Well, the familiar theme occurred on Saturday for the Syracuse football team. The offense looked pretty decent for one half and then failed to register a single first down in the second half. The defense played its usual consistent game of non-existent resistance. The results: a typical run of the mill beat down to the tune of 45-13. (Some props to Reyes for his close 42-10 prediction).
The game went completely awry in the second half when Cam “The Pez Dispenser” Dantley, coughed up the ball, or should I say pezzed, on a 3rd down pass play; gift wrapping a Bulls touchdown that made the score 28-13 and in effect put the game away. It is not the first time that Dantley has shown little regard for ball security and it likely won’t be the last.
There was yet another coaching snafu when Greg Robinson failed to insert Andrew Robinson for the last couple of series basically because, “What happened was, I’m coaching over on the (defensive) side. I run over there (to the offensive side), and it’s too late. We’re already out. I think that Andrew deserves to get in there and do something like that.” You would think somewhere amid all that driving that USF did in the 2nd half that he could have said, “Start warming up ARob and get him in next series.” But he forgot. It is comments like this that will seal GRob’s fate. The man just can’t stay in the moment as the head coach. Clearly he is in over his head. Even when he has the chance to look over the film he still gets confused – “I watched very, very closely. I went back and I watched it quite a bit,” Robinson said of Dantley’s performance (11-of-17 passing for 129 yards) against USF. “And I don’t know there’s a whole lot there…” Oh really? It looked to me and to Dantley that he was completely off his game. “I really just panicked – not panicked – I just didn’t think on my feet.” Quotes are compliments of Donnie Webb’s blog.
Now the grades:
The good: Another solid performance by Curtis Brinkley, gaining over 100 yards in the first half alone and finishing with a buck twelve. Curtis is on pace to be the first 1000 yard gainer since Walter Reyes in 2003. He ran hard and his 24 yard TD burst in the 2nd quarter was about the last salvo that SU threw at USF on Saturday.
Dante Davis and Marcus Sales also played decently. They both seem to excel on the slant patterns.
The bad: Penalties came and reared their ugly head. I don’t know if it was the heat or what, but this was the most penalties that SU had all season. A recall a Ryan Durand hands to the face penatly negated a nice Sales catch. Jonathan Meldrum was in over his head against George Selvie. The offensive line did next to nothing to stop the Bulls in the second half. They seemed completely overwhelmed.
The ugly: It has to be the defense, as if this is a surprise. Aside from the fumble that stopped USF’s first drive of the second half, they could do nothing right. Most glaring was the blown coverage on first and goal following Dantley’s aforementioned pezzing. There was no one and I mean no one on the outside to cover USF wide receiver AJ Love and he easily scored the touchdown. The defense also couldn’t contain Matt Grothe and his patented draw play. I almost stopped watching when he coverted a 3rd and 10 with a 20 yard scamper. Thanks to alcohol and my trusty espn360 replay, I was able to endure.
Fortunately the footballers are on bye next week and I know that for some that means the hope of a Grob firing. But don’t count on it. The administration has shown no signs of pulling the ejection seat yet, even though this plane has not only started going down it has already crashed. If we are all lucky the black box won’t be recovered either. No one really wants or needs to dissect just what the hell has happened these last four years do they?