It was back to normal for the Syracuse football team yesterday in their 11 point loss to Cincinnati. A blocked field goal, 12 penalties, and two fumbles.
The Orange outperformed Cincinnati in this game in just about every aspect but the scoreboard. Ryan Nassib threw for 286 yards and a touchdown, and had a great game through the air as expected. The Orange also added 177 yards on the ground in a game that once again leave fans feeling like Syracuse shot itself in the foot.
The loss had a similar theme as the others, as Syracuse had more total yards than their opponent. This has happened in every single Syracuse loss this season, and is a trend that is frustrating fans to no end. Plays that needed to be made just didn’t happen. A dropped Brandon Reddish interception that very likely would have been a touchdown, a fumbled kickoff that led to a Cincinnati score, and a couple of tough calls on Bearcat fumbles didn’t go the Orange’s way. Despite all of that, Syracuse still had an opportunity to overcome the adversity and pick up the victory.
But they continued to be the same old Syracuse we have seen all season.
This team is on the precipice of turning the corner. The Orange are back to respectability that was once lost from 2004-2008. However, the standstill of the program following the West Virginia game last season is absolutely an elephant in the room, and fans are beginning to lose patience. Doug Marrone again took responsibility for the loss in his post-game press conference, and once again I disagree with him. This team clearly has discipline issues, but aside from address them in practice I don’t have a clue what else can be done about it to change it. This team also makes a lot of mistakes holding and catching the ball, and again aside from addressing it in practice Marrone can’t catch the ball for them.
The talent is there, and it is evident both from watching the games this season and from looking at fans’ frustrations. If the team wasn’t any good, there would be much more indifference around the program. There is not a team on their schedule (which includes one of the toughest non conference schedules in the country) that players and fans around this program think is a sure loss, including next week against Louisville despite yesterday’s outcome.
The only thing left for this team to do is win, and unfortunately that is the only thing that matters at the end of the day.