for Samantha Ponder and David Pollack.
During their #YouHadOneJob segment on College Gameday, the dimwitted duo decided to spin Riley Dixon's epic fake field goal first down from the previous week into some kind of premeditated punch opportunity.
Despite the fact that their writing staff is on-board with #DixonForHeisman, these two numbnuts tried to convince America that Riley's celebratory fist-pump was actually a punch meant to make impact with an LSU defender, the logic of which is just all kinds of stupid. Not to mention the jokes were like listening to your parents trying to prove they've still got humor (when they actually never did) and the weird Fox News-esque defense of poor wittle LSU who couldn't defend themselves from the mean Syracuse thugs.
It would have been all well and good had they stopped at calling Dixon "aggressive" but it was Ponder's comment about how the play was "dirty" that flipped the switch.
It's unknown if Ponder understood what she was unleashing on the world in that moment, referring to Campbell Trophy semifinalist, Wuerfful Trophy watchlister and All-ACC Academic student-athlete as "dirty," but by the time Dixon took the field against Bye Week U on Saturday, he seemed to have decided enough was enough.
Asking to be introduced as Gothar Rileyon, Warrior of Renown and Lord of the Onondagan Lands, the viking warrior formerly known as Riley Dixon took the field at Noon and didn't leave until the bloodied battle was over.
Dixon instructed head coach Scott Shafer that along with his usual role as punter, he would also be quarterback, kicker and middle linebacker on the day. Despite initial protests, Shafer relented when Dixon showed him just how easily he could split him with his sword. By the time it occurred to Shafer that Dixon probably wouldn't be allowed to play with his broadsword, Dixon had already kicked off.
It was over before it even started. Dixon hacked and slashed his way through the Bye Week wedge, bellowing a war cry in the direction of the returner, who promptly soiled himself, dropped the football and ran back into the locker room. Dixon speared the football with his sword, walked into the end zone and stared down the referee until he signaled for a touchdown. 7-0 Orange and they never looked back.
Dixon dominated the day from every side of the ball. He cut through the offensive line like he was swinging an axe, mostly because he was swinging an axe, en route to 37 sacks. He ended up throwing for 295 yards on 13-of-13 passing for four touchdowns. The sharpened rocks he threw at defenders in the moments before passing the football seemed to have the desired effect.
Up 35-0, it looked like Riley and the Orange were going to cruise to victory when Bye Week decided to use a little trickery of their own. BWU punter Driley Ixon emerged from the locker room as a rival viking warrior.
With Syracuse at the 1-yard line ready to punch it in, both teams cleared the field except for Dixon and Ixon, who decided to go one-on-one for the final score. It did not end well for one of them.
Why did Ixon's head change after Riley Dixon cut it off? Magic. Black magic. Shut up.
After shearing off the head of his enemy, Gothar Rileyon, Warrior of Renown and Lord of the Onondagan Lands strolled into the end zone and that was that. 42-0. The game was called on account of Bye Week not having enough players left alive to continue playing. Rileyon told the referee he would prefer the score to be 44-0 instead of 42-0 and SU was awarded a safety due to Ixon's head being in his own endzone.
R.I.P. to those lost on the field of battle Saturday. They will be missed. However, great news for Bye Week's recruiting efforts. Lots of open schollies!
After the game Gothar Rileyon magically-reverted back to Riley Dixon, who had no memory of what had happened nor did he understand why he was wielding a battle axe.
Just at that moment, the Bengal tiger that stalks the Carrier Dome every year during the Bye Week game appeared from the tunnel. It set his sights on backup quarterback Austin Wilson and pounced. Right before it was about to sink it's teeth into Wilson's supple neck, an axe pierced it's skull, driving the wild animal into the ground and killing it instantly.
Riley Dixon doesn't know how he knew how to throw the axe and that it would make purchase with the beast. He said after the game that he was "just acting on instinct and trusting in my teammates." When asked what role his teammates played in him literally picking up an axe and throwing it all by himself, he responded "it was all them, I was just fortunate enough to get the credit."
The Orange now extend their winning streak over Bye Week to nine games. Up next for the Orange is USF. Up next for Bye Week is trying to figure out what to tell all those parents...
Congrats to Andrew on the near-perfect guess.